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Learning In Their Environment

Kent School students enjoy hands-on, inquiry-based science beginning in Kindergarten. The overarching goal of Kent School’s Lower School Science curriculum is to introduce our students to the many branches of scientific study. Using cross-curricular cues from a unit of study in Language Arts or Social Studies, students will be introduced to botany, archeology, anthropology, chemistry, engineering, zoology, astronomy, meteorology, geology and much more. Our youngest scientists become familiar with lab materials and technique. They are engaged with materials that help them become familiar with absorption, dissolving and properties of matter. Students engage in STEM and STEAM activities that support cross-curricular goals. Bridge design and building might support a Third Grade Geography unit while harvesting native grasses from the school garden might support a Fourth Grade Maryland History lesson.

Fourth Grade science is grounded in Kent School’s nationally acclaimed Bay Studies program. Partnerships with the Department of Natural Resources, the National Aquarium, Kent County Soil Conservation, Washington College, Chesapeake Bay Foundation, and Sultana Education provide opportunities for project based learning such as over-wintering native diamond back terrapins and blue gills, building buoys to collect data, and the growing of underwater grasses. The program is further enriched through a series of guest speakers from the community and numerous field experiences.  Culminating the year-long program is a three day trip to one of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s Island Study Centers. Here, the children are immersed in the history, culture, and ecosystem they have been studying. This program is designed to give the children a sense of place and to inspire environmental stewardship.

At Kent School, Science is all around us, especially on our riverside campus. Lower School students are frequently outside exploring student-built and maintained gardens or garden bird stations throughout campus where they are engaged in citizen science programs such as tagging migrating monarch butterflies or monitoring visiting bird species that appear at our feeders at during different seasons. At Kent School, the study of science is active not passive. Students not only learn about our environment; they learn in it.