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Science

The Newgrange School’s science program provides all students with a multisensory, inquiry-based instructional program, aligned with New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards. Our program supports and encourages scientific literacy and “Big Idea Thinking” by using research-verified instructional strategies and materials. This approach starts in the earliest grades and continues through high school.

Lower School Science Grades 2-6

The lower school science curriculum focuses on core concepts and principles of science. We use measurement and observation as tools to assist in categorizing, representing, and interpreting the natural and designed world. Students are encouraged to display curiosity about science objects, materials, and activities. They learn to observe, question, predict, and investigate science phenomena. We use basic science terms and a topic-related science vocabulary. Using projects and experiments, students explore basic tools and techniques to extend their investigations. They synthesize their experiences through oral and written presentations, drawing, and projects.

Students study Science Practices, Physical Science, Life Science, Earth Science, and Astronomy at all grade levels. Through hands-on inquiry-based lessons, students learn about big science ideas, such as Changes in Matter, Forms of Energy, Energy Transfer/Conservation, and Forces and Motion in more depth at each level, building on previous knowledge and moving to an advanced understanding of each.

A sampling of topics in lower and middle school includes:

Grades K-2

  • Living organisms and interdependence of these with their environments
  • Heredity, reproduction, and lifecycles
  • The Earth’s composition
  • Biogeochemical cycles in Earth systems
  • Energy in Earth Systems

Grades 3-4

  • Properties of matter and its two fundamental properties: space and inertia
  • Living organisms are composed of cellular units that carry out functions required for life
  • Food is required for energy and building cellular materials
  • Organisms reproduce, develop, and have predictable life cycles
  • Evolution and diversity: differences between organisms of the same kind may provide advantages for survival and reproduction in different environments
  • History of the Earth
  • Properties of the materials and environments of the Earth
  • Climate and weather
  • Biogeochemical cycles

Grades 5-6

  • Living organisms are composed of cellular units that carry out the functions required for life
  • Animals and plants depend on other organisms for their basic needs
  • Organisms reproduce, develop, and have predictable life cycles
  • Evolution and the importance of diversity
  • The Earth operates within a set of complex dynamic and interconnected systems
  • The Earth’s composition is unique and is related to the origin of our planet
  • The theory of plate tectonics provides a framework for understanding the dynamic processes of the earth
  • The earth’s weather and climate systems result from complex interactions

Grades 7-8

  • Physical science principles including fundamental ideas about matter, energy, and motion
  • The Periodic Table and properties of elements
  • Solids, liquids and gases
  • Chemical and physical properties of different substances
  • Physical and chemical changes of substances
  • Characteristics of familiar forms of energy including potential and kinetic energy
  • Conservation of energy
  • Forces and motion
  • Single and multicellular organisms
  • Structure of cells, tissues, organs, and systems and their functions in supporting life
  • Interdependence of animals and planets on other organisms and their environment to meet basic needs
  • Life cycles of organisms
  • Evolution and diversity
  • Earth’s catastrophic events
  • Structure of the atmosphere
  • Interactions between the layers of the earth
  • Chemical properties of soil
  • Transformation of the energy of the sun and the water cycle
  • Exploring weather maps

 

High School (grades 9-12)

Course selections fulfill the required credit hours for the New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards and provide the necessary requirements for graduation. These include:

  • Physical Science
  • Earth Science
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Physics

 

Academics

 

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