Birchwood School of Hawken cultivates a love of science by providing students with a broad range of hands-on learning experiences, where children learn the thinking habits of the scientist. When appropriate, we take an inquiry approach to science instruction that helps students learn the process of inductive thinking. Students learn to observe and interpret scientific phenomena. They learn from field observations, teacher demonstrations, and classroom experiments. Students work with laboratory specimens and use scientific equipment.
Students learn higher order thinking skills in science, including the scientific method. Students observe and collect data. They compare and evaluate findings while organizing information, making inferences, and relating findings to previous experiments and observations. Then they draw conclusions and make evaluations. A school wide science fair for fifth and sixth grade students is designed to walk students through each step of the scientific method in detail.
Birchwood students also learn how to study, retain and apply scientific knowledge. They need a scientific knowledge base of concepts, terms and processes. Students must learn how to learn. Knowing how to study, memorize and apply bodies of scientific knowledge are important skills for life-long success in the study of science.