Science is taught throughout the curriculum, from early K through middle school. Science is at the core of our technological civilization. It is a way of knowing the world and appreciating the wonders of how it works. At the LCA, science is taught by teachers with high expertise.
Students get a gentle but engaging introduction to concepts of science in EK-K (early kindergarten and kindergarten) with teacher Arielle Lane. It is informally imbedded in “our world” as a subject, which includes social studies. Arielle introduces topics in an order than keeps student interested, moving, for example, from the geology and geography of continents and oceans to astronomy – the planets by name, order, and orbital period; stars from birth to death; constellations – to how plants develop and grow.
Our Head of School and volunteer teacher, Dr. Lou Ellen Kay, teaches science to grades 1-2 and then grades 3-5, five times each week for both groups. The class sessions cover similar topics, with appropriate modification of level between the groups – though they all learn a notable amount of true scientific terminology that makes learning easier in the long run. Parents remark about both the terminology their children use and the concepts they can relate.
Her classes employ lectures with copious imagery – textbook figures, images from scientific journals, videos – as well as class discussions and hands-on work. For the latter, she draws on our abundant collection of samples, especially biological and geological, plus live plants, live and preserved insects, and more. Students watch insects develop in terraria. The use microscopes to examine anatomical features of organisms or rock textures. Segments of a semester cover geology and astronomy; students can examine the long table that Lou Ellen painted with the life history of various classes of stars. At intervals, Board Chair and volunteer teacher Dr. Vince Gutschick comes in to demonstrate principles of physics or chemistry per se, such as phenomena in a vacuum, magnetism, and electrical circuits. Lou Ellen gives occasional tests to reinforce learning.
Middle-school science meets 5 times each week. Students participate in discussions and experiments, each semester taking unique turns to follow current scientific events and student interests, while addressing core concepts. Dr. Vince Gutschick teaches physics and chemistry, drawing on 53 years – and counting – of research in diverse fields at major institutions with colleagues from 8 nations. Dr. Lou Ellen Kay teaches biology, drawing on a similarly long career in research and teaching, beginning in botany and expanding to anatomy and physiology. Both class segments use the diverse equipment and supplies we have gathered from Vince and Lou Ellen’s careers; adding to these are supplies and equipment that we purchased from the Annual Funds and from a successful GoFundMe campaign in 2015. More details will be noted here shortly.