Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) in the Lower School
We ask our young students to think and act like scientists. Our lower schoolers apply their knowledge and skills to identify and address real-world problems, incorporating components of technology, engineering, sustainability, and design. They learn question formation, observation, experimentation, measurement, analysis, inference and deduction, critical thought, and communication skills. The entire Lower School participates in the Week of Code, which teaches children the basics of computer science. Second graders enjoy our annual Health Fair—parents and community members who work in health care use hands-on activities to give students a glimpse into their professions. Third graders build Rube Goldberg machines; fourth graders venture out on a dozen field studies to examine Utah’s environment; and fifth graders complete an individual project and present it to teachers and peers in our beloved Science Share.
The Lower School promotes a deep understanding of math skills and concepts. The goal of our math program is authentic, problem-based inquiry that enables students to expand their knowledge and apply it in context. We teach students to:
- make sense of problems and persevere in solving them;
- reason abstractly and quantitatively;
- construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others;
- model with mathematics;
- use appropriate tools strategically;
- attend to precision;
- look for and make use of structure; and
- look for and express regularity in repeated reasoning.
Appropriate technology is integrated into the curriculum to enhance the STEM learning experience for lower schoolers. For example, educational iPad apps are used to promote STEM skills through engaging, challenging activities.
Lower School STEM news in Fine Print, the magazine of Rowland Hall:
- Doing What Real Scientists Do: The Fifth-Grade Science Share Celebrates Inquiry, Process, and (Sometimes) Failure (June 2018)
- Encouraging Students to Embrace the Identity of a Scientist (March 2018)
- Students Show off STEAM Skills at First Annual Maker Day (June 2017)
- Week of Code Continues to Raise Computer Science's Profile at Rowland Hall (December 2016)
- Inquiring Minds Get Answers From Lower School Math Specialist (November 2016)
- Field Studies Fortify Fourth Graders' Utah Expertise (November 2016)
- Testing 1, 2, 3—Third Graders Build Rube Goldberg Machines (February 2016)
- Lower School Catches Coding Bug (January 2016)
- Stream Studies in the Nation's Second Driest State (December 2014)
- Meet Herm Bauer, Guest Geologist (December 2014)