CA THERINE BOUCHER | CM1 AND SCIENCE COACH
Students love exploring the mysterious un- knowns in science. They could ask ques- tions and seek answers to explain the world around them for days. When something inter- ests them, they are more likely to remember it. Teachers know instinctively that curiosity is fundamental; they know that by nourishing
curious minds, the students will demonstrate the desire
to learn. The Science Lab provides the right environment to do just that. This extension of the classroom is a
place that piques the students’ curiosity, develops more
hands-on learning opportunities and promotes scientific
The lower school science lab is a space where every teacher and student alike can together explore all
the endless questions about how the world works. It’s
a place where inquiring minds meet long-term learning goals. As the Next Generation Science Standards
Appendix A states: “All students no matter what their
future education and career path must have a solid K– 12
science education in order to be prepared for college,
careers, and citizenship.”
A Place to Ask Questions
As Dr. Malaia, Assistant Professor at the Southwest
Center for Mind, Brain and Education states: “Curiosity
really is one of the very intense and very basic impulses
in humans. We should base education on this behavior.”
Without a doubt, curiosity is a powerful learning tool—
perhaps the most powerful of all—and students have so
many questions to ask. Most children love to play in the
sand and the dirt: what are they made of? The universe
fascinates others: how do shadows work? Children like
to splash (water is fun): what would happen to the sea
level if all the icebergs in the ocean melted? Volcanoes
fascinate older students: how can a 10-year-old construct
a definition of the concepts of lava flow and viscosity?
Understanding the world that surrounds them is the
biggest puzzle ever for children. The science lab as an
extension of the classroom is a place where every student can find an opportunity to question the world,
and to seek answers to explain it.
A Place to Find Answers
When the students enter the science lab, they want to
learn by doing something. For that reason, the room is
versatile enough for a variety of activities: the flip-top table adapts easily to allow for more space; there are plenty of surfaces for all kinds of projects; and it is equipped
with microscopes, science kits and categorized supplies.
The capabilities of the science lab are extensive. From
the four corners of the room students’ questions arise.
They are thinking, analyzing, observing, using tools, listening to each other, answering the teacher’s questions,
making connections, collecting data, using mathematics and, most importantly, are avid in learning more.
The science lab provides valuable opportunities for any
teacher to help students build knowledge.
A Place for Community
Moreover, the science lab is also a community space
where students can discuss plans and work collaboratively to explore their inquiries. They also prepare
themselves and present their work to their classmates.
These activities not only foster collaboration among
children, they also help develop language and literacy
skills, inherently leading to a sense of community among
The famous educator and philosopher Paolo Freire
once said: “There could be no creativity without the
curiosity that moves us and sets us patiently impatient
before a world that we did not make.” With curiosity in
mind, students will learn at heart—and perhaps, someday, add something to this world of their own making.
How the new lower school science lab fosters a love for learning.
With curiosity in mind, students take learning to heart
LOWER SCHOOL SCIENCE