As part of their science unit about the properties of wood, today second grade students at SEA visited Mr. Pedro's workshop to learn about what changes tools could physically make to wood by cutting and sanding. Mr. Pedro demonstrated a table saw, jig saw, belt sander and router to the very excited students!
While studying the wood unit, students have worked with five different wood samples to observe their properties. They began with free exploration, hunted for matching samples, dropped water on the samples, and floated them in basins. They tested the wood to find out how many paper clips it took to sink it, and organized their results by making a bar graph. Students used sandpaper to change the shape of wood. They compared sawdust and shavings and how they interact with water. They simulated the manufacture of two kinds of wood they observed, particleboard and plywood.
The Science Program at SEA is called FOSS (Full Option Science System), a research-based science curriculum for grades K—8 developed at the University of California at Berkeley. This school wide, hands-on program where teachers and students interact together leads, to a deeper understanding of science and the natural world. Students develop basic science concepts through inquiry and investigation. Development of the FOSS program was, and continues to be, guided by advances in the understanding of how youngsters think and learn.