Did you know that Camellia 8th grade students have 12th grade level science standardized test results? Each spring our 8th grade students take the TerraNova Test, a national standardized exam that measures academic achievement. The 8th grade class average in science is at the 12th grade level (81%) in areas of science Inquiry, physical science, life science, earth and space science, science and technology, personal and social perspectives in science, and history and nature of science.
HOW DO WE DO THIS?
Preschool & Kindergarten: The foundation of science education
Spending time outdoors, with hands-on activities such as gardening and imaginative hikes develops children’s appreciation for and love of nature. A love of science does not come from textbooks or worksheets, but rather from experiencing and observing things in nature such as bugs, plants, trees, birds, clouds, and the sun.
1st through 5th Grades
Starting in 1st grade, children experience nature stories and hands-on activities, building up to more in-depth studies of botany, plant life, animal studies, and zoology in later elementary school. Children learn to read, write, draw, and paint about their nature experiences. Hands-on practical experiences include nature crafts, planting and harvesting, sheep shearing, and collecting and grinding acorns. Following these practical activities students in 4th and 5th grades study animals and plants in more detail, writing reports and giving class presentations.
6th through 8th Grades
In 6th through 8th grades, Camellia uses a unique Waldorf STEAM approach (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) for teaching science. We provide students with opportunities to be designers, creators, innovators, discoverers, experimenters, and scientists. In-depth science blocks, each lasting two hours per day, for 2 - 4 weeks, introduce subjects through phenomena demonstrations and hands-on experimentation. Students are asked to observe, identify, record, sketch, and conduct experiments – then make their own observations and come to their own conclusions. Most often, students have a few days to ponder what they have observed before the teacher shares the scientific explanations behind the experiments. Children become real scientists using an interdisciplinary approach that bridges science, math, and the arts: a Waldorf version of the STEAM approach.
Science Instructional Blocks in 6th through 8th Grades
Physics: Acoustics, optics, electricity, magnetism, heat, thermodynamics, mechanics, and astronomy.
Biology: Human physiology and anatomy, including respiratory, circulatory, digestive and reproductive systems, health, nutrition, and botany.
Inorganic Chemistry: Combustion, acids and bases, and the lime cycle.
Earth Sciences: Geology and mineralogy.
Math: Pre-algebra, algebra, geometry, statistics, and business math.
The time-tested Waldorf science approach of teaching students in a hands-on way, helping them to comprehend rather than to memorize, leads to impressive results. Children develop a passion for science. Camellia Waldorf students consistently stand out in these areas in high school and beyond, with many Waldorf graduates going into science, technology, engineering, and other related professions.