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King School

An independent day school educating students PreK-Grade 12

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Exploring Science in Lower School From Chicks to Squids

Hatching Chicks in Grade 1
This year marked a noteworthy milestone as the Lower School embarked on its inaugural journey of hatching chicks. Science teacher Charlotte Walsh spearheaded this initiative, providing students with a unique opportunity to witness the miracle of life firsthand.

"I hope to continue doing it over the next few years," said Walsh, highlighting the project's positive reception and educational value. From the initial candling of eggs to the thrilling moment of hatching, students were immersed in every stage of the chicks' development. With each passing day of the 21-day countdown, they eagerly tracked the progress, identifying various parts formed inside the egg and learning about their functions.

The hatching process became a community-building activity, uniting students across grades as they anticipated the arrival of new life. 

“Students of all grades have loved having the chicks, and it has been a nice connecting point for students,” said Walsh. “Hatching and raising chicks are also good lessons in responsibility and patience.”

Moreover, the chicks seamlessly integrated into the curriculum, complementing lessons on life science and animal adaptations. From discussions on the significance of the chick egg tooth to reflections on responsibility and patience, students gained valuable insights into the complexities of life cycles and the interconnectedness of living organisms.

"It allows students a different, first-hand way to learn about life cycles," Walsh explained, underscoring the importance of experiential learning in fostering a deeper understanding of the natural world.

Dissecting Squid in Grade 4
As part of the spiraling curriculum, Grade 4 students in Shevon Morris’ science class embarked on a journey to understand the diversity of life on Earth, focusing on the classification of animals. 

Upper school science teacher Jay Hill visited the classes on Tuesday, April 30, and Thursday, May 2, to lead students through a hands-on exploration investigating the internal anatomy of squids. As students carefully dissected these incredible creatures, they compared and contrasted the mollusks' structure with that of vertebrates.

"Students examined both the external and internal anatomy of squids to make claims about how the squid's anatomy is adapted to its environment," Morris explained, highlighting the critical thinking and analytical skills honed during the dissection process.

Students explored the adaptations of squids to their marine habitat, providing evidence to support their findings. 

"I loved the squid dissection," said Isabella Ulloa ’32. “When we dissected the eyes, we learned that a squid are actually colorblind"

Through the dissections and follow-up reflections, students gained a deep appreciation for the intricate mechanisms that enable organisms to thrive in a variety of ecosystems.

"I loved when we got to cut into the mantle of the squid because we got to see all of the organs and how its lungs and gills work,” said Jasper Coulombe ’32. “We also identified and removed the squid ink sack and used the ink to write our names."

These immersive experiences are just a few of the ways science education in the Lower School transcends traditional classroom boundaries over the course of the year, empowering students to become curious, critical thinkers eager to explore the wonders of the natural world. From the hatching of chicks to the dissection of squids, each activity serves as a stepping stone in their scientific journey, inspiring a lifelong love for learning and discovery.