As STEM programs become more widely available, schools are finding wonderful resources that help provide their students with an outstanding education in science.
At St. Joan of Arc Catholic School in Lisle, science teachers utilize Full Option Science System (FOSS) Kits to engage and challenge their students. “I was thrilled when SJA purchased the FOSS program,” said fourth grade science teacher Carol Flynn. “The younger grades are introduced to a wide variety of science concepts, and over time, the program builds on prior lessons and requires students to really dig in to learn more about each topic. Science is one of the kids’ favorite subjects; there’s always something new, as they have different lab partners and different topics each day. They learn to cooperate with each other, which helps develop social skills.”
Students receive an Investigations Guide full of articles and interesting stories relating to each topic. “The students perform hands-on investigations, in addition to their reading materials, videos, and journals that they write and draw pictures in,” added Flynn. “After each lab, we tie the information they learn into real-world situations. One example is Mono Lake, a large saltwater lake outside L.A. In the 1970s, the brine shrimp ecosystem began to die out after an aqueduct was built to provide fresh water to L.A. residents. The salinity increased, nearly killing off the shrimp. We re-created a brine shrimp ecosystem in class, and developed a range of tolerance where shrimp could still live. We also discussed how people fought the government to save the lake, and how they won. The kids were so glad, they cheered in class.”
Students also study units on Weather, Energy, Magnetism, and the Environment, among others. “Seeing my students learn to predict outcomes, analyze and record data, and evaluate each project is amazing,” said Flynn. “This program teaches so much, but the kids have fun, too!”
Pre-K through 8th grade
820 Division Street, Lisle, IL