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Scientific Inquiry in the JS: Making Transdisciplinary Connections

Developing a transdisciplinary program of inquiry includes integration of the key subject areas into our Units of Inquiry. This process ensures authentic connections that support the students’ learning of the knowledge, skills, concepts, and Learner Profile traits. 

Engaging Senior Kindergarten students in their How the World Works unit this term, scientific inquiry played a key role in unlocking the students' understanding of how people apply their understanding of forces to their daily lives. Looking at the push and pull forces, students engaged in describing the effect of pushes and pulls on the motion, stability and/or position of objects and the different ways friction affects the motion of objects in and out of water.

To achieve meaningful and authentic learning experiences, teachers collaborated to integrate scientific investigation into their swimming classes, focusing specifically on the effect of friction (drag). They explored how the size, weight, and shape of an object (floatation devices, kayaks, people, etc.) will affect its motion and that pushes and pulls can speed up, slow down, or change the direction and speed of a swimmer. 

Students were given the opportunity to investigate related questions and problems in a controlled and safe environment with experienced teachers and lifeguards. During their investigations, students used scientific vocabulary to explain their observations and to discuss their collected evidence. They showed that, with support, they could collaboratively plan and carry out investigations and manipulate variables as necessary. By exploring forces in the swimming pool, students can better understand the world around them and connect new knowledge and deeper understanding to real-life experiences. 

 

Ciara Wilson
Junior School Science Coordinator