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Finding the Balance

The Steward School
Lower Schoolers explore the scientific method
In Grade 3 Teacher Ashley Lenhart’s classroom, third graders are learning about the scientific method (observation, hypothesis, testing, and conclusion) through a variety of experiments. A recent experiment was designed to illustrate that the concepts of mass and weight are the same. 

Using modern balance scales, the students compared the weight of objects. Modern balance scales  — unlike their unwieldy predecessors — are lightweight, streamlined, and electronic. By placing a pencil on one side of the scale and comparing that mass with a stack of notecards on the other side, students could determine which object was heavier. 

“We talked about what it means to compare the weight of various classroom objects, including crayons and books,” explained Ms. Lenhart. 

This type of scientific exploration, she noted, gives students new avenues through which to make connections with the world. “Any time students can experience learning is an opportunity for them to feel empowered,” she said. “They have the ability to fully experience the curriculum, making it that much more relevant to their daily lives.” 

Ms. Lenhart’s students will continue to conduct science experiments throughout the year, and they’ll build their skillset, making meaningful connections as they progress through Middle and Upper School and prepare for life beyond Steward. 

“They are using tools that scientists use,” she said, “and they love it! Any time we have a hands-on experience is a win for them.” 


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