Elementary Science Teaches Problem-Solving Skills & More

Elementary science at Saint Columbkille Partnership School has evolved to align with the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) that are were established by a number of states, including Massachusetts, and are in line with most state science standards. Ms. Anna Birnberg, elementary science teacher, worked to ensure that the current science curriculum includes not only specific science and math skills, but also broader and more general problem-solving and life skills, that will help students in all subjects and outside of the classroom.

On Wednesday, February 5, Ms. Birnberg offered a dive into the science curriculum during a morning coffee presentation for STCPS families. These coffee presentations allow for parents and guardians to learn more about specific grade levels and subjects offered at the school, hear directly from teachers about the curriculum, and ask questions.

Specifically, the NGSS is broken down into three parts: cross-cutting concepts, such as cause and effect, systems and systems models; science and engineering practices, such as asking questions, planning/carrying out investigations, and analyzing and interpreting data; and disciplinary core ideas, such as the Earth and solar system, structures and properties of matter. Students demonstrate skills and learn through observation and investigation instead of only memorizing content and facts.

Furthermore, Ms. Birnberg incorporates both general science and engineering units into the curriculum to ensure a well-rounded approach to learning. For each lesson, she asks herself, “what skills do our students need to be successful scientists and engineers in the 21st century?” For more information on the engineering units specifically, check out this article.

“It’s important to teach the whole child,” says Ms. Birnberg. “Science offers an opportunity to instruct more holistically and teach broader life skills with greater applications.”