ScienceThe science program makes use of units or modules acquired from ASSET (the Allegheny County Schools Science-Education and Technology Consortium) which allow science to be both a "hands-on" as well as "minds-on" experience for the children.
Three ASSET modules are used in classrooms at levels 1-4 and two modules at kindergarten. The modules, which have been developed by nationally recognized publishers of science materials for children, contain all the materials needed to teach an inquiry-based science unit.
Children are taught using a lesson framework called FERA. FERA is the acronym for Focus, Explore, Reflect and Apply - the four steps of a good hands-on science lesson.
The Focus step directs students’ attention to the goal(s) for a particular lesson. The Explore step refers to the opportunity students have to manipulate equipment, experiment or test hypotheses. Students may also record their observations as data for future lessons. Next comes the Reflect step. During the Reflect step, students are asked to think about what their investigation has shown. Often, the teacher will guide students through a discussion of what took place in their explorations. Journal writing is frequently a part of the Reflect step. Finally, students are asked to Apply what they have learned. They do this by drawing conclusions, summarizing or extending their learning by writing about the lesson.