Richland students think deeper. This was certainly apparent to the community at our recent Science Inquiry Fair. The complexity of the students’ investigations was impressive, and indicative of the Reggio-inspired inquiry learning that takes place in our classrooms. Through our role as researchers, we recognize that the future requires innovative thinking. As educators we look to STEAM as a model of teaching across the disciplines: Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics. STEAM is a movement championed by Rhode Island School of Design (RISD)to drive innovation and is widely adopted by institutions, corporations and individuals.
Through the Science Inquiry Fair, our students were challenged to consider Big Questions, and in turn to develop theories, ideas, and potential solutions. The process of learning through these inquiries was sophisticated, engaged multiple disciplines, and required innovative thinking – true evidence of STEAM thinking. Our congratulations to everyone involved for sharing such passion and understanding for their scientific investigations, and for sharing their learning so confidently and effectively.“Through the inquiry process, students began to understand that failures and revisions are integral to innovation. Overtime, the understanding of conservation took on a personal meaning and ultimately inspired students to enact change.” Ms. Cooney, Grade 5 Teacher and Ms. Bei, Grade 6 Teacher.
Every student at Richland participates in the annual Science Inquiry Fair – from prekindergarten to Grade 6. Some of the subjects explored included the incubation process – from eggs to baby chicks; a geological inquiry of rocks and minerals, focusing on the impact of mining; and a collaborative environmental inquiry on the conservation of energy and resources – leading to the development of a system or device to reduce carbon footprints.It’s evident that attitude is everything, based on the reflections from some Richland students on the process:
“The whole process was amazing. I learned that if you keep trying to find a way, you’ll be rewarded for your hard work and perseverance.” –A.P.
“A big idea can come from a small one” –E.L.
“It really got me thinking about how I could change the world in a positive way…my project has inspired me to understand that whenever there is a challenge, don’t run away from it… face it.” –A.M.
“I will try to reduce my carbon footprint every day because of this experience” –C.B.
“It’s all about trying!” –K.L.