Sixth Grade Science
The Science of Hydrolology
Fall semester in 6th grade science focuses on the science of hydrology. Watersheds, glaciers, aquifers, droughts, and San Francisco’s drinking water are integrated themes. Lab experiments, building models, and local stream site visits, are designed to teach how water is stored and flows throughout our planet’s water cycle. Following specific lab procedures, using tools accurately, scientific sketching, safety, and collaboration are skills our th graders practice. During field research, the Tennessee Hollow watershed, in the Presidio, is used as a biological lab “case study” and provides students with an opportunity to observe, monitor and test a real watershed. Data sampling, microscopes, and technology use are combined to provide students a better understanding of how scientists use indicators to assess water quality and study our global climate system.
Mission to Mars
In the winter semester, our 6th graders embark on a colonizing mars unit. This scenario-based project challenges student teams to compile current research to compare and contrast environments on earth and mars. Through a series of experiments, simulations, model building, and discussions, students learn about current and future missions to our celestial neighbor and decide what environmental constraints are most important to focus on as they begin a journey to outer space. Students use the NASA Engineering Design Circle Model and curriculum adopted from Ames NASA research center to develop ideas, build prototypes, and solve problems, as they construct 3D models that represent their sustainable colonies for future existence on mars.