Students explore the characteristics of air and the interaction between moving air and solids. They learn that air is a compressible fluid, that it is composed of many gases, and that moving air can support solid materials in sustained flight. By studying birds and airplanes, they learn a variety of adaptations and designs that make flight possible and that provide for propulsion and control.
Students apply their knowledge of aerodynamics to design, build and test a variety of flying devices. In constructing models, students develop a basic design, then build it, test it, and solve the problems that inevitably arise.
Students learn about objects in the day and night sky. Through direct observation and research, students learn about the motions and characteristics of stars, moons and planets. Using simple materials, such as balls and beads, students create models and diagrams which they use to explore the relative position and motion of objects in space
Students sharpen their skills in observing and interpreting what they see by investigating evidence of human and animal activity. Through these studies, students learn to pose questions, devise investigations, recognize patterns and discrepancies, and think logically about what they have observed.
Students learn about trees as individual plants and as part of a forest ecosystem. By examining local species, they learn to recognize the characteristics of different trees and develop skill in describing and interpreting the structural features of trees. In examining human use of forests, students become aware of several environmental issues and develop an awareness of the need for responsible use of forest resources.