Unity Prep’s science curriculum will consist of research-based units that focus on scientific inquiry, hands-on active learning, multi-sensory exposure to scientific concepts, student-to-student interaction, and discursive and reflective thinking. Under this model, students begin with conjectures, collect data and make observations based on labs and demonstrations, and develop explanations for their findings. In this way, students interact with materials and work cooperatively to construct new understandings before moving on to abstractions, models, or simulations. In each unit, students also learn to make conjectures, follow procedures, make precise observations and calculations, and refine and clarify their thinking, both independently and in collaboration with peers. Science classes include the following features:

  • Focus questions and quick writes: students responding to preview questions and recording their thinking prior to investigating the subject
  • Data acquisition and organization: students recording data in the form of narratives, drawings, charts, tables, graphs during demonstrations, labs, and investigations
  • Data analysis: students developing and supporting claims to answer the focus question based on patterns, trends, or relationships in the data they collected through careful observation
  • Reflection and self-assessment activities: students discussing their findings, critiquing other students’ explanations, completing supplemental readings, receiving key information and instruction from the teacher, and, finally, returning to their original work to assess its accuracy and completeness and revise their thinking by incorporating new information