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Esten Elementary School Students Explore FOSS Science Curriculum

Front, left to right: Fourth grade students Charlie Hanifan, Lycia Nassif, Yarmin Pagan and Raelynn Palleschi send Morse code messages to each other with the telegraphs they built. Back, left to right: Fourth grade students Nora Medford and Colin Rau also explore Morse code. (Courtesy Photo Rockland Public Schools)

ROCKLAND – Principal Marilyn Smith is pleased to announce that Esten Elementary School has implemented the FOSS science curriculum in third and fourth grade classrooms to better incorporate hands on learning.

FOSS, Full Option Science System, is a research-based curriculum for grades kindergarten through eight developed at the Lawrence Hall of Science at the University of California, Berkeley. The program bridges research and practice by providing tools and strategies to helps students obtain a deeper understanding of the natural and designed worlds.

Esten first implemented the curriculum last year to align with Department of Elementary and Secondary Education science standards. Since September, students have engaged in a number of projects and experiments to investigate core science ideas and principles.

“Through the FOSS curriculum, teachers are using hands on learning to better engage students in science topics,” Principal Smith said. “Students love performing different investigations and have begun using scientific terminology in their daily conversations.”

As part of their first unit of study, third and fourth grade students learned about motion and matter. For one project, students in third grade performed an experiment about the way a ramp has an effect on how things move, while students in fourth grade practiced translating Morse code using handmade telegraphs.

Students will now move onto a unit on earth science, which will include looking at water and climate in grade three, and soils, rocks and land forms in grade four.           

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