Investigate, Discover & Design (IDD) I, II, & III

In this hands-on series of courses designed for students in Kindergarten and grades 1-4, students engage in experiments, activities, or design challenge elements during every class. Their investigations reveal conceptual foundations in biology, chemistry, physics, medical and environmental sciences and the various engineering fields. Importantly, carefully guided facilitation gives students the opportunity to identify those concepts, rather than be told them first! Students explore topics including:

nanotechnology/biomimicry

computer programming

neurobiology

anatomy and physiology

microbiology

physics

applied physics

chemistry

mechanical and electrical engineering

Each grade grouping (e.g., grades 1-2, 3-4) offers a separate two-year, graduated curriculum and is geared towards different degrees of sophistication and depth. Topics are undertaken in a thoughtful and age-appropriate manner. They are also foundations for our more specialized classes. Read more...

Investigate, Discover & Design: Developing Critical Thinking Skills through Sci & Eng I, II & III

In this hands-on series of courses designed for students in Kindergarten and grades 1-4, students engage in experiments, activities, or design challenge elements during every class. Their investigations reveal conceptual foundations in biology, chemistry, physics, medical and environmental sciences and the various engineering fields. Importantly, carefully guided facilitation gives students the opportunity to identify those concepts, rather than be told them first! Students explore topics including:

  • nanotechnology/biomimicry
  • computer programming
  • neurobiology
  • anatomy and physiology
  • microbiology
  • physics
  • applied physics
  • chemistry
  • mechanical and electrical engineering

Each grade grouping (e.g., grades 1-2, 3-4) offers a separate two-year, graduated curriculum and is geared towards different degrees of sophistication and depth. Topics are undertaken in a thoughtful and age-appropriate manner. They are also foundations for our more specialized classes.

As students observe, record (through writing, pictures photographs, role play), design and test, they organically develop the habits, practices, mindset and vocabularies of scientists and engineers. Importantly, they have a joyful time doing so. Through this tour-de-force of experimentation, activities and design challenges, students develop critical and creative thinking skills, which they apply to all learning.

With one exciting experiment or activity after another, they become comfortable:

  • asking critical questions
  • formulating simple hypotheses
  • collecting evidence
  • beginning to explore how to control for variables
  • drawing basic conclusions
  • sharing what they have learned 

 

 

 

During engineering challenges, students become adept at: 

  • using their imaginations
  • exploring other ways in which the particular challenge has been addressed in the past (basic research)
  • taking risks and learning the value of making mistakes
  • designing and developing models 
  • testing and evaluating 
  • refining their solutions

Students learn about abstract concepts through concrete means in this inquiry-designed curriculum. They develop a vocabulary to convey their understanding over time. As, always, the focus is on the “how’s” and “why’s” rather than a “what” - based rote memorization approach. 

Site visits and visiting specialists! The Innovation Institute's team engages area research institutions and industries to help our students understand how and why real people are investigating the science behind and developing innovative solutions to the topics covered in this curriculum.

Learning entry points include the use of storytelling, fiction and nonfiction literature and art. 

      top
enroll
home