Science education in Clayton encourages an attitude of inquiry in the world around us, excites an interest in the nature and process of science, and explores the relationships of science to society, technology, mathematics and other disciplines. We engender a scientific literacy that will enable our students to reflect on and evaluate information from multiple sources and to develop an understanding of how our choices affect other people and the environment. We provide an evidence-based, model-building program that continually develops, extends, refines, and revises knowledge. The following beliefs are evident throughout Clayton’s science curriculum:
- We believe that Clayton science education is built on a foundation of process skills and content knowledge, because content and process are inextricably linked in science.
- We believe that Clayton science education leads students to organized reasoning, analytical thinking, and problem solving that cultivate their curiosity about the natural world.
- We believe that Clayton science education promotes an appreciation of the enduring understandings in science.
Listed below are the Enduring Understandings of the Science curriculum. These are statements that summarize important ideas and core processes that are central to a discipline and have lasting value beyond the classroom.
- The systematic nature of all things
- All things in nature are made up of interacting and interdependent parts. Everything is a part in a larger system.
- The interaction between energy and matter that flow through systems
- All things in nature interact with and are affected by energy. The total amount of energy and matter in the universe remains constant.
- The nature of stability, change and equilibrium
- All things in nature change over time in order to reach a balance (equilibrium), however, systems can show stability over long periods of time.
- The relationship between structure and function
- The way things are put together determines what they can do. The way a system works depends on what it is made of and on the shapes and forms of its parts.
- The creation of models to represent abstract ideas and phenomena
- In order to understand how systems function and the patterns observed in nature, people develop models that describe how nature works. Many models are quantified using mathematics.
- The process of scientific reasoning and the evaluation of ideas
- Advances in science start with observations that lead to questions that are answered by experimentation and modeling. Measurements of observations lead to a mathematical treatment of data.
- The interaction between science and society
- As a result of scientific pursuits, human beings have developed an understanding of nature that has affected all people’s lives in many ways.