Fourth grade topics typically include
the Ring of Fire; volcanism and tectonics; landforms and their development and change over time.
what it is and what causes it; how it affects things as diverse as aluminum drink cans, balloons, and our lungs.
what it is and how it is produced, changed, and lost; how heat moves through various materials via convection, conduction, and radiation; dissipation and insulation; molecular motion; making and calibration of thermometers.
a deep and thorough investigation of nine white, everyday “kitchen” powders; observing them while testing them for their behavior with water, vinegar, iodine, and heat. We then recombine two, three, or four in an unknown mixture, retest, analyze and deduce the contents. Requires careful, repetitive, and accurate testing, excellent notes, solid organization, cooperation, and logical reasoning. Very challenging and very much fun!
what atoms and molecules are; how they are related; evidence we have for their existence, behavior, and properties; chemical energy; pH testing of acids and bases; soil nutrient analysis for our garden site; water quality testing.
Lab reports are introduced and used throughout the fourth grade year to help organize ideas, materials, procedures, observational data, and conclusions.