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Science/S.T.E.A.M.

Designed with the principles of S.T.E.A.M.* in mind, the science program at St. James’ entails a comprehensive course of scientific study in state-of-the-art facilities. Science classes offer students a number of multisensory learning opportunities – including hands-on experiments that make our whole campus a laboratory – to inspire their self-directed discovery, inquiry, and innovation.

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Approaching * Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics (S.T.E.A.M.) not as separate branches of academic inquiry but, instead, as interrelated subjects is one of the ways St. James’ is reshaping the classroom for the 21st century. The S.T.E.A.M. approach builds on its predecessor, S.T.E.M., by embracing the arts – and its promotion of creative problem-solving and innovative thinking – within the core curriculum. Research has shown that students benefit greatly from studying both arts and sciences in school, and at St. James’, all students do.

In St. James’ rigorous science program, students are encouraged to ask questions, share ideas, and design experiments. Students expand their scientific inquiry skills through experimentation, hands-on learning, and mastery of science content. The program gives students a solid foundation in the physical, chemical, earth, and life sciences.

The science laboratory is equipped with six lab stations, each of which has a state-of-the-art computer on a multidirectional ceiling mount, built-in sinks, custom cabinets, and an abundance of science supplies. Elsewhere on campus, an aquaponics pond, turtle pond, and garden are heavily integrated into lessons throughout the year.

In Kindergarten and 1st grade, science is integrated into the homeroom curriculum. From 2nd–6th grade, students attend class with our science specialist in the lab. Across grade levels, the curriculum includes a wide variety of major topics.

By Grade Level

2nd Grade

2nd-graders learn about the characteristics of living beings and the world they interact with. Subjects include plants and animals, rocks and minerals, and water and air.

3rd Grade

3rd-graders enjoy an expansive curriculum covering life sciences, astronomy, energy and matter, chemical reactions, ideas and inventions, and more.

4th Grade

4th-graders learn about how living and nonliving things coexist and influence each other on a macroscopic scale. They study natural disasters, weather, ecosystems, structures of life, and levers and pulleys.

5th Grade

5th-graders experience an immersion in life sciences and topics in biology, such as the kingdoms of living things, the parts of the cell, and food chemistry. They also examine robotics, magnets, and circuits.

6th Grade

6th-graders revisit the subjects of astronomy, biology, chemistry, and physics, now in more depth. In particular, their study of biology includes anatomy and genetics, and their study of physics covers simple machines, electricity, and magnetism.