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2015–2016 Science Curriculum Announced

Republished from Ms. Tobin's science newsletter, which parents in 2nd–6th grades received this week.

St. James' provides students with a rigorous science education. Students are encouraged to ask questions, share ideas, and design experiments. Students will expand their scientific inquiry skills through experimentation, hands-on learning, and mastery of science content. Our program is committed to providing students with a solid foundation in the physical, chemical, earth, and life sciences.

Our science laboratory is equipped with six, ceiling-mounted, multi-directional computers connected to the Internet. We also have six lab stations with built-in sinks. The lab has custom cabinets and an abundance of science supplies for our 2nd–6th graders. Our school also has an aquapond, turtle pond, and garden, which will be heavily integrated into our lessons throughout the year.

If you are interested in helping out with the aquapond, turtle pond, or garden, please contact Science Teacher Rachel Tobin We already have a terrific team of parents who have been helping out with the aquapond committee.

Stay tuned for additional ways to become involved throughout the year.

Curriculum Overview

2nd Grade

  • Characteristics of life
  • Plants and animals
  • Rocks and minerals
  • Water and air

3rd Grade

  • Life sciences
  • Energy and matter
  • Chemical reactions
  • Insects
  • Astronomy
  • Ideas and inventions

4th Grade

  • Natural disasters
  • Weather
  • Ecosystems
  • Structures of life
  • Evolution and adaptation
  • Robotics

5th Grade

  • The biology and chemistry of food
  • Genetics and anatomy
  • Chemical sciences
  • The five kingdoms of living organisms
  • Robotics, magnets, and circuits

6th Grade

  • Astronomy
  • Biological and chemical sciences
  • Physical sciences (kinematics, dynamics, work, simple machines, electricity, and magnetism)

About Ms. Tobin

Tobin_Rachel_300w.jpgRachel Tobin, an alumna of the Marlborough School and Yale University (B.S., Biology), is excited to be returning home to Los Angeles this year. During her undergraduate study, she performed stem cell research in the Diane Krause Lab at Yale and in the Marban Lab at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center; she presented her research at the 2014 American Heart Association Conference. Her education – and her incredible teachers and professors – sparked in her a passion for learning that she hopes to inspire in others through teaching.

Her time at Yale included teaching for the Ulysses S Grant Foundation, a program that, since 1953, has provided talented middle school students from public schools across New Haven the opportunity to take classes taught by Yale undergraduates. She also taught in and sat on the board of the SPLASH program, which exposes low-income middle and high school students to academic areas through daylong lecture series.