Students Share in Scientific Investigation

Students in 4th and 7th grades recently participated in a cross-curricular experience to excite younger learners about science and create lasting memories between students in the two grades.

Both grades engage in the study of life sciences throughout the year, albeit at different, developmentally appropriate, levels of complexity. In exploring opportunities to bring their classes together for a shared learning experience, science teachers Angela Miklavcic and Heather Sheahan combined efforts with PE teacher Jan Zoufal to orchestrate a multi-day, cross-curricular exploration of muscles and life science.

After learning from Sheahan that her 4th grade students were engrossed in a unit of study on human physiology, Zoufal devised a Live Muscle Lab for students to explore together in PE class, and Miklavcic invited Sheahan’s students to join her 7th grade science students in a hands-on rat dissection lab!

Zoufal’s Live Muscle Lab challenged students’ minds and bodies with a range of physical activity stations featuring weighted chest pass, razor scooter cardio challenge, stairs, agility hurdles and more. Working in mixed teams, 4th and 7th grade students worked together to determine the major muscle groups each activity required and recorded repetitions at each station. There was a frenzy of movement in the Draft Gym as students put their biceps, triceps, abdominals, deltoids, pectorals and more to the test rotating through the stations.
During science classes, the 4th graders stood side by side with the 7th graders in the Suzanne Crown Goodman Science Wing as they worked together on the dissection lab at hand. Students shared roles during the lab, using the various instruments along with the directions outlined on their iPads under the watchful eyes of their teachers.
In reflecting upon the benefits of this experience, Miklavcic commented, “Experiences like this connect younger students with their older peers to encourage excitement about science and relate what they are learning in class today to what they will learn in the future.”
Based on the facial expressions of the participating students, this is one collaboration they won’t forget anytime soon.

Click here for photos from this experience.
Francis W. Parker School educates students to think and act with empathy, courage and clarity as responsible citizens and leaders in a diverse democratic society and global community.