Open Science Opens Possibilities

As the winter chill begins to show its frosty self, some 1st through 3rd grade students have opted to spend the morning period between drop-off and the start of classes in the warmth of the Lower School Science classroom rather than on Parker’s turf field.

This daily “Open Science” session opens new doors for some of the school’s youngest students’ independent scientific investigation before the formal learning starts in classrooms. Some students use this time to cozy up to one of the classroom pets, such as Webster the sugar glider, Cleo the ball python or Rodrigo the box turtle. Other students build with well-stocked boxes of Legos pieces or make connections with snap-circuit kits. Still others play with a seemingly endless supply of curated STEM-based toys, and some choose all of these options and more!

Lower School science teachers James Audrain and Heather Sheahan dutifully staff the Open Science period each morning, helping students access the animals, answering questions about their care and feeding and facilitating student interactions with other materials in their kid-friendly space—all between the hours of 8 and 8:25 a.m.! At the close of each session, Audrain and Sheahan work with students to return all materials and animals to their original locations before dismissing students to their classrooms to start their academic day.

If your 1st–3rd grade student is looking for some scientific fun in the mornings, have them come on by Room 250 any school day after 7:50 a.m. for Open Science.

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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.