How Does Science Companion Work in Illinois?
Alignments and Correlations
Why Science Companion?
• Science Companion Overview and Research Summary
Find Out More About the Modules in your State Scope & Sequence!
From making a collage of the leaves and seeds they find to constructing a lever from rocks and wood, children are introduced to the wonders of science and scientific exploration. With 7 studies in one book: Growing and Changing; Class Pet; Collections from Nature; Constructions; Dirt, Sand and Water; Sky and Weather; and My Body.
Through experiments with prisms, mirrors, bubbles, water, sunlight, and flashlights, children bring rainbow effects into their classroom and onto the playground. They also mix colors to observe that colored light produces different results than mixing pigmented paints, dough, or water.
From collecting animal tracks to dissecting flowers, children deepen their understanding of what makes something alive, and of the similarities and differences among living things.
One day students learn to use a thermometer to record temperature, another day they measure rainfall or investigate the nature of ice. Throughout the year, students use their senses as well as scientific tools to discover that weather is a dynamic and sometimes unpredictable part of nature.
While deciding what makes a solid a solid, watching water disappear from an open cup, or comparing various liquids, children find the value in asking questions and probing the world around them for meaningful answers.
From testing what sort of everyday objects are attracted to magnets to comparing the strength of different magnets, children deepen their observation skills while learning about the nature of magnets.
Animal Homes Design Projects
Children note the materials the animalused to make the home, guess how theanimal made the home, and think abouthow the home meets that animal’sneeds. Choosing an animal, they design,build, and construct a home for thatanimal. They reflect on the materialsthey used and what they might do differently with different materials.
One day children examine fossils, another day they might test minerals. As children collect, examine, describe, and experiment with rocks, minerals and fossils, they hone their observation skills and begin to unravel the puzzle of what rocks are and how they are formed.
From watching a pea sprout to feeding apples to butterflies, children closely study four organisms, including humans, to observe the remarkable growth and change that living things experience during their life spans.
Through activities that engage children’s bodies and minds, children move their own bodies in various ways to learn about motion, as well as build ramps, roll toy cars, drop and crash marbles, slide pennies and shoes, and even fly paper airplanes.
Human Tools Design Project
Children identify the kinds of tools and technologies that humans have developed to expand our natural capabilities and meet our needs. They consider the limitations of tools and technologies, as well as the ways they improve our quality of life. Finally, children identify a need and design a simple tool to meet that need.
Simple Machines Design Project
Students learn about the six types of simple machines and how they make our tasks easier. They apply their knowledgeof simple machines to design machines that utilize at least two simple machines. They plan and draw pictures of their designs, build their machines, and then demonstrate them for the class.
From going on a nature walk to dissecting owl pellets, children are asked to think about how organisms (plants, animals, fungi, and microscopic living things) survive in the places they live, and how they interact with other living things.
Whether watching light “bend” a pencil in water or building a periscope, the combination of hands-on, multi-sensory learning enables children to understand what light is, how it behaves, and why it makes sight possible.
One day children chart the moon’s cycles, another day they might make a scale model of our solar system. By observing the world around them, they address questions such as “Why are there seasons?” and “Why does the moon appear to change shape?”
Human Systems Design Projects
Students learn about recent unmanned spacecraft sent to Mars. They discover the challenges of remotely operating a Mars Rover and its robotic parts. Then they learn how their own arms move by looking closely at joints, bones, and muscles. Using this knowledge, they design and sketch a robotic arm to collect samples of material on Mars.
From watching composting worms create soil, to modeling the nutrient cycle, students have the opportunity to use their investigations to understand the organisms that carry out the process of decomposition and recycle nutrients in an ecosystem.
From building river models that explore erosion and deposition to touring the school grounds looking for evidence of the earth’s changing surface, students will use hands-on investigations to discover for themselves the dynamic nature of the earth’s surface.
From exploring the properties of solids, liquids, and gases, to seeing what they can learn about an unknown substance called “Whatzit,” students experience firsthand the excitement of scientific discovery and gain an appreciation of the scientific method employed by scientists everywhere.
Whether exploring static charges, figuring out how to get a light bulb to light, or testing the conductivity of everyday objects, students experience firsthand the excitement of scientific discovery.
Force and Motion COMING SOON!
By demonstrating and explaining ways that forces cause actions and reactions, as well as gaining a deeper understanding of basic forces such as friction and gravity, students discover the many ways that forces affect the motion of objects around them.
Students review concepts of electricity and circuits. They create series and parallel circuits, and build simple circuit boards. They learn to draw schematics of circuits, then plan their own circuit designs. They build and trouble shoot their designs, learning to convert electrical energy to other forms of energy within a circuit.
By modeling how muscles move bones at joints, testing their reflexes, and measuring the effects of exercise on breathing and heart rate, students begin to appreciate the complex interactions and dependencies that exist between body parts and recognize the importance of protecting them by making healthy choices.
Whether following a drop of water through the water cycle, measuring their own water usage, or exploring how filters clean dirty water, students are encouraged to use what they learn about water to make choices and take actions in their own life to have a positive impact on water resources.
Whether testing the efficiency of light bulbs, exploring heat conduction, or designing an imaginary invention demonstrating the transfer of energy, students discover that energy is at the root of all change occurring in the world around them.
Moving Systems Design Project