Here are the units fourth grade scientists will be doing over the course of the year:
Energy Conversions: Blackout in Ergstown. Students take on the role of systems engineers for Ergstown, a fictional town that experiences frequent blackouts, and explore reasons why an electrical system may fail. They obtain information from science books and system models to learn about types of energy, energy sources, energy transfer, and energy conversion. They define engineering problems related to the town’s electrical system and design wind turbines using what they have learned about energy and matter.
Vision and Light: Investigating Animal Eyes. Students investigate why there is a decline in the number of Tokay geckos living in one area of a rainforest in the Philippines. They plan and conduct investigations and analyze data related to animal senses to gure out cause-and-e ect relationships between environmental changes, the parts of an animal’s vision system, and the animal’s ability to see well. They make models and write explanations to share what they learn about how animals’ body structures perform functions related to senses and survival.
Earth’s Features: Mystery in Desert Rocks Canyon. In the role of geologists, students investigate a fossil and the geologic history of the area where the fossil was found. Students write scientific arguments about how the fossil formed and what the environment of that area was like in the past. They gather evidence for their arguments by finding patterns in rock layers, reading science books, and using digital and physical models. They analyze rock layers to draw conclusions about times of stability and times of change in the environments of a particular place.