Chesapeake Academy fourth and fifth graders recently visited the Science Museum of Virginia where they explored interactive exhibits and investigated basic scientific principles from their science curriculum.
“The museum inspires curiosity,” said science teacher Robin Blake. “It is a place that generates ideas in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). So it is just the huge classroom to engage our small school.”
The museum features permanent exhibits about space, health, electricity and Earth and hosts visiting exhibits from around the world.
“It was a great learning experience because we got to learn about sound and electricity and how things work,” said fifth grader Hannah Ditch. “Very fun day!”
Working in groups, fourth graders built a bobsled and timed how long it took to travel down the track while considering variables that impacted speed. Fourth grade students also got to see a live science demonstration of 100,000 volts of electricity from the Van de Graaff generator as they learned about lightning, the forces between charges and how static electricity is formed.
Fifth graders challenged their critical thinking skills as they explored more complex science principles including matter, sound and light. Participating in a “live science” sound lab and constructing a musical instrument, students learned about resonance, vibration, frequency and pitch.
Fifth graders also discovered how plate tectonics shaped modern world geography and watched an earthquake happen in near real-time, learning how natural disasters were tracked in the past and using GIF technology to locate earthquakes and take a closer look at more recent occurrences that have impacted our world. Both groups explored all three levels of the museum and enjoyed a day of fun-filled science.