Children are not the only thing that have sprouted at Oak Hill Academy in Lincroft. The school’s hands-on approach to science allows students to learn by doing. This is the focus of the Lower School science curriculum being taught to grades PreK-4 by former research scientist and elementary teacher, Mrs. Sue Cahalane. She creates her own curriculum and bases it on the Next Generation Science Standards. Lessons often integrate areas of science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics.
Beyond the laboratories, students make use of Oak Hill’s greenhouse and garden for their experiments. To begin the school year, OHA second graders planted “short n sweet” carrots in the outdoor garden which have a fast maturation time of approximately 57 days. If all goes well with their experiment, then the students will be able to harvest their crop in November with the hopes of donating their carrots to a local food bank in Holmdel.
Oak Hill’s greenhouse allows for more plant experiments at various times of the year. Back in the science labs, studen
ts as young as four are actively engaged in experiments that involve such concepts as engineering, robotics, genetics, chemistry, magnetism, and animal life. They are using various
laboratory equipment, as well as a 3D printer, Lego robotics, and a green screen.
Even the walk to the Soler Science and Environmental Center is a lesson in itself. On their journey over the school “boardwalk trail” to the building, students discover various plants, animals, and insects.
Oak Hill students have learned that science is all around them and they are ready to see their minds blossom!