Dresden School inspires hands-on learning
Elementary students in Dresden are excited to find scientific principles in everyday life through a program called Mystery Science.
Used in all elementary schools in Regional Academic Unit 2, Mystery Science lessons begin with questions about the natural world, incorporate hands-on experiments and activities based on the creative use of common household items (wooden plates, paper, clothespins and string) to illustrate scientific principles, and end with opportunities to discuss and share what students have learned, according to a school press release.
Meteorology, engineering, botany, and geology are a few of the many areas of science study explored in K-5 mystery science lessons. As students explore the questions motivating a particular lesson, they are often invited to experience environments different from their own through the included videos, such as the peculiarities of desert climates and the types of rocks found on the surface of the moon. These exhibits then arouse students’ curiosity about their own environment in Maine’s mid-coast.
DES teacher Erica Atkinson loves the way the Mystery Science curriculum invites students to discuss their own ideas about a topic before exploring lesson content. DES teacher Meghan Skelton enjoyed watching her students test out what they learned about how wind works by observing the movement of the Breeze Buddies they created to cling to the trees outside the school. ‘school.
The two teachers shared that their students come to school excited for science lessons and ready to engage in their wonder for the natural world, which adds to their own joy as educators.