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In the classroom, students find science is elementary

By By Steve Gillespie/staff writer
Feb. 17, 2002
Fourth grade students at Crestwood Elementary School excitedly fetched balances, weights and apples as they prepared to chart scientific findings in Diane Benton's class.
Working in groups, the students have been keeping up with how much apples weigh over a period of time when they are left peeled, unpeeled and chopped. And, they are doing the experiments themselves while the teacher watches.
The students learned that moisture evaporates from the apples when they are peeled, so they rapidly lose weight and wither, which teaches them that apples have skin for protection.
Jane Massey, a fifth grade teacher at Poplar Springs, coordinated the science fair held at her school Jan. 28-29.
When the students start school they begin learning the "big picture of science," Benton said. "In kindergarten they learn the names of animals. In the first grade they study comparisons between animals like how frogs and toads are different and alike, and they learn that plants have roots, stems and leaves. By the fifth grade they will get into the dissection of a flower, it becomes more intricate as they go."