Science has always been an integral part of the academic fabric of Queen of Apostles School. As part of an all rounded education, the importance of keen observation, methodical evaluations and critical judgment has been emphasized. In keeping with this, Queen of Apostles School unveiled a new primary science class with its own exclusive science lab devoted to the classes Kindergarten through third grade. The lab was created to enhance the already the already in place fourth through eighth grade program.
In the new, primary lab students are introduced to different scientific concepts and process that information through hands-on experiments and daily activities. A former Queen of Apostles student herself who graduated with a B.S. in Child and Adolescent Development from San Jose State, Christine Usis, the new Science teacher, emphasizes various methods of observation and experimentation to encourage her students to come to their own scientific conclusions. She believes that in order to develop a logical mind, students should be able to see, feel and figure out the ‘science’ behind various facts themselves with her gentle nudge in the right direction .
Following this path she has had her young students ‘engineer’ their names on a nametag; create vertebrates from construction materials; and use their senses to get a better understanding of what each sense does. Kindergartners made their own paper plate musical instruments to shake loudly or softly and quickly or slowly. First graders have taken a listening walk outside and then discussed and recorded what they learned. Second graders have studied states of matter and then used Fruit Loops cereal to show how molecules would look as those states of matter. They also intensively worked on concepts of density by engineering their own canoes and getting it to float. Third graders are focusing on habitats and what it takes to make suitable habitats.
When not teaching, Usis travels extensively around the globe. But even when she does that, she meets with the local schools, students and professors and comes back with a load of stories about different cultures and different approaches towards science in various parts of the world.