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Our Mission

Students learn science through stream studies

To build the foundation for scientifically literate citizens who will be able to:

  • respond to and create change
  • act wisely, ethically, and effectively in an increasingly complex and technological world
  • participate in sustaining the health and well being of our global ecosystem.

We strive to nurture students to ask questions, explore challenges, and develop the
essential understandings they will need as citizens who can do their part in supporting
and enhancing the systems which sustain all life on this planet.

We work to ensure that students who graduate from Marion Cross School will have an
embedded understanding of their responsibility as citizens, a sense of joy and wonder
for the world we live in, and the foundations of scientific knowledge to pursue more
questions and more challenges.

Our Philosophy

students outside next to a solar catcher

We introduce our students to the process of becoming scientists by supporting them in their natural sense of curiosity and wonder. We design science classes to foster hands-on exploration and direct experience.

Science is practiced in the context of human culture, and therefore, dynamic
interactions occur among science, technology, engineering, and all the many disciplines
of human society. We believe it is imperative that we approach our science education
with attention to these dynamic interactions. It is imperative to teach our students how to think with an awareness of systems and the the interdependence of all system

The following philosophical underpinnings guide us:

  • Building on knowledge through natural curiosity: We provide repeated opportunities, beginning at the youngest grades, for hands-on exploration of the natural world and natural phenomena. Students should have many opportunities to investigate relevant topics and those experiences should be in-depth over a significant period of time. Investigations are scaffolded to help children build their understanding in a way that integrates new information with what is already known and supports mastery of appropriate concepts, process skills, and use of scientific tools.
  • Synthesis of Knowledge: We aim to build children╩╝s knowledge from a holistic integration of the various perspectives of art, engineering, mathematics, music, language arts, and the social sciences. Instruction in new uses of technology is an integral part of the total picture.
  • Evaluation of Knowledge: Scientific knowledge and skills are cultivated through inquiry, reflection, collaboration and action. We ask our students to communicate with each other, with the community, and with the larger world in the language of science. We ask our students to be thoughtful and evaluative in their acquisition of knowledge, to consider an unexpected result as an opportunity for new questions, and to learn from each other and from their experiences.
  • Application of Knowledge: Science is a way of thinking about the world which can guide our personal, ethical, and technological decisions. We believe that a sustainable and just world is possible to achieve via the learned abilities to recognize and define a problem, to generate and evaluate alternatives, to choose a course of action, and to make sound evidence-based judgments and actions. Competence in science gives individuals the foundation to respond intelligently to events of nature and society, and to be effective stewards of our shared environment and collective destiny.


Curriculum by Grade


Weather and seasons, from sap to maple syrup, animals and plants in their environment focusing on life cycles, forces and motion: pushes and pulls

Grade 1

Meadow, human body, dinosaurs

Grade 2

The Stream, Polar Regions, Magnets, Nutrition

Grade 3

The Forest Habitat- Adaptations, Life Cycles, Inheritance of Traits - Weather and Climate- Electromagnetism-

Grade 4

Wetlands: Beavers and beaver ponds (fall); vernal pools and bogs (spring) Energy: including force and motion, electricity, simple machines

Grade 5

Inquiry and Process Skills; Health; The Language of Science; Density of Fluids and Solids; Bridges and Structures; Chemistry; Digestion; Rivers, Streams and Watersheds

Grade 6

Forces in Motion, Taxonomy and Cells, Engineering Lab, The Brain, Gases and Air, Solar Energy, Oceanography

  • mcs science