For Blake students, observing and asking questions is second nature. They love to explore, and the scientific method soon becomes ingrained in their thinking as they inquire, form hypotheses, conduct research and analyze data to draw conclusions. They also think about how science is connected to politics, ethics, public policy, economics and culture. Science study begins with creative play in pre-kindergarten. It culminates in rigorous studies in biology, chemistry, physics and electives, with many Upper School students enrolling in Advanced Placement science courses.
Asking Questions, Finding Answers: Grades Pre-K Through 5
Lower School students observe, form questions and experiment. Questions young scientists might ask range from “What is the best way to construct a boat that floats?" to “How much does the sky weigh?" Budding researchers also connect scientific concepts with social and environmental issues, such as climate change.
Science, Empathy & Ethics: Grades 6 Through 8
Middle School enhances students' understanding of the process of inquiry. Sixth graders study the earth in space and human body systems, then integrate these topics through an astrobiology unit that culminates in a project exploring how humans can live in space. Seventh graders focus on physics and engineering, while eighth graders explore chemistry and environmental science. Throughout Middle School, coursework emphasizes the relationship between scientific research and local and global issues, particularly environmental issues. Students come to realize how science is connected to social issues and ethics by studying how human actions affect water quality and plant growth locally. Multiple research projects each year deepen students' understanding of scientific thinking and the scientific method.
Challenging Study, Hands-On Creativity: Grades 9 Through 12
Upper School students complete traditional college preparatory courses – biology, chemistry and physics – and many take AP courses in these subjects. Academic rigor is balanced by a spirit of wonder, inquiry and creativity. Students might build complex mechanical devices, such as turntables based on the principles of electricity and magnetism. They might spend an evening outside studying the stars. Whatever exploration they engage in, students retain their passion for scientific understanding. All students complete departmental requirements to graduate: an introductory biology course in grade nine and at least one semester apiece of chemistry and physics (grades ten through twelve). Through upper-level electives, students can explore subjects ranging from genetics to environmental science to scientific writing.