For Lower Elementary students, the focus of science is on living systems. They begin their study by observing live plants and animals to notice their external parts and body functions. Using a question and answer research format, they discover similarities and differences among animals and plant species. This leads them to understand how scientists have grouped related species within the kingdom of life. Students focus on the five classes of vertebrates and the invertebrate phyla, as well as the plant kingdom. Through these studies, students refine their understanding of a life cycle and investigate how environmental alterations affect living systems. In addition to a more in-depth study of plant and animal physiology, Upper Elementary students study microbiology and human biology and health.
Throughout the six year Earth science curriculum, students learn about the relationship between the Sun and the Earth and the systems that shape the planet. These include study of the lithosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere, weather systems and biogeochemical cycles. Involving students in environmental stewardship is the ultimate aim of these lessons, which are revised regularly to reflect the most updated data on the climate and the impact humans have upon their home planet. Action, in addition to knowledge, is an essential outcome of their work, and CMS students apply their understandings of Earth systems to solve real world problems.
Lower Elementary students begin their exploration of the physical world with a study of the nature of the matter, specifically the properties of solids, liquids, and gases. In related physical science lessons, students study light, heat, and sound. Upper Elementary science topics include the study of star life-cycles, the periodic table of elements and atomic structure, mechanics, and electricity. Student lab work is built around the scientific method and the engineering design process.