In this Principal’s Blog, I want to reflect about the importance of inquiry in regards to our recent Science Week from February 26 to March 5, 2018. The Primary Years Program promotes inquiry based learning. This means that JIES teachers are scaffolding students’ individual knowledge by emphasizing how to learn and how to find out.
Science Week provides engaging and relevant activities that a worksheet can’t fulfill. This year, we focused on exploration and explorers. Our theme was “Magnets are Found Throughout the World” in our How the World Works PYP unit.
On the first day, the Science Committee asked a question: “What is the most instrument that explorers use to explore?” The teachers elaborated on “what is an explorer?” They said that explorers can wear funny hats, clothes. and sometimes goggles. Explorers go to new places and make discoveries. Explorers are inquirers, ask a lot of questions and try to find answers. Their territory is space, land and the ocean. These investigators say things like, “one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind” and “the hardest thing is not the mountain to conquer but oneself.” Sometimes their life is not so glamorous. For example, one famous explorer received a salary of $13.90. So, the children must conclude that they (themselves) are explorers too.
Our teachers had explorer posters in the hallway and magnet posters aligning the ceilings. The teachers set our smaller explorers off on their journey with activities such as infinitely spinning magnets, magnet levitation, electromagnets, magnetic fields, Maglev trains, and fun with magnets ensued. It was great to see the little children and older ones collaborating together for a common cause.
On the final day, the students will learn the answer to the 1st day provocation by making a compass. As the magnetic themed Star War poster on the wall said, “May the force be with you.” I hope that this Blog will “attract” you and give you a better idea of what we are trying to accomplish at our international school.