What, No Science Lesson?
By Janice Byrne

Years ago, students in rural elementary schools were exposed to very little scientific inquiry. One may ask why, but the answer is relatively simple. Because the students were usually farm children, they learned the principles of biology, meteorology and physics at home. For example, former Pioneer Sholes School students describe learning about the relationships of weather and crops from their earliest years, and of helping with planting before they were old enough to enter school. Others describe how a tire swing taught them about the period of the pendulum and--a pitchfork, the mechanical advantage of a first class lever.

All that has changed today as Illinois becomes increasingly urban and suburban. Therefore it is important for children attending a day at Sholes School to experience its rural character. Here are some simple activities teachers have provided for this purpose:

Illinois Learning Standards: 12 A, 12 B, 12 E, 13 B, 16 E, 17B.

Return to the Introduction.