Exploring Science Experimentation for the Elementary Classroom, Worthing & DesJardins, Summer 2019

Course Number: EDU 5627 C17 (Graduate)
Instructor: Benjamin Worthing & Laura DesJardins
Location: Fair Haven Union High School
Dates and Times: July 22- July 26, 2019 from 8:00-4:00
Credits: 3 graduate credits
Tuition: $1,000

Note: Course payment by check or purchase order, payable to Castleton University, is due at the time of registration. A purchase order number can be entered into the online registration form and the purchase order can be uploaded to the registration form. If paying by check, please mail the check to: Financial & Registration Services, Castleton University, 62 Alumni Drive, Castleton, VT 05735. To help us ensure that your payment is applied to the correct course, PLEASE WRITE “CFS” IN THE CHECK MEMO LINE. Thank you.

Course Description

Do you wish you had more time, resources, and cool science tools to develop hands-on science inquiry units for your preK-6 grade classroom?  Would you enjoy collaborating with high school science teachers to experience amazing demonstrations (fire!), experiments (explosions!), and technology tools (to keep!) that you integrate into your own practices?  If so, this course is for you!  After a deep-dive into the preK-6 Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), course participants will build fundamental knowledge of the inquiry cycle by partaking in inquiry lessons that could be used in or adapted to the preK-6 classroom.  Participants will learn strategies to support their students as they navigate the inquiry process.   Participants will also practice using Vernier GoDirect sensors to gather data than can help them tie Common Core Math standards into their science units.  The final product of this course will be a comprehensive science unit that fits in the teacher’s existing scope and sequence. For the higher tuition rate, teachers will be given three Vernier GoDirect sensors (temperature, sound, and light) to keep for use in their classroom. 

 Audience: PreK-6 educators seeking to build NGSS-aligned, inquiry-based curriculum for their classroom.

Course Goals & Objectives

Course Goals:

  • Promote inquiry-based science curriculum offerings in the preK-6 classroom.
  • Demonstrate proper lab and demo technique and safety.
  • Provide exposure to a variety of inquiry activities and demonstrations.
  • Provide resources and instruction to support the preK-6 teacher in science curriculum-building.
  • Expose participants to Vernier GoDirect sensors and increase access to this technology in the Elementary classroom.

 Course Objectives:

Teachers participating in this course will:

  • Explore inquiry-based science through engaging student-centered experiments. The science content will span multiple science disciplines, including chemistry, biology, physical science, earth science and environmental science.
  • Develop a repertoire of captivating science demonstrations that will strengthen student hypothesis development, as well as create scaffolding toward deeper content knowledge.
  • Delve into the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), and plan demonstrations, laboratory experiments and an overall unit that aligns with the NGSS.
  • Develop an understanding of proper science safety and management.

Required Readings/Texts:

Online Next Generation Science Standards (https://www.nextgenscience.org/)

Selected readings, copies provided by instructors.


Most assignments will be completed and assessed during class (attendance, active engagement in content, etc.).  The summative assignment will be a developed unit plan, aligned with the NGSS that incorporates inquiry-based experiments and demonstrations.


The participation grade will be assessed on student participation in class discussions, group work, and several inquiry and lab exercises throughout the week.   At the end of the course, students will submit a final curriculum unit that addresses NGSS standards at their instructional level.   The unit plan may include daily lesson plans, demonstrations, inquiry labs, student readings, connections to children’s literature texts, formative and summative student assessments, a completed budget, and purchase order/requisition form requests.  This project will require research throughout the week, and will act as the summative unit assessment.


30% Participation

70% Summative Unit

For additional course information

Ben Worthing
(802) 287-9210 

Laura DesJardins

(802) 855-1619

For additional registration information

Bethany Sprague
(802) 468-1325

Register online now!