Science & Technology
Lamplighter students enjoy two separate science classes, each with its own emphasis and approach to science, as well as a robust and integrated technology program.
From pre-K to fourth grade, all students take a one-hour class, once every six days, called Environmental Science, which focuses on the world around us: simple machines, biology, life cycles, outdoor spaces, hypothesis, and recording observations. Projects include nature walks, bird watching, planting seeds, harvesting plants and vegetables, identifying butterflies and other insects in the gardens, studying fossils, observing weather systems, and learning about local wild plants.
Students also take STEM-based (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) classes that are designed to be exploratory and experiential. Grounded in key science concepts and skills, the STEM content is informed by the Next Generation Science Standards. While learning STEM skills, students design, create, build, and troubleshoot. Much of this creative work is done alongside peers. Students practice leadership, cooperation, collaboration, problem-solving and other important skills during authentic experiences.
In STEM classes, students explore what it means to be a scientist, a coder, and an engineer. Students grow edible plants in a hydroponic tower and study plant development. Once the plants are ready for harvest, the class enjoys a homegrown snack. Students experiment with the physics of floating and sinking, explore astronomy, learn about properties of matter, make and launch their own rockets, learn about the human body systems with a focus on digestion and nutrition. STEM classes might include coding of robots or drones, 3D computer assisted design software, 3D printers and vinyl cutters.
Through partnerships with The Perot Museum of Science, The Dallas Arboretum, and Mountain View College, Lamplighter students are further introduced to science by expert educators and develop the scientific skills of observation, prediction, classification, and design. Our partnerships also allow us to show students a wide array of other scientific phenomena during our annual Science Night.
Lamplighter has a history of being at the forefront of technological advancement. The Lamplighter Technology program continues this work by utilizing new and innovative programs and resources to ensure that our students learn the skills necessary to flourish in our technologically driven world.
In the Early Childhood Technology program, our youngest learners develop beginning skills that they can implement and build upon as the programming and expectations increase in complexity. Students learn how to code early utilizing screen-free methods, some of which were developed at Lamplighter, as a means of honoring the importance of screen-time guidelines for young children. As they move into Kindergarten and outgrow some of the stricter guidelines, they learn both laptop and iPad skills through coding, math, and reading programs.
The momentum gained in Early Childhood continues as students progress through Lower School. The Lower School Technology curriculum is multifaceted. It is designed to solidify essential technological skills such as keyboarding and word processing through practice and data-driven instruction. The program allows children the freedom of creative design and expression through many projects including a continuation of coding instruction, 3D design and printing, and an introduction to stop motion animation. Students are also given the opportunity for collaboration and an interchange of ideas through the robust Digital Citizenship curriculum and can dive into a cell or an undersea world to aid instruction using Augmented Reality.
The Fourth Graders have a unique opportunity to write, direct, and produce a student-run broadcast twice a rotation. Flash gives students the opportunity to practice various skills from writing to interviewing to public speaking. The broadcast highlights the amazing happenings going on throughout our Lamplighter Community and is enjoyed by the whole school.