compassion. curiousity integrity respect



Melanie Nestler

Mrs. Nestler has been teaching science at Bright School since 2016. Two of her daughters, Gesa and Greetja, graduated from Bright School, and a third, Beke, is in fifth grade.

In the end, we will conserve only what we love. We will love only what we understand. We will understand only what we have been taught.

by Baba Dioum, environmentalist and forestry engineer

This quote is the foundation upon which the Bright School science program is built. The program strives to educate and inspire every child. From the budding, curious first grade student to the actively inquiring fifth grade student, the desire is to develop caring citizens ready and eager to tackle tomorrow’s issues.

First Grade

• Introduction to scientific journaling
• Starts to develops the process of inquiry (asking good questions, making observations, and gathering data)
• Discovers and explores ecosystems, and recognizes how living things interact with one another and with non-living things in their environment
• Gardening: discovers agriculture, how we nourish ourselves, and the importance of stewardship
• Develops an appreciation for natural systems that supports life on our planet

Second Grade

• Begins to develop a scientific journaling style
•  Develops the process of inquiry 
•  Recognizes and explores the characteristics and habitats of vertebrates and invertebrates
•  Gardening: discovers and investigates flowering plant life
•  Develops a fascination and appreciation for plants and animals and recognizes the need to protect them

Third Grade

• Scientific journaling becomes more and more detailed by more detailed drawings and descriptions, and by adding graphs and/or diagrams
•  Expands the process of inquiry by making predictions, planning investigations, and selecting tools
•  Recognizes and investigates the physical and chemical properties of matter and their changes
•  Recognizes and explores Earth’s hydrosphere
•  Recognizes and investigates atmospheric conditions that influence the weather 
•  Recognizes and examines the major components of the solar system
•  Gardening: Explores the world of herbs
•  Develops an understanding and appreciation for Earth’s environment

Fourth Grade

• Scientific journaling becomes more detailed 
•  Expands the process of inquiry by organizing data into appropriate tables, graphs, drawings, or diagrams, and recognizes that people may interpret the same results in different ways
•  Recognizes and studies the elements and the periodic table
•  Identifies the parts of an atom
•  Explores electricity and magnetism
•  Recognizes and explores Earth’s geosphere
•  Investigates the characteristics of acids and bases
•  Gardening: Investigates how acidity and alkalinity affect the growth of different plants
•  Continues to develop an understanding and appreciation of the connections on our wonderful planet

Fifth Grade

• Explores forces and motion
•  Investigates how forces act on objects and how to overcome these forces by design 
•  Explores various forms of energy
•  Recognizes nonrenewable and renewable resources and their positive and negative impact on the environment
•  Recognizes ways to live in a sustainable way