Powhatan School is committed to providing students the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds related to Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM).
The Lower School science curriculum provides a flow of developmentally appropriate skills and content, exposing students to science inside and outside of the classroom. Powhatan’s rural setting has aided in the development of a Nature-Enhanced Approach to Learning (NEAL) program, which encourages the observation of nature and hands-on agrarian experiences to support all subject areas. Students work collaboratively to maintain the nature trail, encourage recycling, and plant and maintain a variety of gardens on campus. Lower School students learn basic theory in acoustics, physics and
Upper School science students study physical science, earth science, life science, and ecology in a sequentially based curriculum. In 2012, Powhatan adopted portions of The JASON Project middle school curriculum to further enhance experiential learning opportunities.
In a concerted effort to spark the budding scientist in each student, Powhatan brings exciting and In 2011, through The JASON Project, Powhatan welcomed renown Tornado Chaser and National Geographic research scientist Tim Samaras to speak to the entire student body. During Earth Week in April of 2012, two paleontologists spent an entire day on campus working with various grade levels. After a presentation for the whole school, the researchers spent time with 7th graders and 5th graders discussing the art of paleontology. View the video to learn more:
Powhatan has offered a progressive 1:1 laptop program in the Upper School since 2009. As a part of the school’s ongoing analysis of changing technology in the classroom, additional tablet and laptop options were tested by various grades. In 2011-12 iPads were introduced in kindergarten and 1st grade thanks to a grant from the Powhatan Parent Association. 5th grade spent 2011-12 with a trial run using tablets as readers, downloading fiction and non-fiction books and textbooks for the school year. For the 2012-13 academic year, Powhatan will be introducing tablets into 2nd, 3rd and 4th grades, and will phase in a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) system in the Upper School.
Powhatan’s technology program is founded on the belief that technology is an essential tool in assisting students in learning beyond the classroom. To that end, all students have access to computers in their classrooms, individual laptops, tablets and Smart Boards at each grade level as well as the computer lab. Students in sixth through eighth grade continue to build skills in keyboarding, word processing, and Internet research. The computer lab in the Lindesy Library went through a massive overhaul and renovation in the summer of 2012.
Powhatan unveiled The JASON Project ‘Underwater Robotics’ program during Summer Camp in 2012. Collaborations between the math program and the art program have yeilded engineering projects that excite students with hands-on exercises. Lastly, the 1st grade lego builders were honored at the state competition in the Spring of 2012.
The Lower School uses the Everyday Math curriculum for grades K-5 which emphasizes the understanding of math concepts and provides a spiraling review of previously taught concepts and algorithms.
In the Upper School math classes are developmentally grouped, and students may complete high school Algebra I and Geometry at Powhatan. In 2012-13 Powhatan will operate 6 different math curriculums in the Upper School.
In addition to the classroom, Powhatan fields a powerhouse MathCounts team. In 2012 The Powhatan School MathCounts team swept the field on their way to back-to-back regional championships. A month later the team placed 3rd at the state competition. “It is an extension of what we are doing in the classroom,” says Upper School math teacher Mr. Holloway. “It is just another way to get students excited about Math.” In 2011 Mr. Holloway was honored by the VCTM as the Math Teacher of the Year.
The Menger Sponge