Our approach

At Running River, science will be integrated with the classroom theme curriculum. The science program will allow students to develop their connections to themselves, humanity, and the planet through hands-on scientific investigations. Our goal will be to foster a curiosity for the natural world in each student using an inquiry-based approach.



Foster a child’s curiosity for the natural world

Be hands-on and inquiry-based

Include the historical background of the processes of discovery in that field

Allow children to ask and answer their own questions

Contain a variety of scientific disciplines

Include a mixture of indoor and outdoor class time



Curriculum Standards

Grade-Level Concepts and Standards will align with the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS Project 2061): Benchmarks for Science Literacy. AAAS Project 2061 was developed by 150 teachers and administrators, and their benchmarks are statements of what all students should know or be able to do in science, mathematics, and technology by the end of grades 2, 5, 8, and 12. Project 2061 promotes literacy in science, mathematics, and technology in order to help people live interesting, responsible, and productive lives.

Student Assessment and Evaluation

Performance in science will be evaluated based upon the student’s ability to demonstrate their level of understanding of the scientific concepts taught. The teacher will determine student performance using a variety of assessment tools and techniques, such as: class participation, organization of science notebook, level of detail of recordings on assignments, ability to apply the scientific method to experiments and projects, and the student’s ability to explain their understanding of scientific concepts verbally, in writing, or using pictures.



Theme & Science Curriculum

How did learning unfold from the beginning of humanity? What necessities and questions unlocked each new phase of human understanding? How does change – and human evolution – come about? To understand how language, history, science and mathematics unfolded is to understand how change occurs. We are used to learning subjects in isolation, but life is much more complex, and interconnected. All innovation is the result of these connections, and inquiry is the driving force of all change. Moreover, the progression of acquiring knowledge is the same process that takes place for children as their brains develop and allow them to grasp new concepts.

Theme curriculum


The Development of Life on Earth and Early Humans: Evolution & Creation, Early life forms, Early people, Story

The Cycles of Life: Nature’s cycles, Animals, Story


Living in Community: What is community? How did power over others evolve? Early civilizations - Mesopotamia, Egypt

Global Expansion of Cultures: Way of the Warriors – Samurai, Age of Chivalry, Early Explorers


Westward Expansion: Colorado History, Native Americans, The arrival of European Immigration to North America, Pioneers

History of Law: What law do you live by?: What is the difference between inner (moral) law and social/institutional law? Early people – clan law, First Civilization – Mesopotamia, Major religious laws – the history: (Buddhism, Judaism, Islam, Christianity), The Iroquois Confederacy, The American Revolution, Constitution & Bill of Rights


History of Change: How does change effect all aspects of life? How do people make change happen? Are we in a period of change now? (Civil War, Industrial Revolution)

History of Government: What is a government? What are the major governmental systems in the world and how did they evolve? How should a government serve people? What would utopia look like? What is war? WW I & II, Movements for peace and non-violence: Ghandi, MLK


Science Curriculum


Science: The natural world, Formation of the Universe & Planets, Geology, AHA science – observation and discovery


Earth Science: Astronomy

Physical Science: Simple Machines

Life Science: Focus on Food, Health, and Environment: Where does our food come from? Relationship between our food and our health, Links between our food and the environment

Introduce Scientific Method through guided experiments and empirical studies


Earth Science: Where do we live? Our planet, The structure of the Earth’s systems, Geology

Physical Science – Chemistry & Physics: How does the Universe work? Force and motion, Light, Magnets and Magnetism, Electricity

All science includes the history of its famous scientists and discoveries


Life Science: Where did we come from? Evolution, Human Body, Biology, Botany

Earth Science: Environmental Science, Renewable & Non-renewable Energy Systems, The history and role of technology, how technology is connected to science

All science includes the history of its famous scientists and discoveries