Investigative Science

FFE- Grant Summary

Although the Georgia Standards of Excellence for science drive the 5th grade curriculum, the hands-on, inquiry-based lessons intrigue students and get them interested in the science content. In an effort to increase student engagement and achievement, 5th grade teachers have incorporated more real-life, hands-on experiments using the scientific method into our daily science lessons. These hands-on projects included approximately 50 fifth grade students and 3-4 science teachers. Examples of these projects, pictures and descriptions can be found below:

Life Science: Microorganisms


The students took samples from all over the school to find out where microorganisms were found. We realized from our samples that microbes are everywhere! Students also viewed pond water, rain water (puddles), and tap water. They realized that water is a host to microorganisms and must be purified for drinking.

Earth Science/Life Science Combo: Evergreen Garden

The students planted an evergreen trees and shrubs that were gymnosperm plants. The students must used their knowledge of plant classification and landform management to help revamp an old garden spot. This project was especially important because there was an eye-sore spot near the car-rider line at the school. Previous classes have commented on the need to “fix it up.” This project combined the student’s knowledge of plant classification, plant needs, landform management, and community beautification.

Life Science: Animal Classification

Students were expected to learn the scientific method of animal classification. The basis for the system is vertebrate and invertebrate. The students were able to explore the skeletal systems of different animals using a flashlight and simple x-rays. They were able to sort the animals visually into the two groups based on the presence of a backbone. It is difficult for students to grasp the idea of an internal skeletal system versus an exoskeleton, using x-rays was a wonderful visual to assist students in exploring and learning these scientific concepts.

Physical Science: Electricity


Students used batteries, light bulbs, and wires to create series and parallel circuits. They experimented with both, coming to the conclusion that a parallel circuit is better because multiple things can run on the circuit without interfering with each other. The students also used the circuits to test different materials to determine which are conductors of electricity and which are insulators.