Back to News

New Event Inspires Inquiry and Innovation

Third graders now more curious about the world around them and how they can contribute to it

woman in front of students demonstrating lesson

Third graders across the district participated in their first Inquiry and Innovation Day on Thursday, March 5th. Volunteers from the Assistance League of Los Gatos led a lesson integrating the new science practices and the district’s Profile of a Graduate competencies around critical thinking and innovation. The lesson was designed to encourage curiosity, observation, and innovative ideas.

The volunteers introduced the 8-year-olds to Ada Lace On The Case, a book by Emily Calandrelli about a third-grade girl who starts closely observing and asking questions about the world around her. Then they demonstrated an experiment using a glass of water and a small orange.

“If I put the orange in the water, do you think it will sink or float?” they asked the students. When the orange floats, they ask the students for their ideas about why it floats. Then, they remove the peel, the orange sinks, and students offer ideas again.

“Maybe the peel is like the sides of a boat, holding up what’s inside,” said Xander. “I think it’s floating because the oils in the peel float in the water,” said Leon.

The lesson, which aligns with Next Generation Science Standards, continued with students asking questions and exchanging ideas around what happened. Students discussed how they could do more research on the topic and how that might lead to opportunities for more innovations. 

The activity concluded with each student receiving a personal copy of the Ada Lace book and a bookmark. The author, Emily Calandrelli, will also be speaking at two of our schools this year.

“Teachers noticed that students were excited to make further observations and ask questions at home and at school,” said Julie Goo, STEAM Innovation Teacher. “They are now more curious about the world around them and how they can contribute to it.”