Science: Connecting All Students to Their World and Place

  • CPS Science Logo

    The CPS Science Department is committed to connecting all students to their world and place by providing rich and diverse experiences centered around community building, exploration, and service. Below is a sampling of activities in which we invite all students to take part.

    Place-Based Learning: The CPS Science Department has become a model in the state for working towards place-based learning for all students. Place-based learning takes our existing curriculum and teachers through the lens of our community - our place. By learning our curriculum standards through community experiences, students become more connected to their place, which research has shown benefits students' academic, physical health, mental health, and engagement in school.

    Experiences for All: The CPS Science Department offers all students opportunities to explore their place and beyond through the following field experiences:

    • Band with Nature Day: All 2nd grade students spend a day at the Columbia Nature Sanctuary while interacting with scientists and nature. This event is hosted by the Columbia Audubon Society.
    • Boone County Nature School: All 5th grade students will spend approximately 7 days at the Boone County Nature School engaging in a place-based learning academy.  Students will connect with nature in new and exciting ways, engage in unique cross-curricular learning opportunities, and be inspired to create lasting change in their community.  This event will be hosted by CPS in partnership with the Missouri Department of Conservation.  We anticipate construction of the Nature School to be completed in 2024.  
    • CCUA Field Trips:  All 3rd grade students get to visit the Columbia Center for Urban Agriculture, to do hands-on learning about where their food comes from, see an urban farm and taste some foods grown at CCUA.  This program is hosted by the Columbia Center for Urban Agriculture.
    • Missouri River Days: All 4th grade students spend a day on the Missouri River while learning and exploring the history and science of the river with scientists. This event is hosted by the Missouri River Relief Organization.
    • Great Smoky Mountain Adventure:  All 5th grade students, regardless of their financial circumstances, are invited to take part in this 4 day/night program in Great Smoky Mountain National Park. Students experience place-based learning techniques that help them connect to nature and themselves through community-building, exploration, and critical thinking. Scholarships are available.
    • Grand Teton Adventure:  All middle school students, regardless of their financial circumstances, are invited to take part in this week-long program in Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks. Students experience place-based learning techniques that help them connect to nature and themselves through community-building, exploration, and critical thinking. Scholarships are available.