Students evaluate how slow changes on the earth over geologic time can yield dramatic effects, such as the growth and regression of mountains, the ebb and flow of oceans, and the emergence and disappearance of entire continents. Students also examine the rock cycle and characterize primary types of rock, glaciation and weathering, and prominent minerals. Practical applications of these natural wonders such as metals, industrial minerals, and fossil fuels are also introduced.


This class examines the relationships between organisms and their environments. Students construct a picture of the Earth as a living organism, with each element holding an important role as part of an interconnected whole. Topics covered include the flow of energy through ecosystems in food webs, the importance of biodiversity, the affect of climate on regional ecosystems, the process of growth over time after disturbances in an area, plant and animal habitats and adaptations, and the changing relationship of human beings to the Earth. Students frequently explore the campus ecosystem as part of their extended classroom.


Students are introduced to the areas of acoustics, optics, heat, magnetism, and electricity. Experiments and games using objects of different materials are vital in the study of acoustics. Conductors and insulators are the primary topics in the heat unit, while optics is analyzed using color simulations in the darkroom. Students learn the basic qualities of magnetism, such as polarity, attraction and repulsion, force field. The electricity unit establishes the concepts of static electricity, current, and voltage.


Lessons examine the four seasons and the role of the Sun as the creator of weather. With many in-class experiments students discover the properties of air, water, heat, and wind.  Students keep a weather log, honing their skills of identifying clouds, wind speed and direction, and weather changes.


Here at the Waldorf School of Garden City, astronomy is taught primarily from a geocentric and phenomenological perspective. Students embark on numerous night observations, using that as supplementary material for their study of the rotation of the stars around the celestial pole, the zodiac and circumpolar stars, the Sun, the ecliptic, the Moon's phases, and the planets.

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