The science department at SAIS offers a variety of subjects in the different school cycles: General Science (for elementary and middle school), Biology, Chemistry, and Physics (for high school), in addition to AP courses for the mentioned subjects. These courses provide the students with the necessary skills and knowledge to pursue education at a university level.
Our science curriculum is built around the NGSS standards that were created by the National Academy of Sciences. The NGSS is founded on a three-dimensional system of learning that includes:
Science and Engineering Practices: Students learn by doing, then apply that knowledge to other problems.
Cross Cutting Concepts: Those are common notions across all domains of science.
Core Ideas: These are the four areas of science identified in the NGSS standards as foundational for a post-secondary application: Physical Science, Life Science, Earth and Space Sciences, and Engineering and Technology Application.
An essential part of science education is learning science and engineering practices and developing knowledge of the concepts that are foundational to science disciplines, as well as promoting higher order thinking skills (HOTS) which involve taking information and extending it to create something new.
At SAIS, the science courses are aligned over the three school cycles. In the elementary school, students formulate answers to questions related to different branches of science. In middle school, students develop understanding of key concepts to help them make sense of more details about the different branches of science. Students in high school continue to develop their understanding of the core ideas in the physical and life sciences. These ideas include the most fundamental concepts from chemistry, physics and biology. The high school performance expectations build on the middle school ideas and skills and allow high school students to explain more in-depth phenomena. In grade 9, students focus on biology. In grade 10, students focus on chemistry. While in grades 11 and 12 students are obliged to take physics and AP-based courses.
Our basic role is to make sure that there is a direct linkage between the theories that are being taught in the students’ textbooks and the real, practical everyday experience around our students. This is done through a process of practical application of science topics in the laboratory and by research and project work linking daily life issues to theory. Field trips to different factories and companies might be organized to achieve similar purposes.
Moreover, we encourage our students to be more familiar with technology and e-learning techniques by encouraging the use of laptops and the Internet for learning. We also supplement the textbooks with online applications and other resources to enhance students’ knowledge.
At Sharjah American International School, our science facilities have been designed to meet today’s needs. It is through this that our students are continuously learning and discovering their new interests, skills and abilities. The science laboratories are well-equipped, and are accessible to students in the three cycles.