Cloudy with a Chance of Science

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Cloudy with a Chance of Science
Science Course
Course CodeCWIT
Year Opened2016
Sites OfferedGIL, HKY, SAN, SPE, WLA
Previously OfferedMSA, NUE, SAN, STP, WDS
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Course Description

From the CTY Course Catalog (2016):

Would a boat made of bread and peanut butter actually float? Could a single tree be used to manufacture everything from sweaters to bicycle seat covers? Would a pancake as big as a city block weigh enough to crush a school? Children’s books often ask readers to dream up imaginary worlds, but important science concepts lie behind the words and pictures. In this course the science woven through such stories is highlighted as students develop the science-process skills that constitute the scientific method.

During the first week of the course, students hone the techniques that scientists use every day to understand and explain the world through a literary lens. From exact and precise measurement to estimation and rounding, students might be led on a journey through How Big Is a Foot. Later in the week, they could answer the question, “What exactly IS that?” in It Looked Like Spilt Milk by relying on observations, inferences, and predictions. Throughout week one, each book is carefully chosen to highlight and explain fundamental scientific process skills such as classification, experimentation, and data collection through stories that will engage students’ imaginations.

The second and third weeks of the course are devoted to scientifically analyzing the concepts covered in two specific children’s classics. Starting with Judi and Ronald Barrett’s Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, students explore the digestive system and nutrition, engage in city planning, engineer stronger structures, and investigate weather patterns. The course concludes with Dr. Seuss’s The Lorax as students explore animal classifications, waste management and pollution, industry and invention, and plants and ecosystems.

Students leave the course with a solid foundation in science skills as well as the ability to recognize and analyze scientific content in the literature they already love.