Science Enrichment Programs

We offer innovative, interactive, and hands-on science experiences -- both in the classroom and virtually -- that effectively enhance the school's science curriculum. Our programs cover Biology, Chemistry, Engineering, and Physics and range from animals and habitats to weather patterns and the intricacies of sound and light waves.

During the 2021-22 school year, the PTA offered the following science enrichment opportunities:



Mammals: From whales to humans, mammals come in a myriad of forms. Students will get up close and personal with animal ambassadors including a chinchilla, a rabbit and more as they discover what it takes to be a mammal and how these creatures survive in their unique habitats. This Animal Embassy program focuses on local animals and their habitats.

Weather Wizards: Students will learn about weather as they experience thunder, go ice cube fishing, touch lightning and more. They discover the science behind our Planet's incredible weather systems as we uncover the reason for the seasons.

Build It Big: In this virtual field trip with Stepping Stones, students learn about cities and their importance to our modern world. They explore the design cycle and aspects of a skyscraper as they become aware of the challenges engineers face when designing and constructing these goliath buildings. Students will have the opportunity to design and build their own skyscraper.

Let’s Make Sense: Students have fun as they make sense of their senses. They explore our five senses, one sense at a time. They discover how much we rely on our senses and how easy they are to fool.


1st Grade

Animal Adaptations: Students meet a diverse group of animals from around the globe, representing numerous habitats. We explore how animals survive in their natural habitats as well as discover how they have adapted to unending environmental challenges in their own unique ways, with special physical and behavioral attributes. The children learn about these amazing adaptations as we meet animals such as a Lovebird, a Red Foot Tortoise, Green Tree Frogs, an Argentine Black & White Tegu, a Ball Python and a Long-Haired Rabbit.

Invisible Forces: The children push and pull their way through the natural forces of air pressure, magnetism and inertia. They feel how these start, stop, and accelerate everything around us.

Zoom to the Moon: Students explore the planets, the Moon, eclipses & more through hands-on investigations. They will learn about the patterns of our living planet and the phases of the moon.


Smarty Plants: Students learn what all plants need to survive & thrive on our planet. Explore the world's ecosystems, the five laws of nature, different types of seeds & how they all play their part in nature's delicate balance. Discover osmosis & diffusion and get a hands-on look while extracting real chlorophyll.



2nd Grade 

Dinosaurs Rock: The Riverside School café is transformed into a museum (this year students visited their studio virtually) with an amazing display of dinosaur fossils and other prehistoric items both genuine and museum-quality reproductions ranging from 10,000 to 500 million years old. Students have the opportunity to discover and keep genuine fossils (dinosaur bone, shark teeth, ammonites, petrified wood and more) on their own Fossil Dig.

Give Me Dirt: Students will take a hands-on look at the inner workings of a plant and learn how it uses soil, water, sunlight, and carbon dioxide. Soil is not just “dirt” when it comes to plants.

Bash the Trash: Bash the Trash’s “Experimental Orchestra” is a two-part science enrichment program that includes a performance and a hands-on instrument-building workshop. During the performance, the musician plays instruments made out of recycled materials to teach about sound and the environment. During the workshops, the second graders build their own instruments from recycled and reused materials. STEM to STEAM connections abound as students use engineering skills and scientific methodology to create, explore and categorize their musical inventions, culminating in a musical exercise.

Reptiles and Amphibians: Second grade students will meet reptile and amphibian animal ambassadors in this Animal Embassy program. Classification of life helps us to recognize similarities and to appreciate individual characteristics. In the natural world, living things can be categorized by certain common traits. During this program, students will meet a variety of reptiles and amphibians and see first hand the similarities and differences between these classes.



3rd Grade 

What’s the Matter: It’s no simple matter: it’s mixed up or not; sinks or floats; freezes or boils. Students will find the solutions by making matter disappear in liquids. They will also discover what density is by experimentation.

Dig It: In this program, students will step into the world of geology, learning about gems, rocks, and minerals and how the Earth makes them. Students will pan for real gems (they will get to keep what they find) and classify the gems to find out why they are so precious.

Endangered Species: In our ever-changing world, human activity can affect the delicate balance of our ecosystem. With this program, students discuss some of the human activities which threaten the environment as well as the wildlife living within impacted habitats. They also examine the effects of introduced & invasive exotic species, as well as their impact on an ecosystem. Students will interact with live Animal Ambassadors such as a Solomon Islands Monkey-Tailed Skink, South American Chinchillas, an Argentine Black & White Tegu or a large Green Iguana, a Monk Parakeet and a Red-foot Tortoise.

Bird Beak Variations: Eli Whitney Museum’s program challenges students to consider why different birds look the way they do, why are some bird's beaks are pointy, some curved, some long, some short. The same questions hold for animals, plants and humans (not beak shapes of course – but other

features.) Students will build an 'arm' with the beak of a bird at the end, activate it, and discover why it's shaped the way it is. They will experiment with picking up different materials with the beaks. Adaptation happens when the need arises for survival.


4th Grade 

Newton’s Day at the Park: Students learn to stop and go with all kinds of forces. They react to inertia, friction & gravity and find out what makes things move, rotate, revolve and stop with Newton's laws of motion. Students discover why amusement park rides are so much fun by designing a race car, learning about the forces of a pendulum, and building a roller coaster.

Dirtmeister’s Electric Show: Today, electricity is the premier power source on the planet and sometimes it’s hard to imagine how we could survive without it.


This program is designed to introduce students to the physics of electricity and trace its development from being a simple scientific curiosity to its use as the most versatile energy source in the world today.

Watersheds: The Town of Greenwich’s Conservation Commission presents this program to the 4th grade each year. The Conservation Commission will help them to understand where their drinking water comes from, how our wastewater is treated, and the wonders of Long Island Sound. They will help the students to view the town of Greenwich as a watershed and teach them how to protect the community’s water resources.



5th Grade 

Power of Light: Students will find out just how amazing light is. They will bounce it, bend it, and split it up. They will find out where Roy G. Biv is in the electromagnetic spectrum. They will build a pin-hole camera to see how our eyes work. They will discover that seeing is not always believing when it comes to light.

Vibes: Catch the vibes...and students will find out the amazing facts about sound. Activities include discovering what sounds are, seeing sounds, and making sounds move things around. The students will learn about wave motion and find out about hearing as they make their very own eardrums.


Check back soon for more information on exciting 2022-23 programming!



An opportunity for students to develop innovative solutions to real-world challenges


Riverside’s annual STEM Fair (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) will take place in April 2023. The STEM Fair offers students a chance to sharpen their STEM skills as they explore their world and/or create solutions to real-world problems. Read more here.



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