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.

Last year the PTA offered the following science enrichment opportunities. Partners included: Animal Embassy, Stepping Stones, Stamford Museum & Nature Center, High Touch High Tech, The Town of Greenwich, Bash the Trash, Eli Whitney and many more! 

We’re currently partnering with teachers to finalize programming for the 2023-24 year! 


During the 2022-23 school year, the PTA offered the following science enrichment opportunities:



Amazing Mammals: From whales to humans, mammals come in a myriad of forms. Students got up close and personal with animal ambassadors including a chinchilla, a rabbit and more as they discovered what it takes to be a mammal and how these creatures survive in their unique habitats. 

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

Flying Contraptions: Designed to ignite students' creativity and curiosity, the program explored the principles of aerodynamics—lift, drag, weight, and thrust—through hands-on experiments with flying and gliding objects. Embracing their roles as budding aeronautical engineers, the students crafted imaginative contraptions using materials like tape, coffee filters, paper, tinfoil, and cups. These creations were then tested through three exciting challenges: staying airborne for three seconds, thrusting forward, and carrying a pom pom passenger. 



Animal Adaptations: Students met a diverse group of animals from around the globe, representing numerous habitats. They explored how animals survive in their natural habitats as well as discovered 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 they 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 pushed and pulled their way through the natural forces of air pressure, magnetism and inertia. They felt how these start, stop, and accelerate everything around us.

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

Smarty Plants: Students learned what all plants need to survive & thrive on our planet. They explored the world's ecosystems, the five laws of nature, different types of seeds & how they all play their part in nature's delicate balance. 



Dinosaurs Rock: The Riverside School café is transformed into a museum 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 had 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 took a hands-on look at the inner workings of a plant and learned 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 program that included 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 built their own instruments from recycled and reused materials. STEM to STEAM connections abound as students used engineering skills and scientific methodology to create, explore and categorize their musical inventions, culminating in a musical exercise.

Reptiles and Amphibians: Students met reptile and amphibian animal ambassadors in this Animal Embassy program. Classification of life helped us to recognize similarities and to appreciate individual characteristics. 



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

Dig It: In this program, students stepped into the world of geology, learning about gems, rocks, and minerals and how the Earth makes them. Students panned for real gems (they will get to keep what they find) and classified 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 discussed some of the human activities which threaten the environment as well as the wildlife living within impacted habitats. They also examined the effects of introduced & invasive exotic species, as well as their impact on an ecosystem. Students interacted 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 challenged students to consider why different birds look the way they do, why 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 built an 'arm' with the beak of a bird at the end, activated it, and discovered why it's shaped the way it is. They experimented with picking up different materials with the beaks. Adaptation happens when the need arises for survival.




Newton’s Day at the Park: Students learned to stop and go with all kinds of forces. They reacted to inertia, friction & gravity and found out what makes things move, rotate, revolve and stop with Newton's laws of motion. Students discovered 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 introduced students to the physics of electricity and traced 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 helped them to understand where their drinking water comes from, how our wastewater is treated, and the wonders of Long Island Sound. They helped the students to view the town of Greenwich as a watershed and taught them how to protect the community’s water resources.



Power of Light: Students found out just how amazing light is. They bounced, bent, and split it up. They found out where Roy G. Biv is in the electromagnetic spectrum. They built a pin-hole camera to see how our eyes work and discovered that seeing is not always believing when it comes to light.

Vibes: Students found out the amazing facts about sound. Activities included discovering what sounds are, seeing sounds, and making sounds move things around. The students learned about wave motion and hearing as they made their very own eardrums.

Climate: Students participated in a lab-style class covering greenhouse gas and its effect on the climate, how ice core data is used by scientists, identifying changes in habitats as a result of climate change, signs of climate change, and things that we can all do to be good environmental stewards! 




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 2024. 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.



Upcoming Dates

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    2023-2024 District Calendar

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