Since the fall of 1992, the Discovery Room has been a rewarding and exciting place where students from Mt. Eccles Elementary School learn about the world around them through natural and physical science. Throughout the year, students participate in Discovery Room for hours of fun, hands-on science instruction. During our time together, students explore and study the local environment and local organisms for a deeper understanding of how we are all connected.
Discovery Room educators guide more than 100 students in Cordova’s second through sixth grade classrooms in theme-based curricula that use local ecosystems as a natural learning laboratory. Across all grade levels, students practice using the scientific process and scientific tools, developing observation skills, engaging in peer-to-peer teaching, and managing long-term data sets.
Each grade has a different Discovery Room theme to explore local species and habitats as they move through our program. Second grade students investigate local plants, life cycles, and the needs of plants while growing their own food hydroponically. The third grade class learns all about birds from local species, physical adaptations for different lifestyles, migration, to celebrating our local shorebird migration. Fourth graders explore food web dynamics in our marine habitat and the role Pacific herring play in the ecosystem, while fifth graders focus on salmon ecology, biology, economics, and the cultural importance of salmon. Sixth graders are introduced to physical oceanography and marine technology while they also design, build, and test remotely operated vehicles in a mock oil spill challenge. Designed as a supplemental science education program for elementary students, the Discovery Room is a partnership between the Prince William Sound Science Center and Cordova City School District.