It’s no exaggeration to say that our quarter-acre Life Lab is paradise. Situated at the western edge of campus, the Life Lab program is regularly visited by schools seeking to launch their own programs. Featuring garden boxes, a labyrinth, a pond, a bio-filtration system, a greenhouse, a wood-fired stove and a teaching gazebo, the Life Lab is where our unique Environmental Science curriculum is taught to grades K-5.
The Life Lab has a series of unique food feasts through the grades, such as the Salsa Party in 3rd grade and the Grandfriend’s Day lunch in 4th grade. Life Lab is also home to our One World Garden, which produces foods from around the world for the One World Salad that we create to celebrate our diverse community each spring.
During lunch, small groups of students can often be found working in Garden Club, where they collaboratively design their own small garden plots. And sometimes they just head over to eat their lunches and sit in the serene surroundings and natural beauty of the space.
Gateway’s science program fosters children’s natural curiosity about the world around them, using the rich natural environments surrounding the school – the ocean, the garden, and Lighthouse Field – as the laboratory to learn principles of earth, life, and physical sciences. The K-5 program weaves together the MARE (Marine Activities, Resources & Education) program with our award-winning Life Lab program. Through an integrated, inquiry-based approach, students learn to use scientific method, and analytical thinking to understand the language and principles of science.
Mathematics is more meaningful when it asks students to apply problem-solving techniques to real life situations. The K-4 Everyday Mathematics curriculum includes the following strands: algebra and the use of variables, data and chance, geometry and spatial sense, measures and measurement, numeration and order, patterns and functions, operations and reference frames. The curriculum spirals through the years, exposing students to topics multiple times with frequent opportunities to review and practice skills.
Rather than practicing rote memorization in math, Gateway students develop strong conceptual math skills by learning to solve problems in multiple ways.
In 5th grade, students transition to the Glencoe curriculum in preparation for the Middle School math program.