Science

The study of science at Putney revives, instills, and encourages curiosity about the natural world.

Our science curriculum equips students with the habits of mind needed to ask and answer questions using the scientific method. Courses introduce fundamental biological, chemical and physical principles through active inquiry, experimentation, direct instruction, and exercises in problem solving. Advanced tutorials in the sciences are available and common. Upon graduation, students will have developed an understanding of essential methods and content sufficient for lifelong learning, responsible citizenship, and for further study of science at the university level.

Spotlight on: Astronomy

See how this student built her own telescope!

It hardly seems reasonable to detect an object that by its very nature is unobservable, or to claim knowledge of the composition of stars with any scientific certainty. Yet astronomers have reached many such conclusions, and we will follow their chain of reasoning. Topics to be discussed are planetary motion, stars and their life cycles, galaxies, and cosmology. We will use our observatory to view, image, measure, and make inferences about the objects we find. Over time, we will reconcile observations made at night with knowledge developed in the classroom. By the end of the course, students will know their way around the sky, have a sense of the scale of our universe, how it develops over time, and the nature of the objects in it

Science Footprint: Collodion Plate Photography @ The Putney School

These "footprint videos" are traces of the various projects, activities, and challenges Putney students navigate in the sciences as they learn the specific skills and knowledge required for graduation.