Fourth grade science is typically divided into topics related to physical science, earth science and life science. Some sub-topics covered include concepts of physics, the study of the materials of the earth, botany and biology.
In fourth grade, students learn aspects of physical science, including what a compass is, how to build one and how it works. Also, what an electromagnet is and how it works and how electric energy generates heat. Students also learn some units that measure energy, including volts and watts, and how the names for the terms were chosen. Some aspects of life science covered in fourth grade are the function and benefits of microorganisms, how plants are pollinated both by animals and otherwise, how environment plays a role in plant survival and the differences between carnivores and herbivores. Students also learn what substances in most foods provide fuel to different living things.
Fourth graders learn about the Earth and the materials that make up its surface. Students study what materials make up igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic rocks and what non-human activities break those materials. They also study the effects that ice, seismic activity and wind have on the landscape over time, what erosion means and what it produces.