Learning science in the classical method is an incredible launching pad for students to uncover not only scientific knowledge, but also how understanding the elements of Creation point us toward Truth and reflect the glory of God. Donum Dei’s middle school students learn science in three building phases: understanding scientific principles, dissecting scientific descriptions, and observing scientific classifications and order. Our students have recently embarked on their journey to learn physical science, but it won’t be the standard method of cramming science facts into short-term memory in order to pass a test. Science in the classical model fosters a student’s ability to develop and ask questions, observe what is going on around them, and record their findings.
Throughout our curriculum, we incorporate the history of classical scientists, so that our students will understand the first questions that were asked in the process of discovery. We integrate other subjects to make connections between writing etiquette and lab reports, key math concepts and scientific data, or pausing to reflect on historical references within discoveries and how they fit into our historical timelines. It’s also important to facilitate the connections that science has with literature, music, art, architecture, and ethics, and most importantly, how science will point us toward Truth.
Within all of this, we want to allow our students to DO science through labs, science projects, and hands-on activities surrounding God’s great creation. At the onset of our last session’s online learning, each student carried out an experiment with simple, at-home ingredients, and we will continue to use the materials found in our own home as subjects of curiosity and inspiration. With this approach to science at Donum Dei, we seek to encourage students to ask, “Why did the Creator make it this way?” so that in the process of gaining scientific knowledge, we are also discovering a deeper understanding of the nature of God. Joni Toombs, Math and Science Teacher for the Bridge Program at Donum Dei