Science at Maricopa Christian Academy (Or Studying His World in Awe)
Updated: Apr 27, 2022
Photo by Casey
“God created everything by number, weight and measure.”
“In the absence of any other proof, the thumb alone would convince me of God’s existence.”
“I have a fundamental belief in the Bible as the Word of God, written by those who were inspired. I study the Bible daily.”
—Sir Isaac Newton, who is widely regarded to have been the greatest scientist the world has ever produced. Newton was a devout Christian.
“I believe that the more thoroughly science is studied, the further does it take us from anything comparable to atheism.”
“If you study science deep enough and long enough, it will force you to believe in God.”
—Lord William Kelvin, who was noted for his theoretical work on thermodynamics, the concept of absolute zero and the Kelvin temperature scale based upon it. Kelvin was a devout Christian.
3 By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible.
7 “But ask the beasts, and they will teach you; the birds of the heavens, and they will tell you; 8 or the bushes of the earth, and they will teach you; and the fish of the sea will declare to you. 9 Who among all these does not know that the hand of the LORD has done this? Bible Gateway
Science is a broad topic. It encompasses a lot of territory. Each area of science could lead to a lifetime of study and learning. As our students here at Maricopa Christian Academy investigate and explore different topics under the title of science, it is far from an exhaustive study. But most of the time it is a lot more interesting than sitting at a desk studying a book.
My purposes for how we study science and the end result of those studies is divided into two groups. One camp is the "can read/comprehend at about a third grade level to around twelve years of age" or the Elementary Academy. The second group is the "building on basic knowledge and begin to apply skills" or the Middle and Senior Academy Houses.
The Elementary Academy science is built around investigating topics through clear objectives, minimal background and concepts and lots of hands-on experiments. The students work in teams of two or individually as determined by their teacher. Each student must be able to clearly explain to the teacher the objective and the basic background information. Then, each step of the experiment must be told to the teacher to show understanding and safe practices. The student next performs the experiment, proving to the teacher each step is performed correctly with understanding.. Sounds sort of like building a block wall with a supervisor standing over you. Naw!
It is so fun watching and experiencing each student's approach to performing the experiments. Their unique approaches to interpreting the expectations. The excitement of making something happen for the first time. And the results? Usually close, but not always. And the ones who make the biggest mistakes, usually learn the most. And we laugh. Together. At the outcome and what should have been.
The science is built around the science kits offered by Delta Education. Not a Christian group but neither against Christianity openly. Just science experiments built around a topic. Simple experiments to use in discovering basic ideas of the wonders the Creator has provided.
Those topics studied are: Sound Vibrations, Magnets, Vision and Hearing, Flight, Body Basics, Electrical Connections, Water Physics and the Human Machine.
The Middle Academy begins the other part of our science with Life Science published by BJU Press. They are a company with clear Christian goals and purpose. And like Delta Science, I have been using their textbooks for over eighteen years with success in many forms.
That success is shown in their grades, the increase in their knowledge and skills and the growing ability to apply their science and math backgrounds to ever more complicated applications. But probably the biggest sign of success for me was the fact that 65% of our graduates from senior academy or high school went into math or science majors in college.
Why do I like the BJU press science curriculum? It works for all the above reasons. And each new edition of text books they create is better than the previous attempt.
Here is an explanation by BJU Press of their Earth Science curriculum.
Earth Science (5th Edition) Student Text moves the student from the lithosphere of the earth itself to the hydrosphere in and on the earth to the atmosphere surrounding the earth and finally out into space visiting the solar system and the rest of the universe. All of this is a quest to understand God’s created world. Case studies and other activities encourage students to think like scientists as they develop a biblical perspective of earth and space.
I try to make the time in science for the upper academies around one third labs and two thirds textbook. The students go through similar instructional methods as the elementary Academy science students. The student has a personal lesson plan or check sheet with daily individual goals that he must verbally or through his labs, prove understanding to his teacher.
The biggest difference in the science work between the upper and lower academies is the addition of tests and quizzes. Each students grades are based on whether tests are passed on the first, second or third attempts. Tests are passed at eighty percent or higher. If passed on the first attempt, the student earns a grade of "A" and moves on to the next chapter. If the test is not passed on the first attempt, the teacher and student create a plan to review the chapter materials in preparation of the second attempt. The same is true if a third attempt is needed. No more that three attempts are made.
This coming school year of 2022-2023 I will be adding Earth Science to our science curriculum here at Maricopa Christian Academy. Our Middle Academy students begin their science instruction with Life Science first then graduate to Earth Science.
With all that said, I will finish with this.
4 The Spirit of God has made me,
and the breath of the Almighty gives me life.