Science Department

The study of the natural world is part of education not only because men learn first through their senses, but also because studying creation teaches us about the Creator through His artwork. The materialistic man would have us believe that the purpose of science is to make better widgets, but the well-educated man knows better. If studying natural realities reveals anything, it is that there is a God, that He is reasonable, and that He wants us to be drawn up to Him by reasoning about His created universe.

To be drawn up to God in this way requires that we learn to reason through the study of natural science by coming to know God’s creation as effects of their causes in an objective manner. Science does include learning facts, but more important is developing the ability to connect those facts together to reveal the bigger picture. Investigating the subject with the students, we teach them to consider observations carefully, discerning between what is known and what is assumed, to pose thoughtful hypotheses based on the known facts, and then to test those possible explanations with deductive experimentation.

In grades K-6th we focus on developing the student’s eye for details, by helping them to observe the immediate surroundings with all of their senses. Each year places emphasis on different facets of those surroundings, while reiterating the same methodology and purpose. As the students mature in these abilities they are introduced to empirical knowledge outside the direct access of their senses, considering distant planets or tiny molecules, for example, and practicing how to use what they know and their imaginations to grasp new, more abstract topics.

While qualitative understanding is always important in every grade, quantitative knowledge begins to play more of a role in the high school classes. Science is not a math class, but math is a very useful tool, and its use increases, particularly in the honors classes, as the students’ skills mature.

Science is one pathway for students to develop their understanding of reality. When taught as an investigation into the wonders and intricacies of physical reality, science becomes the study of creation as a mirror reflecting God Himself. The essence of the scientific attitude we try to instill in the minds and hearts of our students is suggested by St. Maximillian Kolbe who said, “No one in the world can change truth. What we can do and should do is to seek truth and serve it when we have found it.”