Science Department Overview
The science department at Killian Hill Christian School is focused on helping students think like scientists. Students typically take a program including Earth and Space Science in 7th grade, Physical Science in 8th grade, Biology I in 9th, Biology II in 10th, and Chemistry in 11th grade. Some students also take AP Physics I on campus, or other advanced courses like AP Biology or AP Chemistry courses through distance learning options.
For the courses taught on campus, there is an emphasis on investigations, built around the Modeling Instruction curriculum. Students spend a significant portion of their time engaged in hands-on (often) and minds-on (always) observations and investigations. Students are frequently asked to design experiments by choosing variables and determining the relationship among them. The Modeling Instruction curriculum additionally changes the order of instruction. Typical science instruction puts laboratory investigations at the end of units, allowing students to “confirm” or in some cases “apply” scientific principles they have learned. Modeling Instruction puts labs at the beginning of each unit of study so that students can investigate phenomena about which they do not already “know the answers.” To make these investigations instructive, science courses at KHCS teach techniques to collect and analyze data, recognize relationships, and communicate data so that we can reach conclusions.
None of the investigations that students make would be fruitful except that God has chosen to design a world which follows patterns, and given us minds capable of recognizing patterns. Science is helpful for teaching us about God. When we recognize God as the Creator, we see in his creation evidence for his character traits. God is unchanging, so we see unchanging laws at work in nature. God is purposeful and intentional, so we see parts in living things which function together to accomplish an important function. God desires to be known, so he creates observable phenomena that point to him. And yet, God is beyond complete comprehension, which he hints at by the intricacy and mystery he designed in many natural systems. The emphasis on seeing God as creator is throughout the science instruction at KHCS. Without God, understanding nature simply does not work as well.