Identifying Unknowns: Real Science for Logic-Stage Students


by
Steve Mittwede November 9, 2018


Presented at:
2018 SCL Annual Conference

ABSTRACT:

Many teachers engaged in science education may recall that, when they themselves were students of high school chemistry, they were assigned the task of identifying an unknown solution. Such an assignment brilliantly thrusts the student into the heart of the scientific enterprise – namely, observation and experimentation. But why wait until so late in a student’s academic experience to introduce them to real science, especially when younger students are developmentally suited for such endeavors? Insofar as having students actually “do science” is a lofty, but altogether realistic goal of classical science education, why not get them started early in order to hone their skills of observation and experimentation? In this session, we'll explore a three-stage “observation exercise” using unknown rock specimens that has proven to be a superb means of such honing among Logic-stage Earth Science students. Because the exercise is done in stages, the students move from being neophytes with no knowledge to practical experimenters to identifying rock types of particular specimens. As they advance in stages from the unknown to the known, these students do real science.


TAGS:

Classical Education Classroom Education Learning Logic School Science Students


Resources:

Steve Mittwede
Steve Mittwede is incredibly privileged to be an instructor of Earth Science and Bible at Providence Classical School in Spring, Texas. In 1981, he was graduated from “Their Majesties Royal College” (The College of William and Mary) with a B.S. in Geology, after which he concurrently worked as a mineral resources geologist for the South Carolina Geological Survey and completed his M.S. and Ph.D. in Geology at the University of South Carolina. He is married to Dana, and they are blessed with four sons in close succession – all now grown and married. Steve and his family served in Turkey for 23 years, during which Steve was awarded an M.A. in Intercultural Studies from Columbia International University and an M.Th. in Modern Evangelical Theology from Wales Evangelical School of Theology. He is currently pursuing an Ed.S. in Educational Leadership at Columbia International University. Steve and Dana make their home in Tomball, Texas.

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