Walk past the seventh grade Science lab, and you might sense the familiar scent of formaldehyde. (Yes, it’s exactly as you remember it from Biology class.) You also might hear sounds that excite the soul of every teacher: “This is fun!” “I didn’t know that!” “Can we keep going?” In this hands-on Life Science course, students explore the exquisite, complex, and interconnected systems of the human body. Your child will engineer simple prototypes using the design-thinking process pioneered by Stanford’s Design School.
Along with a partner, he will dissect earthworms, sea stars, frogs, and fetal pigs. (He may be mesmerized at the similarities between these organisms and himself.) Students will learn to be more thorough and methodical in their lab work by extracting DNA from wheat germ and running DNA gels. Your child will study genetics by growing fruit flies in agar-lined petri dishes. Ethical dilemmas will challenge your child to consider when we should pursue research “in the name of science” and where we should draw the line. Students’ discovery that all human beings are 99.9% identical in their genomic make-up offers an empirical basis for treating one another as equals.
When your child leaves the Life Science lab in May, she will have growing confidence in her scientific skills and a new-found appreciation for God’s elegant creation.