How do faith and science intersect at EC? One way is through intentional class discussions. EC teachers delight in pointing the wonders of creation back to its Creator. They weave explanations of God’s design so beautifully into their lessons, and I’ve had the privilege to witness many such conversations.
I’d like to give you a peek into some of the discussions about faith and science happening in STEAM class this year. In STEAM class, students learn the science concepts behind the patterns within the natural world. Not only do they learn that God designed the world this way, but they also get to discuss some of the deeper, spiritual meanings behind these patterns.
For instance, the kindergarteners learned how, despite their beautiful colors, dart frogs should be avoided because of their dangerous poison. In the same way, we discussed how our tongues have the power to both build up or poison others. We looked at Ephesians 4:29, “When you talk, do not say harmful things. But say what people need–words that will help others become stronger.” The kindergarteners learned that like the frogs, their tongues have the power to hurt and destroy. And yet, their tongues have just as much power to build up and encourage — if they ask God for help!
In first grade, we learned that numbers never stop because you can always keep on counting! Did you know that the biggest number that has a name is called googol? In STEAM, we discussed that there are some things we cannot count, like stars, sand, but most amazingly, the number of thoughts God has about us. We looked at Psalm 139:17, which says, “How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered! I can’t even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand!” As the first graders adjusted to coming back to school, they were encouraged that in every moment and situation, God knows them, sees them, cares for them, and thinks of them with great love and rejoicing.
During fall, the second graders went outside on a leaf hunt and chose leaves to trace. We learned which kinds of trees our leaves came from, and we marveled at the tiny details on our leaves. We also discussed how God wants not only to wow us with the big things, like the Sun and the Moon, but also with the incredibly small details of his world, like lines on a leaf, or a spider’s web. In the same way, God wants us to not just do our best with our big jobs, but in everything we do. We looked at Colossians 3:23, which says, “In all the work you are doing, work the best you can. Work as if you were working for the Lord, not for men.” We discussed that we should be faithful in our school work, cleaning up our room, and in all the ordinary stuff, because that honors God.
Blast off! In third grade, we learned that NASA landed a rover on Mars! We learned about the opposing forces of gravity and drag (or air resistance) that the astronauts and engineers had to take into account to design a lander successfully. We designed our own drag devices to land without crashing. Most importantly, though, we learned that just as God keeps us physically grounded with gravity, He keeps our hearts and minds grounded with His Word. We talked about the importance of reading his Word every day to stay anchored to the truth.
We know that the patterns within our physical world were not put here by accident. We know that God designed a habitable planet in which we could thrive. We also know that God desires, more than anything, for us to know Him more deeply each day. So wouldn’t it make sense, then, that he created these patterns, not just to provide for life, but more importantly, to teach us about who He is?
If we look closely, we may notice that family traits passed on through generations are just a mirror of how God wants to impart His righteousness to us as our Father. Or maybe we will notice how landslides and erosion are a reminder of how Jesus is our only solid ground. Whether it be through animal habitats, forces of nature, or the spinning sky, our students are learning to recognize that it all began with a divine Creator who desires to know them intimately.