The St. Ambrose Science program helps students understand and marvel at the natural world as an orderly and beautiful gift of God our Creator. In addition to a wealth of scientific knowledge, students are trained in the skills of observation, discovery, theory, and analysis.
Students keep nature journals and map the stars outside their windows and all manner of exercises to build curiosity, develop focus, and increase their wonder at the beautiful work of God’s creation. Students are introduced to scientific method and the scientific vocabulary of the more specialized disciplines of Senior High.
Guided by the Catechism’s assertion that “there can never be any real discrepancy between faith and reason” (#159), our courses seek to resolve any apparent conflict between science and Catholic teaching. In the Life Sciences, St. Ambrose teachers adhere faithfully to the moral teaching of the Catholic Magisterium and likewise respect the boundaries of the parents as the primary educators of their children.
Earth Science 6
Using Glencoe’s Earth Science textbook, students learn about the earth’s substance, its changing surface and interior, its air and water, geologic history, and astronomy. They practice the skills of close reading, note-taking, forming questions and hypotheses, observing both the natural world and models thereof, and drawing conclusions from their observations.
Students identify and recall elements of our natural world, practice the scientific method, and answer many fundamental questions about our home such as, “where does wind come from?”; “how old is the earth?”; and “how do we know what we know?” Ultimately, we seek to develop wisdom through the knowledge of God’s creation.
Life Science 7
Using the Glencoe Life Science book, this course studies topics from the inner workings of the cell to ecology. Topics include life’s structure and function, life from bacteria to plants, animal diversity, human body systems, and ecology. Students head outdoors to draw in their nature journals or raise guppies in soda-bottle ecosystems in order to learn observation, record keeping, and scientific method.
Students learn about the complexity of creation by directly observing living things. They conduct investigations and use evidence to support claims about how systems work. We study all kingdoms of life, from bacteria to animals, with a particular focus on learning Wisconsin species.
From the study of the human person to the environment around them, Life Science not only prepares students for Senior High Biology but teaches them the remarkable interdependence and complexity of nature and the sacred dignity of the human person.
Physical Science 8
The 8th grade science class, using Glencoe’s Physical Science, encompasses both an introduction to physics and to chemistry with the goal of helping students understand the physical world that God created.
The physics portion of the course introduces students to concepts and mathematical equations related to forces, motion, energy, electricity, magnetism, waves, light, mirrors, lenses, and states of matter. The chemistry portion of the course introduces students to concepts such as atomic theory, elements, the periodic table, and chemical bonds. In this class, students are able to learn about the physical world around them not only through lectures and class discussions but also with demonstrations and hands-on experiments.