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Does Science Matter in Middle School?

Have you ever wondered, does science matter in middle school?  In the middle of an already busy week, it’s an easy subject to skip, with the intention of returning to it later.  You have equations and parts of speech to teach.  You can hit it hard in high school…what’s the point of it anyway?

As it turns out, there are so many reasons science matters!  Here are just a couple to encourage you to keep at it, even in small increments.  The study and love of science will lay a foundation to draw upon in high school and beyond, paying off in dividends.

First, middle school science provides a low-stress way for you to have fun with your students of all ages.  Science is an easy subject that can be completed as a family.  Dissecting an owl pellet together, completing a hand washing experiment, or building a catapult on your kitchen counter are activities everyone can have fun with.  Older students can write a lab journal report and younger students can draw a picture.  At the very least, even your four-year-old might work a bit harder washing her hands!

Second, science in middle school is a wonderful time to teach that our God is the Creator and His creation is fascinating!  Sketching a bird’s wings and building an airplane to match reinforce the detail He provides in each of His creatures.  Reading about the punch of the mantis shrimp or the slime behind a snail emphasize the uniqueness of the creatures around us.  Learning about the orbit of the planets or the 1<sup>st</sup> Law of Thermodynamics points toward our God who is orderly and consistent in every work He completes.  Each point you make about creation can be tied to the Bible and reinforces a strong, Christian worldview, building a firm foundation for when your children are eventually hit with arguments against faith.  It’s a wonderful way to show that creation is not at odds with science, but is reinforced by it.

Middle school science can create a love of discovery and learning about the world around us.  Although it may not seem like it, how students approach science in the early years can play a huge part in their attitude toward it later.  When concepts become harder and more thought is required, having a background of fun and exploration can strengthen a student to push through that difficulty.  Learning a song early about the periodic table or coming up with their own mnemonic device to learn classification, not only helps later when ideas are more complex, but also lets students take ownership in their own learning.  These are fantastic ways to remember simple concepts!

Middle school science gives experience in the tools your students will use in high school and beyond.  Exposure to writing short lab reports or sketching the results of an experiment allow students to explore higher level thinking and learning. Following the scientific method gives them a WHY behind what they’re doing and allows them to model the work of scientists who have come before us and discovered the amazing concepts still reinforced today.

So why don’t you look at middle school science as a way to develop the needed skills your students will use later…  a fun way to learn basic concepts that will be a foundation for the harder concepts that come.  When your child is in middle school, put less pressure on yourself to complete all of the things, and take a minute to develop a foundational love of science and our God who created it all.