You might find Portland Adventist Academy students outside in the cold measuring their body temperature to see how homeostasis works. You might find them building a model of water towers to learn the engineering process. And you might find them in a lab learning about how osmosis and cholera are related.
In the words of Benjamin Franklin, “Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.” That rings true in the science classes at PAA.
The goal of science classes at PAA is not only to have information presented to students, but to have students experience science, to see science in action, and to develop their own scientific skills. That’s how Brian Gang, PAA science and math teacher, approaches education.
“Science is as much about doing as it is information,” Gang says. “One of my goals is to have students actively engaged in the scientific process. Also, I want students to have a variety of ways to learn. Oftentimes getting them out doing something is one of the best ways to reinforce learning.”
So you will often find Gang’s students building models of DNA, examining animal skulls, shooting balloon rockets across the classroom and simulating chemical reactions or inheritance patterns, all in order to actively involve students in the learning process.
Next time you are at PAA, stop by one of the science classrooms to see how students are putting their learning into action.