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Epistula | 44 Minutes

Veritas Scholars Academy Science Seminar

Veritas Scholars Academy Science Seminar

Rebecca Tunstall

Good evening, everyone. Welcome. It's great to have you guys here. I know we have more rolling in. Are you guys able to hear me? Okay? Awesome. It's great to have you here. Welcome to our seminar tonight. We're going to learn a lot from our amazing teachers here. How many of you have had one of the teachers that you see here listed as a host? I bet a lot of you. Awesome. That's great.

We have an incredible group of teachers here to teach you a little bit about science and some of the differences in the options that we have. I'm going to try to go through my things quickly as possible so that we can give as much time as possible to them. So I'm going to invite them to come up on WebCam with me right now as we just start going through, I want to introduce them.

Today, we're going to start I want to pray for us as soon as everyone's on. And then I'm going to allow them to introduce themselves. We're going to jump right into our content for today. Yes. Awesome. All right. So let me pray and then we'll jump in for everyone here who doesn't know me. My name is Rebecca Tunstall, I'm the manager of Diplomas Services here at Vertias, as well as a teacher. And I'm just excited to be here with each of you.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for this day. Thank you for the students taking some time out of the night to be here. Thank you for these incredible teachers. And it is such a blessing to be in an environment where we get to talk about you openly and freely. We thank you for who you are and faithfulness to us. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

All right, so, I want to take moment before I go over anything else and just stop talking and let these teachers introduce themselves. You know some of them and you don't know others, but by the end of tonight, you will know them all. So go ahead and maybe– I don't know if you're all in the same order camera wise, but Mr. Bruner, why don't you start us off and we’ll go all the way down the list.

Allen Bruner

All righty. Well, my name is Allen Bruner. This is year, I don't know, 13, 14, something like that with Veritas! I teach biology. I teach several chemistries and I teach the mathematics class called Statistics. And I'm glad you guys are here!

Theresa Krebs

I think I'm next. So I am Mrs. Krebs, and I teach chemistry. I think this is our seventh or eighth year– I can't remember now, teaching chemistry for Veritas, but I also teach several math class, Geometry, and Algebra II. And next year there'll be Pre-Calculus and Calculus II and Problem Solving. So lots of stuff there!

Erica Searl

I'm Erica Searl and this is my 10th year of teaching at Veritas. I can't believe it! I teach Physical Science now and again and math– I have a strong math background, but only math class I've been teaching here is geometry, which is fabulous. Love it!

Lindsay Strum

My name is Lindsay Sturm, and I'm the newest of this bunch. This is my first year here at VSA. Although we've had kids in the program for several years. So, several of these wonderful people up in front of you have been a part of my children's education. I can attest to how wonderful they've all been. This is my first year as a teacher, and I have a smattering of different classes within math and science around here. I’m teaching Biology, Marine Biology, Physical Science and Physics I within the science department.

Elizabeth Nelson

Hello, everyone. I am Elizabeth Nelson. I've been with VSA for four years. I teach VSA Chemistry as well as Algebra I, and next year I will be joining the Apologia Chemistry team as well!

Andrea McCabe

Hello, everyone. My name is Mrs. McCabe, and I believe it's year seven for me teaching Veritas Chemistry, and Algebra I Jacob's.

Travis Southern

And greetings to you all. My name is Dr. Travis Southern, and I have been teaching at Veritas since 2015. I teach Rhetoric I as well as the Novare classes here next year and this year. And so that would be Earth Science, Physical Science, and Biology Novarre. So glad you are here!

Rebecca Tunstall

Awesome. Thank you, all. We're not here for me, so I'm going to just skip right through to the next part. I have more opportunity. I want to just turn it over to Andrea McCabe, to talk a little bit about this next slide, and then I'll come back on in a moment.

Minute 4:54

Andrea McCabe

Hello, everyone. As I've said, it's really great that you're all here. And I guess we wanted to start the evening off a little bit of what does it mean to have a science class here at Veritas. And I think if you've heard anything about classical education, you probably heard about Dorothy L. Sayers talk in Oxford in 1947 entitled The Recovering the Lost Tools of Learning. And I'm incredibly grateful for this lecture and the transformation of educational thought and practice that I've been a very small part of for about 20 years.

Tonight, I want to talk to you about what this has to do with science. So, where does science fit in a classical Christian education? Well, we are made in the “imago dei”, right? In the image of God. We've been given the task to fill the earth and to subdue it. And as image bearers, we're called to search out all the ways that God has given us to fulfill this creation mandate. So, instead of thinking of grammar, logic, rhetoric as developmental stages, I'd like to invite you further up and further in to think about them as arts instead of just the stages of development or possibly subjects.

So what is an art? Well, Dr. Christopher Schleckt would define that as productive reason. The joining of reason to practice in order to produce something. Now contrast that with the way that the world views STEM as a means to the end or “progress”, but progress to where? And to what end? So instead, I would like to think about education as a group of arts, not just subjects, not just stages of development. And then we can see that all of these vocabulary lists are training in reason. The use of formula as arguments, and assignments as training in producing as all of the classes here at VSA do.

So why is science special, then? Robert Boyle, Johan Kepler, Gottfried Leibniz; all studied the world because they firmly believed that the Incarnation made the material as important as the theological. They firmly rejected dualism and that both the physical and the theological should be pursued by all Christians. They reasoned God revealed himself as his son and his son The word made flesh, and he also revealed himself in creation. So remember that Solomon was not just wise in poetry and writing, but also in nature in 1 Kings 4. And of course, King David wrote in Psalm 19 that “the heavens declare the glory of God.”

So, by beginning our study with the visible and tangible the material, we can then move to grasp truth and beauty—the theological. I would say science is especially suited to the study of the material, but it is the order that we find in the physical world that quickly takes us to the truth.

In describing order in creation, we learn the mental disciplines; we quicken our perceptions. We learn to think, reason, and argue well. So some of you are students here, some of you are parents. You know that feeling when you're struggling with all the information, trying to shove it between your ears. But then you see the patterns, you see the order, and it just all falls into place. There isn't another worldview besides the Christian worldview that can explain the diversity of creation and the order of this beautiful, awe-inspiring, fantastical world that we live in.

So why study science? I haven't mentioned those high-paying jobs or the possible cure for cancer, or maybe the cachet of arriving at family Thanksgiving and saying, “I'm a biochem major”. That might be in the future of some of our VSA graduates, but rather we should study science classically because being properly taught as these beautiful arts, our children will be equipped to gain knowledge on their own despite a hostile world. They will be responsible for their own productivity in the family and in the marketplace. They will be able to serve others and they will steward the resources that God has given them so that they will be fruitful and subdue the earth. And that is why you should study science.

Rebecca Tunstall

Thank you so much. That was beautiful. I don't know about the rest of you, but I just want to cheer the whole time she was talking. That was wonderful. As we're looking at the science curriculum here at Veritas, I'm only going to speak very briefly. Many of you were in the Diploma Program already. Some of you are considering, and some of you aren't in it now. But we have some requirements for which courses to take along with just suggestions to the order – we're going to talk a little bit more about that, too.

But if you are in that middle school, seventh or eighth grade and you're thinking about joining the Diploma Program for high school or in the next year or two, some of the things to understand are the prerequisites that you need to take. So our general science and physical science are prerequisites for all tracks before ninth to 12th grade. We hope that you're able to take those two. If you're hoping to go for Highest Honors someday you'll also want to have taken biology before ninth grade– you can fulfill your requirements. But I want to just pause before I continue talking about the other science requirements and allow us to just understand a little just a little bit about some of those prerequisites. So go ahead and take that away.


Travis Southern

Sure. I just want to introduce you to a couple of courses that I do teach here at Veritas. First is Earth Science, Earth Science Novare. And I love this particular class out of all of my classes, but this is probably the most practical. I think it's one of the most practical classes that I teach because we're learning about our home, the world that we live in.

And so, for example, we begin the year by talking about the moon and the phases of the moon. Like, for example, tonight, if you look up into the sky, should you have a clear sky like I do this evening, you will likely see a waning crescent, and we'll learn what that is. And also this year was a particularly good year to take Earth science because we also study eclipses and this just happens to be the year when across North America we will have a major solar eclipse. So many of my students will be enjoying that. And I know some of their teachers will be enjoying that too that day. So I’m happy to have some inside information on that.

So there's so much we cover in this class. We cover rock formations, volcanoes, and earthquakes. We talk about oceanography, and we end the year talking about weather. And I think that's a great time to talk about whether I'm from Oklahoma originally and I love to show tornado videos. And so I have some great pictures myself. I've seen a tornado. And so we love to talk about severe weather to end the year. So that is a fantastic class. I commend that class to you.

The other class for the prerequisite classes is physical science, Novare. And in this class it's an introduction to physics and chemistry. I think a really essential introduction before you take a biology class. So really important to understand some of the basics of chemistry in terms of the atomic structure and reactions and things like that.

And then in the realm of physics, we learn, even like today we learned about Newton's laws of motion, we learned about forces, we learn about all kinds of things that we have a lot of fun in here, too. Today, I even rode a skateboard in class, and so that was pretty exciting and even somewhat dangerous. No teachers were hurt in the process, but I would love to welcome you in either of those classes.

I commend them to you and also commend the Apologia classes as well. You can't go wrong either way. So those are the options as prerequisites– typically in seventh and eighth grade, although some do take one of the classes in sixth grade, especially for general science, in order to be able to get to biology by eighth grade for Highest Honors.

Rebecca Tunstall

Awesome! I really want to see a video of that- I'm going to find that archive! Required for all science tracks– and required makes it sound like it's something that we begrudgingly do. We get to all take biology and chemistry, which is awesome! Every student at Veritas is taking two courses if they're in the Diploma Program, and I already saw some questions in the chat about some of the differences between the different courses there, and we will get to that today. We made sure we left some time there.

After that, there's some options depending on your track. You don't need to have this all memorized. This is to give you a reference point. In the Associates Track you'll see that you have– oh I cut something off here, but you can see some of the options. Standard you have have one or Calculus based. We’ll also talk about some of the differences here. Then Honors and Highest Honors. You can see the track all the way through up to organic chemistry. So I'm going to stop and I'm going to turn my camera off because really, for the rest of the time, I want you to hear from the science teachers about their curriculum and what we have.


Theresa Krebs

Okay, it's my turn. So, there are a couple of questions that we wanted to answer before we got into the specific classes. The first one is, why do we take the classes in this order? Why do we take physical and general science– usually in middle school, and then biology, and then chemistry, and then physics? Is it because you have to know biology to study chemistry or chemistry to study physics? The short answer is no, you don't. But it is a good idea for a number of reasons. One of the reasons is developmental. So younger students have a better understanding of their physical environment around them. And when we get into biology, you're interacting with a large amount of things that you're familiar with, whether you're talking about human bodies, whether you're talking about the trees that are outside, whether you're talking about the animals that you interact with, then you get into maybe some of the microbial stuff and you might be talking about something, diseases that might be caused, you know, whether you got the flu or whether you got some sort of strep throat.

So there are things that you are interacting with on a regular level. And then as you get a little bit older, we start talking about things that you can't necessarily see, things that you might not interact with as much, like atomic structure. You might not be able to put your hands on it, but you can still learn about these concepts. So the concepts get a little bit more difficult to grasp physically, and so it helps developmentally to do that.

The other reason is math-related. So you don't need a ton of math to do a biology class. So biology classes have some math in them, but not in the entry level. There's not much. And so we do biology earlier because students are still building up their math knowledge as they're going through their education.

When you get into chemistry, there's math. There's a fair amount of math in chemistry, it’s not all math, but there is a fair amount of it. It's not even really difficult math as we're talking about mostly Algebra I level mathematics. However, if the math feels hard to you when you're getting ready to take chemistry, then the chemistry is going to feel really hard because you're struggling with two concepts at the same time. So if you have a better math base going into it, it is a little bit easier to approach the chemistry.

Now, physics has a lot of math in it. Physics is almost like taking another math class, and so having that math base expand throughout your education before you take physics is really to your advantage. Physics is fun. It's not scary! Fun! All science, keep saying it with me, “Science is fun.” You just have to say positive reinforcement words to yourself.


Okay. Then, the next question that comes up is, why do we offer more than one option for each course? So we have Novare and Apologia Biology, we have Veritas Chemistry and Apologia Chemistry. So we have different options for each course.

Well, different courses are going to meet different needs, and we have descriptions, and tonight you'll get to hear more about the differences between them. But it's really important to look at the needs and the strengths of either you as a student or your parents are going to look at it and you need to discuss what the needs of your family are.

If you have lots of extracurriculars, you might choose one curriculum over another because you need to invest your time appropriately. Time is kind of like money. You have to budget it. We don't have unlimited time, so you need to make some adjustments. If you love math and you love logic, then you might really want to go for the ones that tend to be more math-based, less conceptually based.

If you have a student or you are easily overwhelmed by large amounts of reading, some of the classes have more reading than others. And so you can learn some about that. It's really just kind of important to decide what your goals are for your family. We cannot do everything because we don't have unlimited time for all things and we want to do hard things, but we also want to understand where we're going.

If you have–we are going to hear tonight about some of the differences between Apologia Biology and Novare Biology. And you're going to hear about one of them is a more generalized survey and one of them takes smaller topics and dives in that's going to meet the needs of different students as well. There are some students that really want to thoroughly dive into a concept and learn more about it before they move on to something else. And there are some students that really just want to kind of know the whole story. And so it's really important for you to discuss if you're a student with your parent and maybe your academic advisor, or if you're a parent, to discuss with the academic advisor and your student what you think the goals are to find the class that meets for you. Because we know we have a huge population that are doing all kinds of amazing things.


Allen Bruner

And that's my cue to actually sit here and talk very specifically about some of the key differences. I'm actually going to go back one slide only because, as Mrs. Krebs just said, we offer two biology options and they are unique and they are different. But I will tell you this, they all start with Genesis 1:1. They all start with what we understand from a Christian perspective that in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The thing that's interesting is that we weren't there, so we don't know how he did it. But we do have the opportunity through sciences to do that exploration. Hence the opportunities and the options.

So we'll talk about Apologia really, really quickly because when it gets down to it, the Apologia text is a broad brush curriculum, and that's what Mrs. Krebs wound up talking about. When we start, we start with how science works. That's actually how every science class invites us to do an exploration. Every science class gives us an opportunity to look at the basics that are sometimes taught in general science. What's an experiment? What's a variable? How do we wind up controlling experiments? What do we wind up making observations of? What's a hypothesis? Those are the basics when it comes to our understanding of scientific processes, and those have been around a long, long time.

On the other hand, what we try to do in the Apologia text is provide a broad brush. And so we really have two separate classes. Now, mind you, it's all one class that we teach. But the fact is when we are doing our first term, it is very heavy in biochemistry. It is very heavy into those common features that are common to all living creatures on this planet. So we get a chance to look at DNA and genetics and cell respiration and photosynthesis and so on.

And once we establish that strong foundation, then what we get a chance to do is ask the question, how is it that all this incredible diversity of God's creation actually carries out the basics of staying alive? And so our second term is what I call our classical kingdoms approach. We actually do the work that Linnaeus did back in the 1700s when he was doing the work that Adam did.

Let's actually see if we can classify every living thing. And so we do that. We look at the kingdoms, we look at the phylum, and this gives us an opportunity to start with bacteria and viruses and actually go all the way up to human beings. That's said, we use a hands on approach. Some of our labs are virtual, some of our labs are hands on labs that people can do at home. Those are designed to enhance the topics and the structure of each module. We even have opportunities because we strongly believe that being able to speak in front of people is an important skill. So we wind up providing opportunities for our students to do PowerPoint presentations of specific creatures, at least in biology. And we make sure that when we are talking about evolution, that we ask kids to think apologetically. They actually develop a biblical worldview, but also to defend that.

So that's what we wind up doing in a nutshell. There are 16 modules. We have 32 weeks here at Veritas, so we spend about two weeks per module or two weeks per chapter. And now I'm done for the moment.

Travis Southern

Thank you, Allen. And I really want to commend to you either class. Both classes are fantastic in terms of the biology courses, and you'll notice a lot of similarities between the two. There's a few key differences as well. So one of the differences I would highlight with biology Novare, is that we do cover fewer topics than is covered in the in the Apologia curriculum, but we go into greater detail. So some of the biochemistry we'll look at in a little bit more detail, some of the details that we look at in the animal kingdom. We'll look at it in more detail or even about plants and about bacteria. So some of those details is where the differences will live. Fewer topics but with greater depth and detail.

Also, in the biology Novare curriculum, you will find that we emphasize continuous review. And so rather than having a module where you take a test on and then you move on to the next module, it's more cumulative all the way all throughout the year. So we're constantly reviewing what we have already talked about previously and really throughout the entire year. So anything from chapter one is still fair game. I do give the students a lot of warning on what will be covered, what things they need to– they ought to go and review this. They ought to go check this out for this next quiz. But we have regular quizzes, regular exams to help with their continuous review so that the students remember, as we go into midterms and finals.


Evolution: we do address that in both classes, both from a sound biblical perspective. One of the things that we do unique probably in the biology Novare is we look at four different perspectives on Evolution. We look at when we look at the young Earth creationist perspective, we look at the old Earth creationist perspective, we look at the theistic evolutionist perspective and we look at the worldly naturalistic evolutionist perspective. And part of the reason I do that, I actually come from a young Earth creationist perspective, but I look at all of them so that we can understand the strengths, the challenges of each perspective. The reason I like that is because I was a biochemistry major. I also took Evolution when I was in college at a secular university, and I want my students to be prepared for that. That way. It's not the first time they've ever heard those ideas and they know from a biblical standpoint how to address those things. And so we talk about those things.

And then we also in my classes, we also have people who are all our Christians. But there are some differences on the particulars in where a particular student would come from. And so I always commend them to go talk to their parents about this, go talk to their pastors about this, talk to their elders about this in their churches so that they can get a wide range of perspectives, so that they can really understand and dig in and know. We look at we look at our texts, we look at answers in Genesis and others. So we do look at Evolution, but we look at it from a biblical perspective, from a biblical worldview.

Also in our class, very similar to what Alan was– Mr. Bruner was talking about in the Apologia curriculum we build up from the beginning. We go from the very small to the very large. And so we began with biochemistry and then we moved to the cellular level, then genetics, respiration. Then in the second semester we began what I call the tour of the zoo. And so second semester is primarily the tour of the zoo. We're in the middle of the tour of the zoo right now. We're in the animal kingdom and we also have presentations. I don't present a lot in that chapter because the students are presenting. Each of them gets a different phylum and they get to tell us about the details of a particular phylum of the animal kingdom. And it's also a hands on approach to you because today in class, in fact, my own son is in my class and we dissected a worm together. So super exciting. That was actually pretty fun. And even though Mrs. Southern was like, “Ew, gross!” But that's all right. So that's why she teaches grammar.

And so the then we after we finish the animal kingdom, we will begin studying the human body organ systems, and then we'll end the year with ecosystems. And Evolution is where we end the year, so that we're prepared to debate that and discuss that.

We do offer a lot of lab experiences I mentioned before, hands on and virtual same system, virtual lab that the Apologia classes will use. And so I commend you either class. It just depends upon your particular focus and your particular bent in terms of science. You want a more broad approach or do you want a more in-depth approach? And I think that's it for me. We'll turn it over to the chemists now.


Erica Searl

And typically, after one finishes their course in biology, they will enter into the world of chemistry and the options, there are two. We have the Apologia Chemistry and also the Veritas Chemistry. Both are tried and true. Both are excellent, solid college preparatory programs, but they each have their own unique flavor.

The Veritas Chemistry is an in-depth study for students. They learn to think critically about the world around them. And I always like– I think I say this a lot in my classes. There is so much more than meets the eye. And so when you delve into the world of chemistry, there's the world that you see. But then when students can hook what they see into what is going on at the micro level, it's tremendously exciting. There's such a wow factor. I love it. I love enjoying it with the students when they are able to say,”Oh! That's why that happens.”

Veritas– yes, it is definitely creation based. In fact, just recently we were talking about different properties and how osmotic pressure relates to kidney function, and pretty much the entire class is blown away. That this kind of regulation occurs at such a micro level. And it's– you can't even fathom that anybody would think that any of this happened by random chance or by simple mutations.

VSA Chemistry is suitable for students who are interested in a STEM career but not limited. It's not– if you're not interested in a STEM career, you shouldn't say, “Oh, I'm definitely not taking it,” because it has its own– again, it has its own flavor. It tends to move a little bit faster and it tends to be stronger, deeper in the math element of it, the math of chemistry. Again, it is a little bit more involved than you would find in Apologia, and it's about a chapter a week.

But as I was thinking about it, when you look, when you consider that we only meet a couple of days a week, each of those is an hour and a half. That's almost– that's 45 minutes for a class session. So a chapter a week isn't unreal or, you know, too overwhelming. I will also emphasize that the years that I have been here, we are constantly revisiting, revising and making it and just improving it as we go along. And so there is review built in, there's help sessions built in. So this is all very much a doable science class. No one should shy away from it.

And then finally, I just want to add a little bit about the the lab component. There's a move in the schools nowadays, like in brick and mortar. There's a group called Benign Chemistry. They're always trying to come up with ways to do labs that don't use toxic chemicals. So as I look at our lab component, it is very much comparable to what a student would have in a brick and mortar classroom. It's very exciting stuff when they're able to do an acid based titration with just household compounds. And again, the Labster virtual labs are also a great way to introduce students to equipment and procedures and techniques that they wouldn't have access to in their own home. And so that would be Veritas Chemistry.


Allen Brunner

If we were to chat about Apologia Chemistry, which I am going to do, it is, in fact, really geared towards those students who may or may not be interested in STEM careers. In fact, it is still based on math. I wound up seeing your comment about, “Gosh, math.” But, you know, the fact is as I've said in both of my chemistry offerings, because I do both Apologia and the VSA, we really don't do much more than that. Subtract, multiply, divide, take a square root on occasion or square something on occasion. This is not Pre-Calc, we're not doing sine cosine tangent. So for those of you who are thinking, “Oh, no! Math!” It's okay.

Math is a powerful ally here. Master Yoda's voice in your head, Powerful ally. That notwithstanding the thing that I would encourage you to think about is this: it is very much a college preparatory program, but it is also a program that some people may be familiar with because they've done Apologia Biology. It is 16 units, 16 modules. It is covered over two weeks rather than one, which means that we slow down a bit, and the coverage is not as in-depth, bluntly or as complete as you would wind up seeing in the Veritas Chemistry. It is really geared towards those individuals who know they need to take chemistry and they're really not sure about where God is leading them.

You know, the fact of the matter is, and this hasn't been explicitly stated yet, but I would argue every one of us as science teachers really have a larger end-game perspective, which is not how do I survive the next year? It's what are you going to do when you graduate from Veritas? Where are you going? Where is the Lord leading? What is, as Dr. Southern said, what is your bent? How are you built? The fact is, if I'm a music major and I know that I'm a music major, God has made me a music major. I would probably take Apologia. Why? Because it's a little slower-paced and we have an opportunity to spend a little bit more time on, bluntly, fewer topics.

We still do a lot of hands on labs, but many of those labs, in fact, are observational. We're not taking a lot of measurements. We're just asking the question, “What happens when you do this? What do you see?” What we're asking people to do in Apologia Chemistry bluntly, is look at God's handiwork of design. When we see what happens in our daily world. Right now we're talking about heat and we spend a little bit of time today talking about how this heater works.

And it got really interesting just to ask people ultimately what's happening with this heater? How is it pushing heat towards my toes? The idea is that focus of real world applications, what we're interested in getting students to do is just marvel at God's handiwork because, as Mrs. McCabe said so well, this is why we study science. I am a believer not in spite of science, but because of it. My faith is enhanced because of what I understand about the order of God's creation. So when we wind up looking at things like chemistry, it gives us an opportunity to think critically about those everyday scientific topics. It's a different perspective than you wind up seeing with Veritas. It's not in that we don't emphasize those because, trust me, we do. It is just a slower pacing.


Elizabeth Nelson

Okay, so why do we study physics? Building on all of these great things. First of all, from Psalm 111:2 “Great are the works of the Lord studied by all who delight in them.” Physics is the study of this amazing world that God made, and there is so much to delight in and so much of God to see. Awesome read! That's fabulous. So I just put three things here. Of course, you need to study physics if you're going to be an engineer or if you're going to be a math major, whatever. We all know that.

But why would we study physics? First of all, as a lot of the PSA, public service announcements, in physics all the way through, right? Why do you slow down on the curve when the road is wet? We learn about that in physics. How do you know how tall a bridge is when you're standing, looking over the side, when you drop a rock down into the water there and you time it, you can figure out all of these these these fun things that are help you know, what's going on in your world and keep you safe. Why do we use airbags? How do they help? Tons of things like that that are very interesting and very practical.

Resourcefulness: you all are growing up, you students and even those of us who are a little bit older now, we live in a black box world where everything's kind of encased in things, you know, and there's all kinds of stuff going on in there that we don't know. There's technology everywhere. The more physics you understand, the more you know what actually is happening inside there, the more resourceful you can be.

One of my favorite things in physics, as we watched a video a little while ago, we were learning about centripetal force– things that when they go in a circle what can happen. In our labs here in America, we have these very amazing big machines that we call centrifuges that will separate blood out and they're expensive. And you have to pull them into the wall and they're amazing. But if you understand the concept, if you know what's going on there, there was a group of people who said, okay, we need to be able to separate blood, the components in blood, so we can test for malaria in places where we don't have all of this big machinery. And they made a little toy. Okay, remember the toys like this, and you spend them like this, okay? They made a centrifuge out of a little toy. Cost less than a dollar. You can take it into any place that you can possibly go and you can test for malaria because you understand what's going on inside those big machines.

So studying physics makes you resourceful. You understand how things work, you can adapt, you can, you can improve, you can improvise. You can use more responsibly and wisely. And when I was a kid, my dad used to think you could ask me when we'd be doing stuff on the ranch. He's your physics. Use your physics like that. I don't know any physics. But what he was saying is that physics is a lot about common sense.

One of the things we do in physics is we expose misconceptions. There are ways that we think the world works because we just sort of get into these mindsets and we we shake that up and we go, “but it doesn't actually work like that,” and we help expose those in ways then that humbles us and makes us realize just because it's my perception doesn't mean it's always right.

So we become better thinkers, we become better problem solvers. We understand better how things work so we can be more resourceful, and the future.

One of the things that's not really in our textbook a lot, but we have woven into our class is a lot of information about the future of our country, of our world, is involved in space. It's going to be all kinds of things happening there. And that's physics realm. And so we help our students understand a little bit more about that and all the different things that are going on there. Another big thing is going to be energy production. We're going to need more and better ways to produce the energy that we need to keep our world running. That's that's a physics issue. And the better our students understand that and are aware of those things that are going on, the better that they can do. Okay, so now what do we offer here at Vertais? We offer Physics I very basic, the Apologia book– that's the only Physics I that we offer, covers a wide range of topics. Very, very standard Physics I class. It is in case you're ever talking to a college advisor, whatever it is algebra based, but it does include trigonometry. So we do add vectors, we include the sine, cosine tangent, all of those things. We cover motion, we cover, you know, energy, momentum, all of those things. Then we get into things like springs and different kinds of motion with things like that. We get into waves, we do some light and some sound. We talk about optics, we dip our toes into electricity and magnetism, and kind of get to see the whole realm of those things.

Then what happens in Physics II, especially things like electricity and magnetism, you get to go a lot deeper. So our Physics II, it covers a lot of the same topic areas.There are a few additional ones. You do a little bit more math there, but it is still algebra based. You get some DOT products, some you know, some things where it's a little bit more advanced algebra things. Still algebra based.

The physics are calculus based– is going to be a new offering next year. So it's still all the details that are being worked out. Some would be dependent– we're modeling it after a college class, so we'll cover the same, same concepts. It'll be set up in a similar way. We'll have the full year to do one semester. So that means we won't go into all the topics. You'd have a full year in college to cover all the topics. So–this, our physics calculus base will be mainly tranimatics: the motion of things. I think we get into some thermodynamics, but we won't get into things like the electricity and magnetism and things like that in this one, but we'll be able to go into a lot more depth and its physics as it's meant to be, right?

Calculus was invented for physics. There are just things that you can understand and work with when you have that calculus tool that are amazing and just opens it up in a different way. And also, Mrs. Sturm is also a physics teacher, and if she has anything to add to that or but she's these teachers for us too.


Linsdey Sturm

So sorry, my mic, I just I keep pushing it, and it's taking a long time to go. And so I'm clicking and unclicking. I would add that physics is so much fun! I really look forward to teaching my physics class each week. It's a just a great time to like get down and dirty in the problems together and figure it out. And it's a lot of just understanding what's around you. So in addition to everything she said, I would just reiterate it really is fun and it's we have a great time in that class.

And I just want to mention to you a few of the other science options that are out there. I feel like this slide is this is where you have fun with your science. I mean, we have fun with all of our science, but now you've met your requirements, you've done your general and physical science in middle school years. In the beginning of high school, you've taken your biology and chemistry and really laid the foundation of that solid science framework.

You're taking it deeper with your physics and understanding the connections and the marriage between the math realm and the science realm, which are really from God's perspective. This is just truth, and we're just kind of looking at it from different angles. But as Mrs. Searle said, they go hand in hand. You can't you can't rightly separate the two. They're made for each other. And then here, when we get to some of these other classes, you have choice. And that's fun! You get to pursue what sciences resonate with you. And if you really love that world of chemistry, then you get to take it to the next level with organic chemistry. And that's really going to just put you on that track towards preparing for some career that's going to be chemistry based and getting you ready for if you want to do medical fields, you want to do chemical engineering, anything like that, you're just continuing down your passion fields.

I have the privilege of being able to teach marine biology as one of these elective sciences, and it is so much fun. I love that we are building on the base. We need everything that we've learned previously in biology, like you have to come with that, but then you get to apply it. You really see it worked out in just in the realm of the marine and under the sea.

So in marine biology, we take that similar approach, that Apologia Biology has where the first semester we go organism by organism and we're going from the simple to the complex. But as we see with every organism that we encounter, there is nothing simple in God's creation. It might be simple by comparison, but there is nothing short of miraculous about what God has created.

So we'll peruse through the kingdoms going from the least complex to the most complex, and then we jump second semester to looking at the interrelationships between these organisms and really focus on ecology and environments and how the biological and the non-biological factors all work together to create these ecosystems. And then we look too, as they mentioned, that we do projects and all these classes.

We have opportunities to see what's our role in this, what do we do as stewards of this knowledge? How do we come alongside and care for God's creation in a rightly ordered way? So we get to tackle that with some of our projects and presentations that we do. But really, I think the highlight of marine biology is getting to be up close with the marine organisms, like how many people get to have a shark on their bookshelf? Like we do cool things with all different organisms. Well, do you clams and starfish and various worms and then kind of our magnum opus is when we finally get to our Dogfish Shark and we'll spend time seeing everything up close in person. Your hands on it and seeing how these systems work together. It's fabulous. And I haven't had a chance to have one of my kids take it yet, but I know anatomy and physiology is the same, where it is the practical application of all of your biology study.

You're now you're taking it to the human body and you're going to see all those systems and how detailed and intricate they are in and of themselves and how beautifully and harmoniously they work together. And you're going to have classes where you get to do the microscope labs like we do in marine bio and the dissections, and you're going to get to see it in action in a special way.

And Dr. Southern, he's taking on our biotechnology. So that one sounds super intriguing. There's so much that we know and that knowledge has a lot of potential. So we really have to figure out what do we do with that, what is right for us to do to it with it, how do we use that in a way that is the most God glorifying? And so he sounds like he's going to have a lot of fun in his biotech class. If you have any availability in the summer, go spend it with Dr. Southern in his biotech class.

One last little tidbit, and this might be something that Mrs. Tunstall is going to speak on, but a lot of these science electives, once we get a little higher up doing Physics II, Organic Chem, Marine Biology and Anatomy and Physiology, those are all available for dual credit through Carin College. So you can have that college as a dual enrollment course. And with that does come the high responsibility you're going to be asked to study like a real scientist in these classes and to write lab reports like a scientist. But you also have that advantage that while you're studying here in your high school years, you can also be making some tracks towards your college pathways in the future.


Rebecca Tunstall

Okay. Thank you all so much for sharing. That was amazing. I love to just take an opportunity to answer some questions. I know some questions have already been answered from the chat, but if you have some questions, why don't you toss them in there? And the science teachers that they feel maybe they're the best person to answer that question can hop in with the diploma related question. I'm happy to answer that to you.

If you're curious, just before we get into the questions, you're curious about the tracks required. I know we went over very quickly so that we get to some of the science. If you want to know more about what's required, if you want the join the Diploma Program, you want to be in the Standard track or the Honors track, please do reach out to And we can talk a little bit more about that. I'd love to have some questions, more about the content of the courses and then go from there.

I see our first question coming in here from Rachel.


Travis Southern

Yeah, I think I can jump in there. In terms of the differences between the physical science courses, they're going to be very similar in approach one difference, though, is that the Novare curriculum will be more focused. And the reason why is because the physical science apologia curriculum has this whole section of earth science, and so that is split out into a whole different course in Novare. So truly the physical science class for Novare is really an introduction to chemistry, introduction of physics, whereas the Apologia is introductory chemistry, physics and earth science. So it's those three. So there is a little bit more depth, I think, in certain topics in Novare, fewer topics, more review, more regular review. In Novare, I know there is a weekly quiz and we're constantly reviewing so that when we get to the midterm in the final, they have seen all of the questions multiple, multiple times. And that tends to be the philosophy of that book.

Not saying it's not like that an Apologia. It certainly is as well. It's just a broader focus versus a narrower focus. But the labs and things like that will be very similar in both classes, both the solid experience in physical science.


Rebecca Tunstall

You'll often see that Michelle Langly will post the consult link if you want to ask some questions about the track. But I see this question down here. Can you take Calc Physics, if you haven't taken calculus or would it be really hard to take without calculus? I can respond. But I'd love to hear from one of the science teachers explain the rationale for that one.

Elizabeth Nelson

So technically, the calculus based physics can be taken concurrently with Calc I. Again, we're still working the course out. This is the first time that we've offered it. So I will know a little bit more in a couple of months and can maybe answer more questions a little bit better on that. But the main thing they the student will be just fine doing it concurrently. The only difficulty that I'm seeing right now is that we will be using integrals before they're probably introducing calculus. But as I'm looking at it, I don't think that's going to be a problem. They're just polynomial integrals. They're not really hard ones. I think we can cover enough in class if the student is strong in math, it shouldn't be any problem.

If they had calculus already, obviously just makes it that much easier. But it can be done concurrently.

Rebecca Tunstall

Awesome. And it's also worth noting, I believe it was mentioned before, but for that course as well, you will need have taken biology, chemistry or to reemphasize that point. All right. Let's see what other questions. What sciences are considered high school and our worth of credits for college. So I posted the link. I can post it again to our school profile. You can see which ones if they have a U to their name, those have the potential for dual enrollment. You're in 11th and 12th grade for that component if it's worth it for college, but also that high school credit, it will depend on your track, but for the most part from biology on will account for your high credits.

If I'm missing any questions here. A biology textbook or biology. And that has both biology and human anatomy in one book. Are you familiar with it? Any teachers familiar? No. Okay.


If you took physical science in ninth grade, would that count? Do physical science the ninth grade? It would still be a prerequisite with your high school credits. Those are things that would be really helpful- that consultation is free. The link that was posted by Michelle Langly up higher, they can talk you through those different components and help you to understand a little bit about what applies and what doesn't. But that one would be consistent with that.

Any other questions with me up there while you have this amazing panel of teachers here? All right.

Allen Brunner

Actually, if I may, just to throw this out there. I mentioned this earlier, but, you know, truly, every science teacher here is passionate about what they teach. That's pretty obvious from what you've heard. But more importantly, we're passionate about ultimately how we can help you as parents, help your students, and when it gets down to it, a big piece of this is not just what happens here at Veritas. You know, we truly have a much bigger picture. We're the ones bluntly, who were writing a lot of letters of recommendation for the college level. And many of those are STEM related because of what we teach. And so the thing that I would really, really encourage you to do is have those conversations with your students about where are you going, what do you see yourself doing? Because ultimately the types of curricular choices really need to be tempered by not how can I fast track this thing, but how can I best be prepared for my next steps?

That's the thing that I would really encourage. And again, father of a nurse, father of a historian, and both them wound up doing a lot of STEM related things.

Are the different perspectives of Evolution part and Apologia of biology as well? We don't delve into the conversation of young Earth versus old Earth. What we do is we look at the paradigm of Evolution and ask the question, Is there an apologetic out there? Is there a defense out there knowing that it is the paradigm that all of our students will face when they hit public university or public college. How do you defend that? And that really is what we're after being able to do is give students the tools to have a careful and thoughtful apology. And bluntly, this is where Dr. Southern in because of his rhetoric!


Rebecca Tunstall

Well, sadly, I know it went fast. We are at our 9:00 hour, mark. I'd love to just take an opportunity to ask Mr. Brunner, would you mind praying us out for today?

Allen Brunner

Yes, sure.

Rebecca Tunstall

Excellent. And just before we do, I want to thank all of you for being here. Science teachers, students, parents, we really appreciate each and every single one of you. And that link I'll post one more time down to the bottom. If you have any follow up questions in relation to the tracks, what courses to take, dual enrollment any of that, please do schedule consultation are important for incredible at answering those questions and it is free for you to go ahead. So thank you for being here. And Mr. Brunner, I look forward to hearing about.

Allen Brunner

Sure. Your Heavenly Father, thank you so much for giving us the opportunity to talk about what we are passionate about and that is your creation, that is Your Holiness, that is your sovereignty. Thank you for that. Thank you for giving us a unique opportunity in the sciences to see that firsthand, to study it, to grapple with the order that you brought out of chaos.

Thank you for the order that comes through your divine handiwork. Thank you for these parents. Thank you for these students. Thank you for the opportunity at Veritas to call on your name openly and to worship you and the incredible beauty of your creation. And we pray to you in the name of your son, Jesus. Amen.

And as Dr. Southern said, yeah, definitely feel free If you would like to get a hold of teachers, I know that we would be happy to at least chime in and throw our opinions out there.

Rebecca Tunstall

Thank you all. Appreciate it. All right, guys, you have a wonderful night. And this recording will be posted if you missed any part or if you want to share it with a friend.