All Living Science elementary science clubs take local field trips, and middle and high school students go on a STEM-focused week-long field studies trip each year. The trips are essential to our focus on creation and on active learning, an opportunity to get out of the classroom and “do” science.
Elementary Field Trips
In the K-3 Science Club, our field trips change yearly, based on the focus of our studies. For example, last year’s trip was to the Sunrise Planetarium in Fairmount, Georgia, where we experienced a planetarium presentation on The Solar System, from a completely Biblical view. We also enjoyed a train ride through the beautiful grounds, as we listened to a presentation of the gospel.
In the spring, the fourth grade STEM students culminate our studies of Water and Oceans (in Science) with a trip to the Georgia Aquarium. We use this special trip to experience God’s creation, face-to-face, while gathering information through a fun scavenger hunt.
Our fifth grade STEM students go on an overnight field trip. Most recently we visited ZooAtlanta, and we have also spent the night with the fishes at the Chattanooga Aquarium.
Middle School Expedition
In many ways, the middle school Expedition is the heart of the Living Science school year. Sixth, seventh, and eighth-grade “explorers” travel to St. Simon’s to do “science on the beach.” We might make a beach model of the ecozones, study principles of flight with tetrahedral kites, seine (and weigh and measure our catch), make and test rockets, dissect sea creatures such as perch, starfish, and squid, study the barnacles on a dock with a microscope–or any number of hands-on STEM-friendly activities. The trip usually includes a special surprise day trip to a nearby attraction.
Each explorer is assigned to a team, led by 2-4 servant leaders, offering opportunities for small group interaction, devotionals, mentoring, and instruction. Those servant leaders pray for their teams by name for months as they prepare to lead. During the week, the explorers really get to know their leaders, and those mentoring relationships continue through the school years.
Every evening, we worship with Living Sound, our student-led worship team, and the Servant Leader team performs an hour of drama and science teaching designed to reinforce learning and especially to show our middle schoolers the glories of God’s creation and His plan for our redemption. Families with younger children often accompany us on Expedition as “hangers-on,” participating in the evening activities and anticipating their turn.
High School Retreat
Our high school usually visits a different location each year on their week-long Retreat. Again, we take the opportunity to get out of the classroom and into creation. High school activities might involve building a bridge, dissecting marine specimens, assembling and testing a catapult, designing and racing a duct tape and cardboard boat, collecting field data for Shannon-Weiner diversity studies, and much more. Our STEM teachers prepare special in-depth instruction in biological , engineering, and other STEM topics, giving students a window into God’s work in creation.