Course: Concepts In Modern Science
For Catholic High School Students
Course description:True science is very difficult to come to, as both Aristotle and St. Thomas teach. Thus, before embarking on a formal study of the "big sciences", such as biology, chemistry, and physics, it is very important that:
--- the student learn the correct way to think about science, in general.
--- the student see the need to "get in on the ground floor" when learning a science, that is, to see the importance of getting at least a tour of the major historical developments of the science before "jumping in".
This course is designed to satisfy both of these goals.
Concerning the first goal, about correct thinking in general, the student learns certain basic concepts in science and critical thinking, including:
--- logical concepts such as genus, species, and specific difference, the requirements for the formation of good definitions;
--- philosophical concepts such as matter and form;
--- scientific topics such as the proper way to think about measurement, the four kinds of scales, the important of units of measurements and the various systems of units.
As far as starting from the historical beginnings, we guide the student through the exciting and important historical discoveries in a few areas, such as the study of light and color and the tremendous discoveries that light is "just another" species (type) of electromagnetic radition; the various discoveries surrounding mass, weight, velocity, acceleration, gravity, Newton's "Laws" and his disovery of universal gravitation attraction. By seeing this, the student learns that he cannot be just "thrown into the middle of a science" as so many modern science books do. He will learn to realize it "when he does not know" in tackling future studies.
Suggested as a one-semester course for ninth or tenth grades, this course could be stretched over an entire year, as different students proceed at different speeds.
Course Length (in weeks):