FASTLY - Faith & Science Teaching

Part 2: Models & Methods of Investigation


2. Models

Science and Models

This lesson completes the work begun in the previous lesson of allowing students to reflect on the complexity—and often messiness—of real scientific inquiry, and ultimately to contrast this against academic labs.

If students have finished their investigations from the Film Canister Experience, you can begin class by opening the film canisters and comparing their contents to the students’ predictions. You can lead a brief discussion about how real scientific inquiry feels different from academic labs. Which of these do students prefer and why?

Now you can move on to Models in Science, which engages students in reflection on the relationship of basic scientific models to reality. In the activity, students look at slides of scientific models and discuss:

  • How might they have developed?
  • How might they have changed over time?
  • What is their relevance to what they represent?

Models in Science parallels the next activity, Models in Scripture—one activity looks at scientific models and one reflects on theological models. Models in Scripture, a short starter activity, introduces the idea of models as a component of how we think about God. The activity engages students in some initial reflection on truth and humility. Looking at passages in the Bible, students will examine ways in which God is modeled in the text.

As a conclusion for this lesson, consider leading a discussion comparing the two activities:

  • What role do models play in both scientific and theological thinking?
  • How might these models affect the way we think about the similarities and differences between faith and science?
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Science, Models, and Observation