McGill-Toolen Catholic High School is in a unique position to pursue a new adventure in high school science sequence for a number of reasons including:
1) The Catholic faith, fundamental to our institution, encourages the pursuit of truth through both reason and faith. Science provides methods of reason that yield truth about the creation and so brings us closer to the creator. If our school finds a sequence of sciences that better trains our students to reason using science then we have assisted them in growing in ways that will bring our students closer to God.
2) Private school status frees our community from the external constraints that can act to inhibit and/or prevent the implementation of new and effective approaches to science. Students in a private school setting can focus on the pursuit truth in a way that reveals how science reasoning is done rather than only on what science has found. Our teachers provide important assistance in guiding the intellectual pursuit of truth. Students reasoning as scientists may also learn the (often) fluctuating list of science facts identified by authorities as critical to basic science knowledge.
3) The capital campaign “Scientia Pro, Amore Dei” (Knowledge for the Love of God) has provided a unique opportunity to provide facilities appropriate for the new course enrollment projections. The new science building will have more room for the physical sciences than the previous course sequence required.
4) The science staff is open and particularly positioned to facilitate the new content and emphasis on students as scientists. The staff has three doctorate level staff members who teach the physical sciences full or part time. The staff has teachers with extensive training in physics content combined with flexible staff members who are willing to train in new disciplines and approaches to science in the high school.
The science faculty requested that a website be produced that provided access to the research and reflections that guide our in pursuit of a high school “Physics First” science curriculum (at Department meeting on October 22, 2007). This effort was delayed but not abandoned!