Issue 62 | October 18, 2013 | Science in the Jungle!
When a student lives in a remote area on the mission field with unlikely access to textbooks (reaching the nearest town involves a many-hour drive through the jungle and then an airplane ride), how then can high school graduation be accomplished? Resourceful people will find a way. Read portions of a thought-provoking course description for a science course completed in the jungles of Borneo.
Science in the Jungle
Construction always involves a lot of problem-solving and creativity. Working along side a mechanical mentor, the student was able to learn ways to build structures that would last.
The course was titled "Introduction to Engineering Science" and included these projects:
- Prepare a fuel shed site for working.
- Mixing concrete appropriately.
- Chopping metal pipes with both chop saw and hand grinder with a cutting blade.
- Drilling holes into a small sheet of metal to use for joining the 2-inch metal posts to a wooden rafter by using a press drill.
- Bolting a 2x6 rafter of an adjoining shed to the 2-inch metal posts.
- Lining up various posts to be level.
- Fixing a broken deck of a riding mower.
- Learning to use a welding-tool in the repair of metal.
- Mounting a rack to the back of a flat bed truck.
- Learning to use a hand drill, ax, stationary grinder, drill press, chop saw and determining which is best for each kind of task.
- Making a retaining wall with three freshly felled logs to prevent soil erosion.
- Fastening the logs onto a rack and tailgate securely with ropes.
- Constructing supporting structures for the logs, once they were in place.
The course description revealed so clearly the amount of thinking, creating and problem-solving that must have occurred during the completion of all those tasks.
Did the student get a SCIENCE education? Scientific thinking involves
- Determing the question
- Proposing a hypothesis
- Testing the hypothesis
- Coming to a conclusion
"Science is a way of thinking much more than it is a body of knowledge."
- Carl Sagan