The amazing and intricate world around inspires our curiosity, drawing out both questions and a hunger for answers. Science offers both (1) a systematic process of exploring the world around us and (2) a growing and changing repository of shared discoveries we build on and have the opportunity to contribute to.
We started our adventure together by making and sharing our observations of the moving parts on three different LEGO models. Each model had several moving parts with visible mechanisms and others with hidden mechanisms. Some of the mechanisms involved gears that were interconnected making certain movements synchronized. Recognizing that God designed the world in such a way that its parts work together in systems, we discussed the potential learning benefits of starting our exploration of the world by identifying parts of systems and then exploring how those parts worked together.
The next activity used loose Lego pieces to learn more about how we may not all organize our observations the same way. God tasked Adam with naming all the creatures He had made. Whether they acknowledge God or not, scientists continue this God-given task of naming and organizing observable parts of the world around us into groups based on shared characteristics. This classification, or grouping process creates taxonomies--an important part of the scientific endeavor.
We discovered that there were many different taxonomies we could use to organize our pieces and that it really hinged on what pieces we had in our specific collection. We also recognized that although each student pair came up with a different process for organizing their pieces, no one taxonomy was better or worse than the other. Another learning opportunity came through experiencing the real-world challenge of what to do with pieces that either (1) do not fit into our existing taxonomy or (2) fit in multiple categories.