Take an old jelly jar. Soak it in water to remove the label. Once it is clean, line the insides with old newspaper. Take 6-8 kidney beans and insert them between the newspaper and the sides of the glass jar. Pour water into the jar. Once the newspaper is saturated, pour out any excess water. Place the jar in an area that is cool and well lit. Be careful to monitor the moisture level of the newspaper, adding water as necessary. Record your observations in your science log each day. Be sure to note the day of observation, the length of the seeds on that day, when the roots burst from the seed, when the leaves shoot, as well as the height of the seedling as it grows. At the end of two weeks you will be required to bring your jar of seedlings and your journal to make a presentation in class.
*Digital photos can be used to enhance your presentation and your final report.
Education is a precious commodity which prepares us for assuming the responsibilities of the world that we will inherit. According to one education reformer, education is more about lighting a fire than about filling a pail. The ultimate goal is to ignite the student’s passion for learning so that they will learn to teach themselves. However, it is not freely available to children everywhere. According to the United Nations (2017) “More than 60 million primary school-aged children will be out of school – roughly the same number as are out of school today” if inequities in sustainable development are not tackled.
In light of the opening assignment we can appreciate the benefits that we have gained from education and the necessary tools that facilitate learning. Most of us can remember the first science experiment from school very well. For those of us who live in the city, seeing how life emerges from an ordinary seed is an exciting process. In the Judeo-Christian tradition we are told that all life is contained in its seed type in order to reproduce the life within it. As human beings we are created to be fruitful, to multiply, to replenish the earth, and to have dominion over everything in it (Genesis 1: 26-28). Having dominion over the earth speaks to our ultimate occupation as being “Lifekeepers.” Lifekeepers have responsibility as the guardians of life; the life that we have been given, and the life of the elements in the earth that protect and sustain life – that is, the earth, the water, the air, the animals, the trees, and all that pertains to life.
With our capacity to create, we have become quite innovative with the way that we fulfill our occupation as Lifekeepers. For example, we learned to do subsistence farming, recognizing that instead of waiting for the trees to produce food at will, we can select seeds from the foods that we love and develop methods of increasing the supply of what we love. Also, we have learned to manage the environment to provide shelter that is suitable for our existence. What is the purpose of such a structure? It is to keep one safe from predators and also to provide shelter from the elements – sun, rain, hail, and more. With technology and the development of cities, structures have become more elaborate to match the purpose for which they are designed.
So as Lifekeepers, our love for life and people propel us to harness the resources in our environment and to maximize its usefulness. As guardians of life, we are called to innovate in living and in business in the same way that we were commanded to live. We are to reproduce, make more of what is good and enjoyable for living, and minimize the effects of the predatory weeds and harmful elements that are produced. The question for us is this: How can this be achieved by all without infringing on the rights of others to exercise their rights to life and stewardship too. The answer through the eyes of a child is this: take turns!
Recently, I observed twins as they illustrated this lesson. They were driving a go-cart in their neighbourhood. I observed them as they drove along the road leading to the main road. These boys were driving alone, but there is no doubt that an adult was awaiting them at one end of their route. As they come off the hill approaching the main road, the passenger hopped out and walked out to check the intersection to see if it was safe for his brother to come out and turn the go-cart. If clear, he signaled to the driver to proceed. The driver makes a wide turn and positions the go-cart to return up the hill. Then they switch positions – the driver becomes the passenger and the passenger becomes the driver. There is no arguing. They have been taught how to care for what has been given to them. Each will have an opportunity to enjoy it, each will have an opportunity to lead.
These brothers have learned the fundamental lesson required to be a Lifekeeper – respect. Respect for their parents’ authority, respect for the power of their toy, respect for their neighbours and the times that they ride this toy, and most of all respect for each other. Our occupation as Lifekeepers is no less important than these brothers learning to respect each other, their parents and their neighbours as they enjoy themselves. We have to learn the rules of the creation. We have to manage the environment so that it will produce more under our innovations and interventions than would occur naturally. And, we have to respect our neighbours’ rights to have a turn at the controls.
Today, will you consider how your work, your hobby, or other pursuits can contribute to your occupation as a Lifekeeper? Commit to sharing your idea with a brother or a sister. Keep each other accountable so that we all can win.