Meet BJU Press author, Elizabeth Lacy
Elizabeth Lacy's parents encouraged their children’s love for science by feeding their scientific interests. With four advanced degrees between them—including her mother’s molecular biology degree—science experiments frequented both kitchen and den with live cultures and Petri dishes, and scientific theories were tested wherever there was counter space.They subscribed to science magazines, took the children on field trips, and sent them to BJU Science Camp. So when the time came, Elizabeth followed her dream of becoming a biology teacher by pursuing a degree in biology with a chemistry minor.
While working toward her master’s degree in Secondary Education, Elizabeth was able to put her newly acquired knowledge to good use teaching for the BJU former Live Interactive Network Classroom (LINC). This position generated some part-time work for her in the BJU Press Secondary Authors department and made Elizabeth the perfect choice when a full-time science author position opened up.
Elizabeth’s diverse range of experience has proven invaluable in revising and updating the biology textbooks, particularly in the area of assigned labs. Having worked through many labs at home, she is well equipped to offer suggestions for completing experiments in the more limited facilities of a homeschool or small Christian school.
To this day, Elizabeth is grateful that her parents chose to oversee their children’s educations personally in order to provide a sound, biblical worldview. Their decision, in turn, has given Elizabeth her own opportunity to help lay a strong educational foundation in the lives of other Christian students.
Q) Was science always part of what you wanted to “be” when you grew up?
A) The first science-related job I wanted was to be a “disease detective” with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. When I was about 12, there was a major outbreak of Ebola virus in Africa. I would watch lots of stuff about it on the news and read about epidemiologists trying to figure out how to stop the spread of the virus and what its natural host was. By the time I started college, I wanted to teach biology.
Q) What were/are some of the main differences between your classroom studies and the practical use of your knowledge?
A) When I wrote papers or did presentations for classes, I knew that I had a primarily Christian audience, both of teachers and students. Although the vast majority of teachers and parents who use our textbooks are Christians, I can’t assume that every student is even though he may have a wonderful Christian family and background. To me, this makes it very important first to point the students to Christ as the only means of salvation and second to help regenerated students develop in Christlikeness—two of the major purposes of Christian education.
Q) What do you enjoy most about writing BJU Press textbooks?
A) I like having the opportunity to provide science textbooks from a biblical perspective. My desire is that the textbooks will be a means to encourage students in Christlikeness. I also hope they will get students involved in and excited about science.
Q) Do you have any insight you would like to pass on to the teachers who will be teaching from your textbook?
A) It is vital that the teachers know the Bible well enough to recognize unbiblical teaching in its different forms and the ways it influences contemporary thought. After all, the teachers must be able to help their students develop biblical discernment so that they, in turn, can stand firm in the face of the evolutionary theories that permeate today’s society. Students will encounter unbiblical teaching. They have to be equipped to recognize and combat error wherever they meet it.
Q) How would you recommend teachers encourage their students who are interested in biology and chemistry? How can they best show support?
A) Provide lots of opportunities for them to learn about science and do experiments.
- Consider having them enter projects in science fairs.
- Allow them to do extra experiments beyond those included in the textbook.
- Some students may even be able to take a science class at a local junior college.
- Get a subscription to a science journal or magazine and encourage them to read about science.
Q) How would you recommend that teachers encourage those students NOT interested in biology and chemistry?
A) Get excited about it yourself! If you’re excited about it, some of that excitement can naturally rub off on your students. Science may never become their favorite subject, but you can at least give them a sense of curiosity and an appreciation for God’s creation. If you are bored, your students will be bored too.
Also, encourage and help students to see the importance of what they are learning. They may someday need skills learned in science—critical thinking, making accurate measurements, drawing accurate diagrams or pictures—to serve God even if they don’t become scientists.
- Find a science-related topic that they are interested in, and capitalize on it. Use that to get them interested in other science topics. Have them design experiments involving that topic.
- Take students to science museums that provide lots of hands-on opportunities to learn about science.
- Pair students with similar science interests for an iron-sharpening-iron effect as they research different facets of the topic and compare their findings.