At the beginning of this academic year, Dr. George Matzko, who taught on the science faculty at BJU for 39 years, along with his wife, Darlene, who also served on the staff at BJU for many years, began a trek that took them from Charlotte to San Diego as BJU’s new Science Ambassadors.
With a one-year trial grant from the University, the couple started paving their trail by sending out an email blast to churches, Christian schools and homeschool co-ops.
Before long, the Matzkos had received more than 70 requests asking for BJU’s Science Ambassadors to visit.
The Matzkos were able to speak at 40 schools and churches, plus conferences and fellowships, racking up 193 separate speaking engagements during last semester alone.
Dr. Matzko presents topics ranging from the incredible properties of water to atmospheric pressures, the electron and scientific pioneers. Whether in church on Sunday or in school on Monday, he doesn’t just lecture on science; he displays it live, with around 35 different demonstrations.
The Matzkos said that people are always lining up to ask about the biblical and scientific responses to questions they have heard. “[I am] trying to help encourage them and let them know that there really are scientific answers to these questions,” Dr. Matzko said. “They don’t have to be intimidated by what they see on TV or in the media.”
Darlene Matzko said, “One of our goals is to let the schools know that Bob Jones [University] has an excellent science program.”
The Matzkos found that many within the Christian schools they visited knew of BJU’s fine arts programs—through the drama teams and vocal and instrumental groups—but didn’t know of its equally excellent science department.
Dr. Matzko added that BJU isn’t competing with other Christian universities to attract science majors.
“[Students’] parents are convinced that to get a real science education or a real engineering education you have to go to a local, state school,” Matzko said.
The Matzkos’ first semester of traveling didn’t cost the University, as they were able to support themselves without relying on a university grant. With no cost to book BJU’s Science Ambassadors, they ask only for lodging, meals and a freewill offering.
The couple led mission trips to Australia and Nova Scotia for 32 years.
Darlene Matzko said, “The Lord really just prepared us from all the times on the missions teams, living in different people’s homes and sleeping in different beds all the time.”
The Matzkos had actually planned to retire to Australia when he finished teaching. However, because of government regulations in that country, they weren’t able to. So, Darlene Matzko said they went to plan B.
After all their years leading mission trips, Dr. Matzko had amassed around 40 sermons about science that he presented in churches and public schools throughout Australia. And now, he is presenting them all across the United States.
The Matzkos have already hit the road again this semester, with 14 churches and schools to stop at along the way. However, they are always looking for more churches, schools and homeschool groups to visit.
If you think that your home church or high school would enjoy learning about science, let them know about BJU’s first Science Ambassadors. They can contact the Matzkos by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.