Have you wanted to give your student a solid introduction to the high school sciences? That’s the purpose of a physical science course. In this one-semester course, we will be learning the fundamentals of chemistry, “the central science”. The two priorities of this course are to prepare the student to successfully complete a future high school Chemistry course and to expand the student’s appreciation for the amazing complexity and wonder of our physical world.
We will be learning the inquiry process by asking questions that stimulate students to think critically and to formulate their own questions. Observing, classifying, using numbers, plotting graphs, measuring, inferring, predicting, formulating models, interpreting data, hypothesizing, and experimenting will all help students to build knowledge and communicate what they have learned. We’ll be supporting our inquiry with hands-on labs, virtual labs, and a creative project. The experiments can be completed at home (adult supervision is advised) and most use simple household materials. A complete list of material will be provided before classes start.
Each week begins with class, then students are provided with a pre-recorded video and textbook and web-based reading assignments. Students then take electronic homework assignments on each lesson in the textbook to check their understanding of the material that they have studied. The live class time is used to answer questions, preview new concepts, and reinforce concepts learned during the week, with lots of student interaction on the microphone.
Attendance is encouraged, but not required as the live class is recorded and posted for student availability for about a month afterward. There is one creative project and four additional labs during the semester. Occasional worksheets are assigned for students to do by hand, scan, and submit, and a comprehensive test is given for every 2-3 textbook chapters.
Who should enroll?
Students should be in grades 9 or 10. Advanced 8th graders will be considered.
Prerequisite: Pre-algebra or 8th grade math
- High speed, broadband Internet
- Sound card and microphone (for live sessions)
- Streaming video capabilities to watch recorded lectures
Evaluation and Feedback
Students will be graded on the following: homework, labs, and exams (which are a combination of multiple choice and short answer questions). These items are done on the course website. In addition, any class handouts should be completed, scanned, and uploaded. All student work will be graded and returned within one week of submission.
Grades are perpetually available for students and parents to view. Student conferences will be available mid-semester. Parents may contact me throughout the course via the Canvas website.
View a sample live class in this video.