This live online environmental science class teaches students not only about earth science, but also about the human impact on our earth. I specifically plan projects so students get an opportunity to reach out to members of their community who can teach the student and make connections that will hopefully continue even after the class ends as the student continues to find ways to participate in their community.
Students will work through a chapter each week, with questions to guide their study in each section and a quiz and lab to gauge comprehension. Three to five chapters will comprise a unit and will culminate in either a unit exam or a project. There are 21 chapters in 6 units with a final at the end of the course. We will meet live weekly for 1 hour to discuss that week’s topics and any questions the students have. Students will interact with their classmates with weekly discussions and collaboration on various assignments. Most students spend 3-5 hours per week working on class material.
Who should enroll?
This class is for 8th to 12th graders. There is very little math, but students shouldn’t be intimidated by completing labs.
High speed, broadband Internet
Sound card and microphone (for live sessions)
Streaming video capabilities to watch recorded lectures
Evaluation and Feedback
I believe homework and projects are the best tool for students to practice the skills they are learning and grade homework/provide feedback so they learn as they continue working toward mastery. Assignments are generally graded within 5 days of submission. Grades are based on a combination of homework, quizzes, labs, and exams/projects. Students are also given a participation grade to account for timeliness of completing assignments, class participation, and effort. Communication will take place as needed through email and announcements and responses to student messages are generally within a few hours.
Once registered, you will receive a welcome email within 24 hours. Throughout the course parents will only be contacted if issues arise and at midterm and close of the course as I try to encourage students to take ownership of the class and contact me directly if they have any concerns. My website is kristenlauria.com.
Note: An interactive version of this book is available through iBooks and may be purchased instead of the physical book if that is preferred.
A lab equipment list will be sent after enrollment.
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Kristen Lauria is a lifelong student who has become the teacher. In second grade she was found stealing teacher’s editions from her public-school classroom to teach her younger best friend at home. She’s since progressed to buying her materials legally, but her love of teaching hasn’t wavered. She spent 4 years in the Navy learning about nuclear reactors and went on to finish her BS in Physics with a minor in Math graduating Cum Laude. She also was inducted into the physics honor society, Sigma Pi Sigma, having attained a GPA in Physics of over 3.0. She has her MS in Teaching, Learning, and Curriculum from Drexel University and is certified to teach physics and chemistry in the state of Pennsylvania.
In addition to teaching for Aim Academy, she also homeschools her own 2 children in middle school, counsels her adult stepchildren in what adulting really means, and helps her husband with restoring their 200-year-old farmhouse one slow-moving project at a time. She also runs her own tutoring company and teaches at her local homeschool co-op. In her free time (which is rather scarce at the moment) she loves to read and spend time outside enjoying God’s creation. The teacher is now becoming the student as well, as Kristen is beginning a PhD program at Lehigh University to further hone her teaching skills and improve the integration of technology to bring the material alive for her students.
She hopes to share her love of math and science with all of her students here at Aim Academy. While she can’t change the difficulty of what students learn in her classes, she will do her best to make them approachable and interesting. She hopes to show her students how everything they will encounter in their textbooks will apply to their own lives; not just in the future, but today.