This is a one-semester Earth Science course for students in grades 6-8. Fifth graders will be considered with prior instructor approval. When combined with Earth Science 1: From the Surface to the Core (first semester), these courses, which both include a lab component, will provide one middle school science credit. Both one-semester courses can be taken as a full-year course, Earth Science 1 and 2, for a reduced rate.
Earth Science 2: From the Surface to the Sky
You walk around on the surface of the earth every day, but how well do you know it? You look at the blue sky during the day and the star-filled sky at night, but do you know what’s out there? Join me in this semester long course, where we’ll discuss these topics and more. We’ll start on the surface of the earth and work our way out through the earth’s atmosphere, talking about the causes of weather. We will burst through the exosphere (the outermost layer of the atmosphere) and zoom off into space, where we will discover planets, moons, asteroids, stars, and galaxies. By the time you return to Earth, you’ll have a much better understanding of Earth – from the surface to the sky. This can be used as a stand-alone semester course or students can take the full year Earth Science course here.
The live classes are a combination of game-based reviews of topics from the previous week, introductions to the upcoming week, or case studies to support the course materials. Although it is always best for students to attend the live classes, I will post the recording of the class so that students who can’t attend can watch it later.
Lessons will be posted on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays and will include an online introduction as well as a section to read in the textbook. I use many audio and video recordings to help students learn the correct pronunciation of new terms as well as to reinforce content from the book.
Who should enroll?
Earth Science 2: From the Surface to the Sky is for curious students in grades 6–8 who have a strong desire to understand the Earth and its place in our solar system.
- High speed, broadband Internet
- Headset, microphone, and webcam (for live sessions)
- Streaming video capabilities to watch recorded lectures
Evaluation and Feedback
I use “learning checks” at the end of most lessons to assure both the student and teacher that students understand the concepts presented in the lessons. Many of the learning checks are automatically graded by the computer. For the essay questions and projects, I generally grade every day, sending feedback to the students to help them understand questions they may have missed. A final grade will be based on the scores from learning checks, participation in activities and experiments, and attendance and participation in live classes. A Certificate of Completion with a final grade will be given at the end of the course.
I welcome any and all communication from parents. My goal is to partner with you in your student’s education, so if at any time you have questions or concerns, my virtual door is open. I will send periodic progress reports to let you know how your student is doing.