This high school level physical science class gives students a solid foundation for other high school sciences.
The two priorities of this course are to prepare the student to successfully complete a future high school Chemistry and Physics 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.
In the first semester, we will be learning the fundamentals of chemistry, “the central science.” 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 will 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) using simple household materials and some specialized equipment. A complete list of materials will be provided before classes start.
In the second semester, we will be learning the basics of physics, “the fundamental science.” We will begin our study of physics with the study of motion and forces and then learn about energy, electricity, and magnetism. Physics is a quantitative science, so we will be learning to do simple calculations all along the way. During the semester, we will perform several labs and one project. The experiments can be completed at home (adult supervision is advised) using simple household materials and some specialized equipment. A complete list of materials will be provided before classes start.
Each week begins with class, then students are provided with guided notes, videos, 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 learned. The live class time is used to answer questions, preview new concepts, observe demonstrations, and reinforce concepts learned during the week, with lots of student interaction on the microphone….
Attendance is expected, but the live class is recorded and posted for about a month for students who need to miss occasionally. There is one creative project and several labs during each 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 are welcome as well.
Prerequisite: Completion or concurrent enrollment of Algebra 1.
- Scientific calculator
- 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: notes, homework, labs, and exams (which are a combination of multiple choice and short answer questions). In addition, any class handouts should be completed, scanned, and uploaded. All student work will be graded and returned within one week of the due date.
View a sample live class in this video.