“I love helping gifted students foster their creativity and curiosity to keep them asking the big questions and seeking answers in all of life’s adventures.” ~ Prof. Katie
Do you love science? Do you have questions about the natural world that you want answers to?
DNA, genes, evolution — these words may sound familiar, but do you really know how they all work? Or how they all fit into the natural world?
In this upper-middle school level class, students will have fun while learning all about life from the atomic level up to whole organisms. Young biology enthusiasts will get the opportunity to deepen their understanding of the world around them.
Each week will include a live webinar session with the chance to ask questions, as well as engaging labs and hands-on activities to foster deeper learning.
Topics covered include DNA structure and function, Mendel and Genetics, Darwin, Evolution, and the Kingdoms of Life. This class will prepare students for high school-level biology classes and further their knowledge about the natural world.
Note to Parents:
- This course is best for middle school-level students.
What to expect in the Required section in the classroom each week:
- Reading will be assigned from an online textbook — approximately one chapter a week.
- Questions, experiments, and hands-on activities will enrich student’s understanding of the material.
What to expect in the Highly Suggested & Optional sections in the classroom each week:
- To excite learners and to add depth to the subject matter, curated resources, including websites & videos, are provided.
- We ask students to actively participate in our class discussions — verbally and through text-chat.
What to expect during the weekly webinar:
- Weekly webinars are 50 minutes long. Webinars are recorded and are available for students with schedule conflicts.
- Primary instruction and guided discussions are provided during live webinars.
- Active Participation (via the microphone and chat) in online class discussions.
Note to Parents:
- There have been questions about how the topic of human reproduction and sexuality will be addressed in the biology class. Sexual reproduction will be discussed in contrast to asexual reproduction, and the fact that some animals have separate male and female sexes and some are hermaphroditic. The mechanics of human reproduction will not be discussed. We will only talk about how the male sex cell (sperm) fertilizes the female sex cell (egg) but how that happens in different plants or animals will not be discussed in detail, and not brought up in terms of humans.
Before taking this course, students should be able to:
- Read non-fiction at a solid 6th-grade level or above.
- Write a paragraph independently.
Students should be willing to:
- Actively participate (via the microphone) in the class discussion.
- Encourage class discussion by adding their questions/ideas in the chat window during the webinar.
- Respond with positive and encouraging comments on their classmates’ posts in the classroom forums.
Required books & materials:
- We will be using a free, online, text book Biology Concepts by the non-profit CK-12. http://www.ck12.org/book/CK-12-Biology-Concepts/
- Household items for home experiments.