Geology & Earth Science


    “I loved this course! The webinar sessions were amazing! I met many new friends, and I was so intrigued with all the subjects we covered! Professor Becky did an amazing job, and I can’t wait to take more classes from her! Geology is such a dynamic field, and this class has taught me so much more about it. I loved everything about this class! If I had to change something, I would make this class longer so we could learn even more!…I loved the student presentations! It is such a great aspect of Athena’s courses!” ~Student A.D.


    Coming Soon

    InstructorProf. Becky Mentzer Riethmeier
    Content LevelsGrades 5-6 • Upper Elementary
    Grades 6-7 • Middle School
    Course Length16 Weeks
    Live Webinars Held OnMondays, 1:00 - 1:50 PM Pacific - 1/22/24 - 5/18/24

    Have you ever wondered about what the ground beneath your feet is made of? Or what makes the weather? Or where volcanoes come from?

    Earth Science explains all of these things!

    Geology and Earth Science will enable students to engage their curiosity about the physical and natural world in which we live, including the atmosphere, hydrosphere, biosphere, magnetosphere, the different layers of the earth, and how they fit together to make the world around us.

    While exploring the types of rocks and minerals found on planet earth, students will learn about the geologic forces which have shaped the earth and created these rocks and minerals, developing a deeper understanding of the extent of geologic time and our place in it.

    Geology rocks!

    What to expect in the Required section in the classroom each week:

    • Complete a reading from the textbook (approximately 3 sections a week) or a related website.
    • Participate in a weekly forum, either sharing their reflections from the reading, or answering questions about it.
    • Complete an experiment from the lab workbook, or another experiment recommended by the instructor.

    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.
    • Minecraft Activities.
    • Occasional science experiments.
    • Our last week is “student presentation week” where students learn about a geology topic of their choice and teach their classmates about it.

    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.

    Before taking this course, students should be able to: 

    • Read 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:

    • Focus on Middle School Geology Student Textbook 3rd Edition by Rebecca W. Keller, Ph.D.
      ISBN: 978-1936114849
    • Focus on Middle School Geology Laboratory Workbook 3rd Edition by Rebecca W. Keller, Ph.D.
      ISBN: 978-1936114863
    • Please preview the Geology Textbook and Laboratory Workbook: