Currently offering the following small, interactive online classes.
All classes April 3 through June 5 (Ten weeks)
Evolution – Grades 6-8
Tuesdays, 10-11am Pacific time
How many kinds of dogs have you seen in your life? How can there be so many different variations of one species? Where did life on Earth originate? What do humans understand about evolution? How does human understanding of evolution influence our technology and food? We will address these questions and many more in Evolution. In this class, we will study the theories, evidence, and processes behind the evolution of life on Earth. From the origins of life to the modern human use of evolution to create Genetically Modified Organisms, Evolution will explore scientific understanding of the progression of life from the beginning to now.
Meet Planet Earth – Grades 3-5
Wednesdays, 10-11am Pacific time
Why is the sky blue? How do hurricanes form? What causes landslides? Can continents move? Does weather change rocks? This fall, we will find answers to these questions and more. From the core of the earth to the edge of the atmosphere, we will explore the 127,56-kilometer-wide ball of rock hurtling through space at 108,000 kilometers an hour while spinning at 460 meters per second, which is composed of 32% iron, 30% oxygen, 15% silicon, 14% magnesium, and 7% other stuff. That ball of rock is surrounded by an atmosphere that contains 78% nitrogen and 21% oxygen, and has a hydrosphere with 1.4 billion cubic kilometers of water cycling between the solid, liquid, and gaseous stages. Plates grind together, lava resists pressure, air spins into storms. This world is a force of nature. Let’s take a tour of our planet!
Combo Writing – Grades 5-7 (FULL)
Mondays, 11-12pm Pacific time
Often a student is a perfectionist or simply doesn’t know how to turn their ideas into words and then get them on paper in a clear, comprehensible manner. This impedes not only their ability to produce schoolwork; it limits their ability to communicate with others. We’ll work on how to find personal writing style, how to turn ideas into prose, and how to give and receive constructive suggestions without melting down. This class includes a compacted version of How to Write a Research Paper as well as opportunities for fiction writing. The goal isn’t to create nobel prize winners or best selling authors… The goal is to make writing fun, or at least not painful.
World History – Grades 5-7 (FULL)
Mondays, 12:45-1:45pm Pacific time
Covering world history from a pan-global perspective. What happened and how does it all interconnect? How does each event influence later events, including our lives today? Starting from the beginning of humanity and continuing to the present. (For obvious reasons, this isn’t 100% comprehensive but we are responsive to student interest.)
U.S. Government and the Public Policy Process – Grades 6-12 (FULL)
Mondays, 2:45-3:45pm Pacific time
Join us as we explore the origin and structure of the United States government and how it has evolved to the present. We’ll discuss the historical context, the balance of power, and some of the basic economic concepts necessary to comprehend the current complexity of the system. This isn’t merely an overview of the three branches of government; we’ll be going in depth on how government impacts our lives for better and for worse, the role of the media and of the individual, and we’ll be comparing the US system to other systems around the world. Students will have a chance to hear from and/or interact with officials at all levels of government. This is a NONPARTISAN class. All students will be expected to focus on the policy process, and we will all remain respectful of differences of opinion at all times.