Earth Science Series 1 of 3: Mapping, Minerals, and Rocks

Earth Science Series 1 of 3: Mapping, Minerals, and Rocks


About this course


This is Part 1 of 3 in a full year (24 weeks) Earth Science series. It’s a short 4 week class so you can determine if this learning style fits that of your child before you commit to the entire series. However, it is packed with information and is the foundation for our Earth Science studies. It will be followed up in October with the second part of the series, which will be 10 weeks. Then, in January, we will begin the final installment of the series which will be another 10 weeks. It is not required, but it is highly recommended that you take these classes in order.

Please note: If you enroll in Series 1, you are guaranteed space in the remaining earth science classes as long as you enroll before the deadline for each class. This first 4 week class is so you and your child can make sure our format is a good fit for your learning needs without you having to commit to a full year of classes.

Recommended Ages: 10-17 (Class is offered in two levels)

Start Date: September 6. Class consists of 4 lesson plans. Students have 2 weeks after the last lesson is posted to complete the course. No live classes- do the lesson plans on YOUR schedule.

Price: $80

Space Available: This class is not currently open for enrollment. Enrollment will open in mid-June 2022. Please join our mailing list to be notified when enrollment opens.

This will not be a “fluff” class, or an “overview”- it is an intensive, science heavy class where students will learn all of the major foundations of Earth Science, backed up with hands on labs. There will be no surface skimming in this class! We’re going to go deep- all the way to the core! 🙂

In this session, students will be learning what Earth Science is and the branches of science that pertain to it. We’ll learn how scientists map our earth, and get hands on with doing it ourselves! We will then discuss earth chemistry- elements and states of matter. The section will finish up with a study on minerals, the 3 types of rocks (igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary), and the rock cycle. Lots of hands on labs!

I have created educational videos to accompany the course- some of these will be on site at various areas around the world. Each week, there will be a choice of hands on projects for students to complete to reinforce their knowledge of the material.

This is an academically advanced class. Younger students 10-12 should usually be placed in Level 1. Students age 13 and up, or younger students who want more of a challenge, should be placed in Level 2. Level 2 students will have more in depth homework.

LESSON PLANS: This is a 4 week class. Students have 2 weeks after the last class is posted to complete all work. Weekly lesson plans are posted on Tuesdays by 5pm Pacific Time. There is no “live” component to this class, which allows students to work at their own pace. This is a great option for busy students who need to work on their own schedule, and students who live all over the world and can’t easily coordinate time zones.

Lesson plans are a combination of power point, graphics, video, and audio. Each slide is fully narrated for students who prefer to hear material read to them. There is no textbook for this course.

DISCUSSION:We offer an “open talk” forum where students can discuss their lessons and have fun getting to know their classmates!

ASSIGNMENTS: Material is the same for both levels, it’s the depth of the assignments that is the main difference. Most weeks, students get to choose from a list of exciting and fun hands on projects to let them really dig deep into topics in the lesson plan that interest them the most! The goal is to allow students to explore the topic while allowing their creativity to flow. We encourage out of the box thinking! Generally projects can be submitted in any format of the student’s choosing…written, presentation, poster, stop motion animation, minecraft, song, skit…we’ve seen it all!! Check out our facebook page for examples of student projects. All students receive instructor feedback on submitted work.

QUIZZES: Online quizzes are available each week as a tool for students to see how well they understand the material. Format is generally multiple choice, matching, true/false, and fill in the blank.

GRADES: All students will have access to our online learning system where they can view their lesson plan and assignments, take optional quizzes, access our discussion boards, submit assignments, and view instructor feedback on those assignments. You have the option of having your student’s assignments graded or not. In a given semester, you choose whether you want all or none of that student’s classes to receive grades (for example, if they are taking 3 classes, all 3 classes must be either graded or not graded). You can change the option the following semester. Graded students will be required to take the weekly quiz and will receive a number grade for their assignments in addition to feedback. They will also receive a final report card that you can print and keep for your records. Please note: All quizzes and some homework assignments that require an online “quiz” like entry will receive a grade.

TIME: In general, expect 1-1.5 hours to work through the lesson plan each week, and an additional 2-5 hours working on assignments (it really depends what assignment your child chooses to do and how they manage their time).

These materials will allow students to follow along with the in-lesson labs. They are OPTIONAL, and not required to complete the work. Students who do not have materials can simply follow along with me in the video.


Hot water, salt, flat dish or pan (like a cookie sheet)
Mineral Samples : You can use any brand, but they should be labeled so you can identify them
Your kit may should come with testing equipment. If not, get as many of these items together as you can: -Rough white porcelain tile (not glazed) -Glass -Steel nail -Copper- A US penny from 1982 or older will work for this
Wax paper/foil, butter, candle wax

Rock Samples: You can use any brand, but they should be labeled so you can identify them and include samples of igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary rocks.

Week 4

LAB 1: Clear jar with lid (tall and narrow is best), 3 tablespoons each of dirt, small gravel, and large gravel, water.

LAB 2: Some flour, quinoa or cous cous, raw popcorn kernels, salt or sugar, coffee, raw beans like pinto, kidney, etc…, a ruler that measures millimeters.

LAB 3: ½ cup of water, salt


Our course begins with the first step for generating great user experiences: understanding what people do, think, say, and feel. In this module, you’ll learn how to keep an open mind while learning.

Total numbers of students in course