Earth Science Series 2 of 3: Our Dynamic Earth

Earth Science Series 2 of 3: Our Dynamic Earth


About this course


This is Part 2 of 3 in a full year (24 weeks) Earth Science series, lasting 10 weeks. Part 1 begins in September. 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.

Recommended Ages: 10-17

Levels: Class is offered in 2 levels. Level 1 is for younger students. Level 2 is for older students, or younger students who want more of a challenge.

Start Date: October 4, 2022. Course consists of 10 lessons. Students have four weeks after the last lesson is posted to complete the course. No live classes — complete the lessons on YOUR schedule.

Price: $200

Space Available:

In this session, students will be learning about the dynamic nature of this planet we call home- our lithosphere in particular. We’ll cover the theory of plate tectonics, continental drift, and sea floor spreading. We’ll then move into natural phenomenon such as earthquakes, volcanoes, and mountain building. Then, we’ll build upon our knowledge of rocks from session 1 and discuss weathering, soil formation, erosion, and deposition. We’ll end this session by going back in time- all the way back to the beginning of the earth 4.6 billion years ago. How do we know earth is this old? We’ll discuss rock dating and get hands on with it. The session will finish with a timeline of earth’s history, as we work our way through the geologic time scale.

I have created educational videos to accompany the course- some of these will be on site at various areas around the world. In fact, students will come with me (virtually!) to Iceland to study plate tectonics, volcanoes and geothermic features! 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 10 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).

This class is full. To be notified when it is offered again, please join our mailing list.

All labs are OPTIONAL! But if you would like to do them, here are the materials you will need each week.

Week 1
Water, Vinegar, Steel Wool, 3 clear containers with lids, couple tablespoons of gravel, Chalk- the kind that is calcium carbonate based (Prang Hygieia brand on Amazon is PERFECT!!), ½ cup of sand, Eyedropper, Straw or piece of paper you can roll up into a straw

Week 4
½ cup dishwashing liquid, 6 tablespoons salt, a container to mix it in, and something to stir with.

Week 5
Slinky toy, geometry compass, ruler

Week 7
1 Sheet of paper, A pair of Scissors, Timer
Two types of coins. You’ll need 10 of one type of coin (I’ll be using US quarters) and 10 of another type coin (I’ll be using US pennies). Make sure they are two different sizes.


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