Earth Science Series 3 of 3: The Hydrosphere and Atmosphere

Earth Science Series 3 of 3: The Hydrosphere and Atmosphere


About this course

This is Part 3 of 3 in a full year (24 weeks) Earth Science series, lasting 10 weeks. Part 1 begins each September. Part 2 begins each October. It is not required, but it is highly recommended that you take these classes in order.

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

Start Date: This course is not currently open for enrollment. Class consists of 10 lesson plans. Students have 2 weeks after the last lesson plan is posted to complete the course. No live classes- do the lesson plans on YOUR schedule.

Price: $200

Space Available: This course is not currently open for enrollment. Please join our mailing list to be notified when it is open again.

In this final installment of our Earth Science Series, students will be learning about our hydrosphere and atmosphere. We’ll cover the water cycle, storms, climate (including global warming), our freshwater surface and groundwater supplies, and basic oceanography. Then we’ll finish up with lessons on Earth’s resources, and the human impact.

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 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 quizzes, labs, and online assessments automatically receive a grade in the system. You have the option of having your student’s individual projects graded or not (all assignments receive instructor feedback). Report cards are issued at the end of the course- one for ungraded students and one for graded students. These mean nothing other than for your own records or reporting purposes. We do not maintain copies.

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).

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

Week 1
Lab 1: Salt, fine sand or dirt, gravel, tall clear container, water, spoon
Lab 2: Water, 3 small containers about the same size (You’ll be filling the bottom with about 2 inches (5cm) of the following: clay, sand, and gravel
Week 2
Lab 1: 2 clear containers. Beakers would be GREAT!! About 1 cup each of gravel and sand. A precise tool for measuring liquids, such as a beaker or graduated cylinder. Food coloring.
Lab 2: You’ll reuse your container with the gravel and water in it. A crayon or colored pencil.
Lab 3: Container with water colored dark from your food coloring. Paper towel.

Week 3
Two 2 liter plastic bottles with caps. Boiling water.

Week 4
Lab 1: Flashlight, pencil, piece of paper.
Worksheet: One red, one blue, and one purple marker, crayon, or colored pencil

Week 5
Lab 1: A deep, wide, clear container. Something like a clear storage bin will work. A clear jar or juice glass, about half as tall as your container. Food coloring.
Lab 2: A balloon and a fluorescent bulb. This is the kind I used and it worked great!

Week 6
Paper towel roll or anything kind of like that (a long cylinder) you have available.


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.

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