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Natural Science - Year II

Chat times for 2024-2025
11:00-12:30p ET/8:00a-9:30a PT

Dr. Christe Ann McMenomy

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Scholars Online Natural Science - Second Year9

Scholars Online Natural Science Year II

Course Overview

Natural Science is an integrated two-year high school science course provides the background in earth, life, and physical sciences necessary for success in more intensive college-preparatory courses in biology, chemistry, and physics. We learn the basic principles underlying both physical and life sciences, and how they support specialized areas such as geology, meteorology, astronomy, oceanography, zoology and botany. The core concepts of modern science are presented in their social and historical context, rather than as abstract theories isolated from each other or their historical roots, so that students can see both how the methodology of scientific investigation both shapes and limits theory development, as well as how scientific theories are shaped by social and cultural concerns. Students develop skills to apply experimental methods to observation and mathematical methods to data analysis and presentation.

The second year course surveys scientific developments from the seventeenth century to the current day. Historical topics include

Scientific topics include

Meetings: This course meets once a week in a ninety-minute live chat session using the Scholars Online HTML-based chat application (no audio)1 for discussion of material drawn from primarily from extensive website reading on the historical background and substance of modern scientific theories. Exercises and lab assignments will help students learn the practical application of the ideas discussed in class.

We will approach this mass of material through directed web reading, our live chat discussions, and through lab experiences. As we learn about the formation of modern science, we will try to put our concept of science into perspective by addressing these questions:

Students who satisfactorily complete the class will be prepared to continue high school level studies in astronomy, biology, chemistry, or physics.

Natural Science is designed to be an introductory course and assumes no specific science background. Simultaneous enrollment in, or completion of a general course in world history, is recommended but not required. Natural Science I is recommended but not required for enrollment in Natural Science II.

Browser Recommendation: I strongly that you use FireFox to attend class and use the Moodle, and avoid Chrome and Microsoft Edge, since Google and Microsoft chose not to implement the MathML standard in their browsers. We depend heavily on this math formatting tool in chat. Additionally, the Moodle is optimized for FireFox; some features are available in FireFox and not in other browsers.

Required Texts:

All reading assignments are based on web-accessible materials. There are several reasons for this.

For those of you who really want a textbook in hand, there are several book resources for optional supplemental reading are listed on the Text page, but they all suffer the limitations I mention above. Optional websites for more detailed exploration of individual topics are also given in each unit.

Labs and Lab Equipment:

Labs are optional. Students completing eighteen labs will receive lab credit. Students must have parental permission to perform labs in order to receive credit. The lab permission form and a list of required equipment and materials is available from the Lab Requirements page.

1I discuss my reasons for sticking to text-based chat in my May 29, 2020 Continuing in the Word blog entry "To Zoom or not to Zoom". The Scholars Online chat software runs on any browser and can handle most presentation forms — check out the Live Chats description page and Sample Chats to see how we include diagrams, equations, and even videos!

Need more information? Further details on this course are available at this site on course procedures and other frequently-asked questions.

Enrollment Notes:

Enrollment for the 2024-2025 academic year opens March 1, 2024. Please see the Scholars Online website to review tuition, fees, schedule, and textbooks for the upcoming course year.

To attend pre-session orientation to the Scholars Online Chat and Moodle platforms, be sure to enroll by August 20, 2024.