2016-2017 Science Courses

Science Courses Online

Looking for interesting, engaging yet academic science courses for your student?

My courses will provide a solid foundation in high school sciences and will prepare motivated students for SAT II subject tests or CLEP tests in Biology, Chemistry, Physics, or Anatomy and Physiology (new online course this year).

For motivated students interested in taking the AP Physics 1 exam, I provide prep resources and will work with you to prepare for the exam.

I also offer an Intro to Chemistry and Physics course for 7th-9th graders.

More course information is available on the website or here and you can message me any questions you have.

Registration is open and courses fill quickly. To register visit: Vicki Dincher’s Science Courses

Anatomy & Physiology

Anatomy__PhysiologyLooking for a high school anatomy & physiology course for your high school student?

WebEx Time Slot: This class is asynchronous and will meet as needed by student request. I will have regular “office hours” for student help. The time slot is listed as Monday’s from 11-Noon EST but may change.

Cost: $599 (does not include text or lab supplies)

Grades: 11-12 grade

Prerequisites: Biology and Chemistry

Course Length: 34 weeks

Course Begins:  Thursday, August 25, 2016

Course Ends: Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Required Text: Advanced Biology: The Human Body, 2nd Edition by Apologia Press, the Kaplan Anatomy Coloring Book and recommended: Advanced Biology: The Human Body Student Notebook

Course Goal: Following this course, the motivated student will be well prepared to succeed in college level anatomy and physiology courses taken by most nursing and pre-med/vet majors.

Web-ex Lectures/Discussions: All course lectures are pre-recorded and available for students to playback at their convenience.  Live discussion sessions will be held as needed.  Any live discussion will be recorded for those unable to attend the live discussion times. Regular WebEx “office hours” will be listed once class begins (student time zones will determine office hours) for homework help.

Course Description: This is a college-prep course that provides an advanced study of the human body’s 11 organ systems. The course will primarily be conducted on a learning management system (LMS) called Canvas. Canvas is very easy for a new user to learn, and I will help students become oriented to the platform. Through Canvas, students will access all of their requirements, video lectures, upload and submit assignments, take their exams, engage in threaded discussions, view my feedback, etc.

Lab Activities: Labs are comprised of microscopic study of human tissues and dissection. Most labs will be supplemented by virtual web-based study.

Student Evaluation and Feedback: Students will be graded on homework, labs, and exams. The homework will be a combination of multiple choice and short answer questions done on the course website and handouts to be completed, scanned, and uploaded. All student work will be graded and returned within one week of submission (although usual turn-around is 48 hours). All homework is due on the Canvas course website by Friday evenings, midnight EST, unless otherwise noted.

Communications: Course communication occurs through the message system on the course website. I am also available to students through WebEx by appointment.

Technical needs: To access course materials students will need broadband, high speed Internet and their own e-mail account. This course will be run on the learning platform called Canvas. Canvas is a user-friendly, powerful platform where parents can be linked to their students and access student material, see grades, and contact the instructor at any time. A scanner is required so that students can scan their completed work and upload it to the website for grading.

Instructor Qualifications: I have a B.S. and M.S. in biology with a minor in mathematics. I have experience teaching at both the secondary and college levels. From 1995-present, I have been teaching biology, chemistry, and physics classes (both first year and AP levels) at several home school co-ops and online since 2010. I’ve homeschooled my own four children who are now all college educated and employed in science fields. My own children used online learning as part of our homeschool, so I’m familiar with the unique challenges and opportunities online homeschooling presents both from student and instructor perspectives. I am passionate about sharing the wonders of science with my students.

Who should apply: Students should be in 11th or 12th grade.  Students must have completed high school level biology and chemistry courses. Also, online learning requires a great degree of organizational and time management skills on the part of the student. So students who are capable of taking responsibility for initiating interaction with the instructor if confused or discouraged should register.

To apply or ask a question regarding this class, email Vicki at vdincher@comcast.net

Pre-AP Biology

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERALooking for a high school biology course for your high school student?

I have years of experience teaching biology to homeschoolers, both first year and advanced courses. Look over the info for my class and please let me know if you have any questions.

Pre-AP Biology

Section A – High School Credit Only

Section B – CLEP or SAT II subject test Focus

Instructor: Vicki Dincher vdincher@comcast.net

WebEx Time Slot: Tuesday’s 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM EST

Cost: $599 (does not include text or lab supplies)

Grades: 9-11 grade

Prerequisites: none

Course Length: 34 weeks

Course Begins:  Thursday, August 25, 2016 (first live discussion Tuesday, August 30, 2016)

Course Ends: Tuesday, May 16, 2017 (last live discussion Tuesday, May 9, 2017)

Test Readiness: Following this course, the motivated student will be well prepared for the SAT II Biology subject test, Biology CLEP test, and/or a future AP Biology course. Success on these exams is dependent on student aptitude and desire/willingness to prepare for the exam. Students are not required to take a standardized test at the conclusion of the course but should desire a strong biology foundation.

Required Texts Sections A & B: Biology: Exploring Life by Campbell, Williamson & Heyden; published by Pearson Prentice Hall. ISBN: 0132509253 or 0132508826

Additional Required Text Section B: Sterling CLEP Biology Practice Questions, ISBN-13: 978-1500309404 or ISBN-10: 1500309400 and Princeton Review’s Cracking the SAT II Biology E/M Subject Test, ISBN-13: 978-0804125628 or ISBN-10: 0804125627 both available through Amazon

Course Goal: Following this course, the motivated student will be well prepared to succeed in a future AP biology course and will have covered all concepts necessary to succeed on an SAT II Biology (M or E) or CLEP exam. Success on these exams is dependent on student aptitude and desire/willingness to prepare for the exam.

Web-ex Lectures/Discussions: All course lectures are pre-recorded and available for students to playback at their convenience. Two to four times a month, live problem solving and discussion sessions will be held (recorded lecture should be watched prior to problem solving session). These sessions will be designed to provide students assistance with concepts and math problems assigned for homework   Students are not required to “meet” at the scheduled discussion time, but it is encouraged. Scheduled discussion times will be recorded for those unable to attend the live discussion times. Regular WebEx “office hours” will be listed once class begins (student time zones will determine office hours) for individual or group homework help.

Course Description: Science is a way of knowing, a process for gaining knowledge and understanding of the natural world. This class places emphasis on concept understanding and analysis, discovering biology’s connections to other scientific disciplines, and using scientific and laboratory skills. The science of biology focuses on the study of living things by examining the five fundamental concepts of cellular biology, genetics, ecology, evolution, and organism physiology. Students will learn scientific writing skills and also examine current biological issues in preparation for CLEP or SAT subject testing and future AP Biology coursework.

Lab Activities: The exciting study of living organisms will be enhanced with approximately twelve hands-on experiments designed to complement the core concepts being studied and fulfilling the lab requirement for a high school science credit. These experiments are designed to be effectively completed at home using household materials when possible, but will also include online investigations which use the internet to engage in the modern world of scientific research, several specimen dissections, and detailed microscopic studies (microscopes strongly recommended, but not required). Suppliers for materials required for experiments not using common household materials will be provided with the course syllabus. A vital skill required for success in college science courses is effective scientific writing. To that end, instruction in the process of writing, revising, and completing a formal lab report will be included. Collaborative research will allow students to work together on the development of a Wiki presentation or some other creative media as way of demonstrating and sharing knowledge gained in a topic of their choice during the second semester of the course.

Student Evaluation and Feedback: Students will be graded on homework, labs, discussions, and exams. The homework will be a combination of multiple choice and short answer questions done on the course website and handouts to be completed, scanned, and uploaded. All student work will be graded and returned within one week of submission (although usual turn-around is 48 hours). All homework is due on the Canvas course website by Friday evenings, midnight EST, unless otherwise noted.

Communications: Course communication occurs through the message system on the course website. I am also available to students through WebEx by appointment.

Technical needs: To access course materials students will need broadband, high speed Internet and their own e-mail account. This course will be run on the learning platform called Canvas. Canvas is a user-friendly, powerful platform where parents can be linked to their students and access student material, see grades, and contact the instructor at any time. Weekly assignments are downloaded as PDF files from the website. A scanner is required so that students can scan their completed work and upload it to the website for grading.

Time Commitment: The qualified student will spend 5-7 hours per week on this class. This accounts for reading the assigned texts, answering multiple-choice questions, writing short essays and discussing class work and reading assignments with others in the forums.

Course Priorities: The number one priority of this course for students in section B is to prepare them to successfully complete the CLEP and/or SAT Biology (M/E) exams and to prepare them to take a future AP Biology course. This will be done through complete presentation of testable content, providing review materials during the second half of the course, explaining testing strategies, and providing scored practice exams. The number two priority for all students is to expand their appreciation for the amazing complexity, wonder, and diversity of the living organisms that share our planet.

Major Projects: Three projects will be required in this course. Students will demonstrate their understanding of the living cell by choosing from several different project ideas. Students will demonstrate their understanding of genetics by creating a genetics story. And students will work in groups to build a Wiki online demonstrating their understanding of evolution and intelligent design by researching both viewpoints and presenting the evidence on the class wiki.

Who should apply: Students should be in 9th, 10th or 11th grade. The well-prepared applicant also has completed a physical science and life science course in the middle school years or at the very least has had some prior instruction in high school prep chemistry – specifically basic atomic structure, bonding, chemistry of water, and acids/bases (although these concepts will be taught). Also, online learning requires a great degree of organizational and time management skills on the part of the student. So students who are ready to improve in this area and are capable of taking responsibility for initiating interaction with the instructor if confused or discouraged should ask for an application.

To ask a question regarding this class, email Vicki at vdincher@comcast.net

Pre-AP Chemistry

Science-symbolLooking for a high school chemistry course for your homeschooler?

I have years of experience teaching science. Look over the information for my chemistry course and please let me know if you have any questions.

Pre-AP Chemistry                   

Section A – High School Credit Only

Section B – CLEP or SAT II subject test Focus

Instructor: Vicki Dincher vdincher@comcast.net

WebEx Time Slot: Wednesday’s 4:00 to 5:00 PM EST

Cost: $599 (does not include text or lab supplies)

Grades: 10-12 grade

Prerequisites: Successful completion of Algebra 1

Course Length: 34 weeks

Course Begins:  Thursday, August 25, 2016 (first live discussion Wednesday, August 31, 2016)

Course Ends: Tuesday, May 16, 2017 (last live discussion Wednesday, May 10, 2017)

Test Readiness: Following this course, the motivated student will be well prepared for the SAT II Chemistry subject test, Chemistry CLEP test, and/or a future AP Chemistry course.  Success on these exams is dependent on student aptitude and desire/willingness to prepare for the exam. Students are not required to take a standardized test at the conclusion of the course

Required Texts:

  • Sections A:
    • Exploring Creation with Chemistry 3rd ed. (Apologia)
  • Section B:
    • Exploring Creation with Chemistry 3rd ed. (Apologia)
    • Chemistry: The Central Science 10th ed. (Pearson-Prentice Hall) ISBN 10: 0131096869
    • Sterling CLEP Chemistry Practice Questions: High Yield CLEP Chemistry Questions

Web-ex Lectures/Discussions: All course lectures are pre-recorded and available for students to playback at their convenience.  Two to four times a month, live problem solving and discussion sessions will be held (recorded lecture should be watched prior to problem solving session).  These sessions will be designed to provide students assistance with concepts and math problems assigned for homework   Students are not required to “meet” at the scheduled discussion time, but it is encouraged. Scheduled discussion times will be recorded for those unable to attend the live discussion times. Regular WebEx “office hours” will be listed once class begins (student time zones will determine office hours) for individual or group homework help.

Course Description: Chemistry is the study of connections between the everyday world and the molecular world, the structure and interactions of matter. It examines the smallest components of matter (atoms) and how atoms bond with each other to combine elements into compounds. Then it looks at chemical reactions: how energy is involved, the transfer of electrons or hydrogen ions, and factors that affect reaction rate. This course provides students with an understanding of chemical principles and skills that are needed for college. The study of chemistry includes laboratory investigation, problem solving activities, textbook study, lecture, and class discussion. The structure and properties of matter, organic and inorganic chemistry, energy, thermochemistry, nuclear reaction, electrochemistry, acids, bases and salts and chemical bonding make up the content of this class. This class includes laboratory work and written lab reports.  Interested students are encouraged to take the SAT II in Chemistry and/or the Chemistry CLEP test upon completion of this course and will be prepared for future AP Chemistry coursework.

Labs: Approximately twelve hands-on experiments will augment the core concepts studied and fulfill the lab requirement for a high school science credit.  These experiments can be completed at home (adult supervision is advised).  Most use household materials or supplies readily available from homeschool science companies.  A full list will be provided with the course syllabus.

Scientific Writing: Effective scientific writing is a vital skill required for success in college science courses.  To that end, instruction in the process of writing a formal physics lab report will be given and two to three formal lab write-ups will be required.

Student Evaluation and Feedback: Students will be graded on homework, labs, discussions, and exams. The homework will be a combination of multiple choice and short answer questions done on the course website and handouts to be completed, scanned, and uploaded. All student work will be graded and returned within one week of submission. All homework is due on the Canvas course website by Friday evenings, midnight EST, unless otherwise noted.

Communications: Course communication occurs through the message system on the course website. I am also available to students through WebEx by appointment.

Technical needs: To access course materials students will need broadband, high speed Internet and their own e-mail account. This course will be run on the learning platform called Canvas. Canvas is a user-friendly, powerful platform where parents can be linked to their students and access student material, see grades, and contact the instructor at any time. Weekly assignments are downloaded as PDF files from the website. A scanner is required so that students can scan their completed work and upload it to the website for grading.

Time Commitment: The qualified student will spend 5-7 hours per week on this class. This accounts for reading the assigned texts, answering review questions, calculating practice problems, hands-on lab experiments, and discussing class work and reading assignments with others in the forums.

Work due dates: All homework is due via file upload on the course website by Saturday evenings, midnight EST. The course syllabus and weekly class updates will be on the course website by Sunday morning each week.

Instructor Qualifications: I has a B.S. and M.S. in biology with a minor in mathematics. I have experience teaching at both the secondary and college levels. From 1995-present, I have been teaching biology, chemistry, and physics classes (both first year and AP levels) at several home school co-ops and online since 2010. I’ve homeschooled my own four children who are now all college educated and employed in science fields. My own children used online learning as part of our homeschool, so I’m familiar with the unique challenges and opportunities online homeschooling presents both from student and instructor perspectives. I am passionate about sharing the wonders of science with my students.

Course Priorities: The number one priority of this course is to prepare the student to take the SAT II Chemistry or Chemistry CLEP exam and to prepare them to take a future AP Chemistry course.  This will be done through complete presentation of testable content, providing review materials during the second half of the course, explaining testing strategies, and providing scored practice exams. The number two priority is to expand your appreciation for fundamental concepts and laws that govern the physical realm.

Who should apply: The well-prepared applicant also has completed a physical science course in the middle school years and has a good foundation in algebra. Also, online learning requires a great degree of organizational and time management skills on the part of the student. So students who are ready to improve in this area and are capable of taking responsibility for initiating interaction with the instructor if confused or discouraged should ask for an application.

To ask a question regarding this class, email Vicki at vdincher@comcast.net

Pre-AP Physics

Northern LightsLooking for a physics course for your high school student?

I’ve got years of experience teaching physics to homeschoolers. Look over the information for this year’s course below, and please don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions. I look forward to hearing from you.

Pre-AP Physics

Section A – High School Credit Only

Section B – AP Physics I or SAT II subject test Focus

Instructor: Vicki Dincher vdincher@comcast.net

WebEx Time Slot: Wednesday’s 2:30 to 3:30 PM EST

Cost: $625 (does not include text or lab supplies)

Grades: 10-12 grade

Prerequisites: Successful completion of Algebra 1 and Geometry (some trig is helpful but not necessary)

Course Length: 34 weeks

Course Begins: Thursday, August 25, 2016 (first live discussion Wednesday, August 31, 2016)

Course Ends: Tuesday, May 17, 2017 (last live discussion Wednesday, May 10, 2017)

Test Readiness: In the fall of 2014, Collegboard.org changed the AP Physics exam format. As a result, interested students may choose to prepare for the AP Physics 1 exam through this course. However, you do not need to be preparing for the AP exam to take this course. An additional text and test prep book will be required for those preparing for exams.

Required Texts:

  • Sections A & B:
    • Exploring Creation with Physics 2nd ed. (Apologia)

 

  • Section B:
    • Physics, Principles With Applications 5th ed. (Giancoli) ISBN-10: 0136119719 (this can be found used at textbooks.com  and alibri.com)
    • 5 Steps to a 5 AP Physics 1 Algebra-based  ISBN-10: 0071820647 (this can be found at Amazon.com)

 

Description:
Physics is the study of matter and energy and their interactions.  It provides a systematic understanding of the fundamental laws that govern physical, chemical, and biological processes.

This physics course provides students with a modern view of the fundamental, foundational concepts of physics; develops the students’ analytical, problem solving skills; integrates math, science and technology; and is designed for students who are planning to major in the sciences, medicine, or engineering.  The major topics covered are mechanics, energy, electricity and magnetism, waves, and modern physics. Additional topics include motion in a plane, internal energy, geometrical optics, and nuclear physics. This class includes laboratory work and written lab reports.  Students are encouraged to take the SAT II in Physics or the AP Physics 1 exam upon completion of this course and will be prepared for future AP Physics 2 coursework.  (There is no CLEP exam for Physics)

Lecture Content/Live Web-ex Discussions: All course lectures are recorded and available for students to playback at their convenience. I also post podcasts and short video clips explain course concepts as needed. Live discussions or problem-solving sessions will be held several times each month and will be recorded for those unable to attend. These sessions will be designed to provide students assistance with concepts and math problems assigned for homework.  Regular “office hours” will be listed after classes begin (survey of student time zones will determine the actual office hours) so students can reach me for immediate feedback or for individual or group homework help.

Labs: Approximately ten hands-on experiments will augment the core concepts studied and fulfill the lab requirement for a high school science credit.  These experiments can be completed at home (adult supervision is advised).  Most use household materials or supplies readily available from homeschool science companies.  A full list will be provided with the course syllabus.

Scientific Writing: Effective scientific writing is a vital skill required for success in college science courses.  To that end, instruction in the process of writing, revising, and completing a formal physics lab report will be given in the first several weeks of the course enabling students to practice these skills throughout the remainder of the year. 

Student Evaluation and Feedback: Students will be graded on homework, labs, discussions, and exams. The homework will be a combination of multiple choice and short answer questions done on the course website and handouts to be completed, scanned, and uploaded. All student work will be graded and returned within one week of submission.

Communications: Course communication occurs through the message system on the course website. I am also available to students through WebEx by appointment.

Technical needs: To access course materials students will need broadband, high speed Internet and their own e-mail account. This course will be run on the learning platform called Canvas. Canvas is a user-friendly, powerful platform where parents can be linked to their students and access student material, see grades, and contact the instructor at any time. Weekly assignments are downloaded as PDF files from the website. A scanner is required so that students can scan their completed work and upload it to the website for grading.

Time Commitment: The qualified student will spend 5-7 hours per week on this class. This accounts for reading the assigned texts, answering review questions, calculating practice problems, hands-on lab experiments, and discussing class work and reading assignments with others in the forums. Those planning to take an SAT II or AP exam will be required to spend more time in test preparation as the time of the exam nears.

Class Meeting Time: Weekly pre-recorded lectures give students an overview of upcoming concepts and instruction in problem-solving. Two to four times monthly, a live WebEx discussion will be held at the above listed WebEx meeting time to discuss concepts, answer student questions, and complete homework problems together. Students are not required to “meet” at the scheduled discussion time, but it is encouraged. Scheduled discussion times will be recorded for those unable to attend the live discussion times. All homework is due on the Canvas course website by Friday evenings, midnight EST, unless otherwise noted.

Instructor Qualifications: I have a B.S. and M.S. in Biology with a minor in mathematics. I have been teaching high school physics, chemistry, and biology since 1995 both first year and advanced courses. I have also taught science at community college and have been teaching online since 2010. I’ve homeschooled my own four children who are now all college educated and employed in science fields. My own children used online learning as part of our homeschool, so I’m familiar with the unique challenges and opportunities online homeschooling presents both from student and instructor perspectives. I’m passionate about the sciences and I enjoy helping students understand and appreciate

Course Priorities: While priority is given for those who would like to successfully complete SAT II or AP exams, all courses are a good fit for those desiring a solid foundation in high school physics. This course will have two sections, one for those interested in a high school science credit (Section A), and one for those interested in taking a standardized exam upon completion of the course (Section B). Those students enrolled in Section B will receive test prep materials and additional homework. Please indicate which section your student would like to be placed. My goal is to expand your appreciation of the fundamental concepts and laws that govern the physical realm we live in.

Major Project: Students will use the concepts of force, impulse and momentum to build a contraption to protect an egg when dropped from a height of at least 12 feet. Video uploads of this project will allow for group discussion of design issues. An optional project will be the building of a balloon popper that incorporates the six simple machines sequenced to pop at least one balloon. Details will be provided after appropriate concepts have been covered.

Who should apply: The well-prepared applicant also has completed a physical science course in the middle school years and has a good foundation in algebra and geometry.  This course will require some basic trigonometry (sine, cosine and tangent), but instruction in these math functions will be provided by the instructor if necessary.

To ask a question regarding this class, email me at vdincher@comcast.net

Why Science Notebooks?

Why a student scieda Vinci notebooknce notebook in middle or high school? Good question. Science is a process, a way of understanding the world and all of God’s creation. Science notebooks are a valuable tool used in the process of science that can serve many different purposes. Professional scientists always have their journal or notebook handy to write observations, jot down new ideas, organize data, and take notes as they research new topics. It is a detailed record of their ongoing involvement with scientific phenomenon and a personal account of their scientific thought process. Each scientist’s notebook is an individual work, unique to the scientist. It is the place where the scientist can continually develop and update his scientific reasoning and knowledge. In fact most famous scientists, like Leonardo da Vinci, Benjamin Franklin, and Alexander Graham Bell, kept science notebooks.

Scientists use notebooks to organize scientific knowledge and make it easier to work. Science notebooks in middle and high school will serve many of the same purposes as any professional’s notebook, and can be a useful tool for practicing study skills and learning strategies along the way.

Science notebooks provide the following:

  • a record of a student’s daily science work and a sense of accomplishment
  • a place for students to develop, track, and express their broadening understanding of the new science concepts they’re learning
  • place to practice various study strategies and learning tools as they prepare for college or an after high school career
  • a place to organize data and develop organization, table-making, and graphing skills
  • a complete collection of lab reports for the experiments conducted
  • a concise reference book should you decide to take an SAT II subject or CLEP exam (at the high school level)
  • a way to demonstrate a student’s progress in the study of science to evaluators or for college portfolios

Science notebooks aid students in establishing a daily routine that focuses on learning science by doing science. Organizational and communication skills are critical in any profession but are very important in science. Science notebooks help students develop skills in making tables, graphs, charts, and labeled drawings as ways of efficiently documenting, representing, and displaying data. The science notebook serves as a reference tool allowing students to look up previous discoveries and relationships and to structure the importance of the information.

Science notebooks also help students think critically about the concepts they’re discovering by encouraging them to explore ideas and think about how new concepts fit into what they already know. Science notebooks help students place new concepts in context so that new information makes more sense. Professional scientists are always writing down their thoughts as they are working through science experiments or problems. Their notebook is a place for them to mentally “mess around” with the information to see if they can come to any novel understanding. Likewise, science notebooks help students think and conduct themselves like professional scientists, recording their entire journey through a progression of science concepts. Looking back over their science notebook at the end of the year will give the student (and anyone looking through it) a good idea of just how far their understanding of God’s fascinating world has come.