| ||Natural Science is a unique two-year course for junior high and early high school students, designed to provide the background and skills in earth, life, and physical sciences necessary for success in intensive college-preparatory courses in the sciences, specifically Scholars Online's AP compliant courses in Biology, Chemistry, Physics 1 and Physics 2. 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. We explore the basic principles underlying both the physical and life sciences, including matter theory, motion and force, energy, electricity and magnetism, classification of living things, ecology, evolution, and cellular biology, along with overviews of the sciences of geology, meteorology, astonomy, oceanography, zoology and botany as we move through the history of scientific ideas from the ancient world to our own time. Students learn to apply and recognize the limitations and advantages of scientific methodology, experimental and observational methods, to use mathematical methods for data analysis, and to appreciate not only the interrelations between different areas of scientific knowledge, but how the methods of critical analysis of observations developed, and how social forces shaped modern science. The second year covers the development of modern science since the Renaissance, including the development of chemistry, thermodynamics, genetics, quantum mechanics, relativity, information science, ecology and cosmology.
For more information on how this course fits into the Scholars Online Science Curriculum, please read the Science Curricum Design page.
This course is taught using the Scholars Online Chat software, which allows the teacher to embed graphics, mathematical equations, and movies in the chat session, with complete logging available for the entire year. Audio software is deliberately not used, as a means of enforcing students students to think clearly and write precisely. [Students with limited online bandwidth can also participate fully in the course.