SCIENCE for elementary ages



The classes are all the same price this year.

To sign up, email me to make sure your student(s) name(s) are on my list.  (Class limit is 16, and returning students get priority.)

NOTE:  The Thursday class is full (over-full, actually).  I opened another section on Wednesday afternoons from 1 to 3.  Using this web registration does not give you a way to sign up for a section.  You have to email me for that.

Then use this product purchase to pay for one or more of the classes.  This page is for payment convenience only.  (You can also bring cash or check when classes begin.)

For example, if you have one student signing up for all four classes, just choose “4” as the quantity.  If you have two students taking all four classes, choose “8” as quantity and then use SIBLING DISCOUNT as the coupon code.  The coupon will take 25% off total purchase price, which is equivalent to 50% off for one student.  If you have three students, the 25% discount should still apply.  If the math doesn’t work out right, just lessen the quantity by 1.  (It’s just a donation for materials, not tuition, so it doesn’t have to be exact.)


NOTE:  Another section has been added.  In addition to Thursday morning, there will also be a Wednesday afternoon section from 1 to 3 pm. 

The descriptions are given here for your convenience.  They can also be found at

INSECTS and their environments      Sept. 7 – Oct. 19  (10:00-12:00)  (7 classes total)

$40 (Siblings are half price)

         We’ll learn a lot about classifying insects (with the help of two songs, of course!) and do some general insect learning (anatomy and physiology), then I hope to focus in on the hymenoptera, which are the social insects.  I will try to also focus on the differences in the ecosystems where they live, so you’ll get a little geography and ecology, too, not just bugs.  We’ll do games and songs and experiments in class, and then I will provide lots of books that can be borrowed for reading the rest of the week. (Our library should be set up by then, so there will hopefully be no shortage of materials you can borrow!)  Possible field trip to an entomology lab at PSU?  And see the bug museum while we are there?
The timing of this unit is intentional, as the Great Insect Fair at PSU is in late September.  You are certainly not required to be there, but if you want a great supplement to this unit, you’ve got one on your doorstep.

“DISSECT YOUR DINNER”: an introduction to food chemistry      Nov. 2 to Dec. 21  (10:00-12:00)  (7 classes total)

$40 (Siblings are half price)

           This is the title of a curriculum I started several years ago then set aside.  The plan is to take it out again and see if I can get it finished, or at least get it most of the way done.  The book is another fingerprint people adventure, and this time they are your waiters at a restaurant.  However, being so small, they have to stand on the table in front of you, so it is very humorous.  When you arrive at a restaurant, you start with nothing but a glass of water at your place, and maybe some salt and pepper shakers on the table.  So that is where we start with food chemistry.  We dissect everything at a molecular level and find out exactly what food is made of.  What is salt?  What is sugar? What is fat?  What is gluten? All these questions and many more will be answered.  Activities in class will probably be edible (duh) which makes the experiments more fun.

LIGHT AND SOUND      Jan.11 to Mar. 1  (10:00-12:00)  (8 classes total)

$40 (Siblings are half price)

      I hope this can be as hands-on as possible.  I will try my best to get some really nice exhibits and experiments set up in one of the rooms.  When we study light, I will also introduce the electromagnetic spectrum, which is fundamental to physics in the same way that the Periodic Table is to chemistry.  That means that light will be studied in its proper context, as part of the spectrum of energy that includes radio waves, microwaves, and x-rays.
Studying sound allows us to see the similarities and differences between sound waves and light waves.  All waves behave in similar ways, even though sound is kinetic energy and light is electromagnetic energy.  It will be interesting to study them side by side.  I doubt I will have my own book about this topic, but I will provide as many take-home resources as I can.  (And yes, I have a song about this topic, too!)

PI DAY      Mar. 14 (“3.14”), of course!  (12:30-3:30)

FREE   All ages welcome, from preschool to middle school.

      I will set up a hands-on math museum with lots of math activities that relate not just to Pi, but to other math concepts, as well.  I’ll send out more info before the event.

SIMPLE INVERTEBRATES      March 22- May 3  (10:00-12:00)  (7 classes total)

$40 (Siblings are half price)

        The categories that qualify as simple invertebrates in include worms, rotifers, small crustaceans (such as daphnia), planaria, sponges, corals, tardigrades (water bears), mollusks and echinoderms (sea stars).  (Students who did PONDS and OCEANS will already know a bit about some of these categories.) The emphasis during the unit will be on comparative anatomy, seeing how each organism accomplishes the same basic functions of life in different ways.  Also, I will require each student to do a research project (a bit of scientific method here) on one creature. (I will order planaria or daphnia for anyone who wants to work with those.) They will then write up their results in a very specific format, similar to the format used by real scientists to publish their work.  I will collect all the research projects and put them into our own “journal” and have copies to hand out on the last day. In addition to the written paper, students will also give an oral presentation to the class, telling about their research.
I foresee some scientific illustration projects during this unit as well as some crafts, and lots of time on the stereoscopes.  (And my game “Worm Zoo,” for sure!)