SCIENCE for grades 6 to 8



SCIENCE 2019-20

This class will meet from 12:30-3:00 at Grace Pres Church (except 1st quarter, as noted below)

$50 (per quarter) for first student, half price for siblings within this group (does not extend to elementary group).  Price includes books in most cases.  (But if the price is a problem for you, just give what you can during the unit.)

You can pay on the first day of class, or if you prefer to do business online you can use my estore and “purchase” this class.  For the sibling discount you can use the discount code SIBLINGDISCOUNT at check out.

HOW TO REGISTER:  Please email me about class availability before purchasing online.  Returning students have priority.  (


PONDS and PROTOZOA  (1st quarter:  Sept. 5, 12, 19, 26, Oct. 3, 10)    $50

This will be an outdoor unit.  We will not be meeting at the usual church building, but at the lower ponds located on the Calvary Harvest Fields property in Boalsburg. We will be sending out a lot more info closer to the time.  We’ll have to make use of the lobby as a shelter for inclement weather.  A lot of time will be spent at one of the ponds on the site (there are 5!) where we will survey animal and plant life and take water samples.  I will have all the microscopes there so we can do studies of protozoans right on site.  We’ll try to find out how the populations of microlife change as summer progresses into fall.

We will be using my curriculum “Protozoa: A Poseidon Adventure” as our main text.  You can preview the text here.


THE ELEMENTS  (2nd quarter:  Oct. 24, 31, Nov. 7, 14, 21, Dec. 5, 12)    $50

We will be doing “The Elements” curriculum.  You can get a free digital copy to preview by using this link:  The Elements    However, I realize that I have created a problem for myself in that about half of the students in this age level will remember doing this topic as an elementary student.  Therefore I will make special arrangements to split the group into “newbies” for whom this is the first time through this topic, and “alumni” who are junior chemists already.  I will have new activities for the alumni group that they didn’t do the first time around.  There is always more to learn about chemistry!

If your student has never done chemistry with me, try to make sure they take this quarter.  The Elements serves as the basis for a lot of the science they meet in all the other units I do.  It’s “elementary”!


CARBON CHEMISTRY  (3rd quarter:  Jan. 16, 23, 30, Feb. 6, 13, 20, 27  Snow make up Mar. 5)   $50

This is a sequel to The Elements.  To take this class you must have either taken The Elements second quarter, or done it on your own previously.  We will continue learning about chemistry, but focus on the element carbon, and all the organic molecules that are built around it.  This includes methane, propane, petroleum, plastics, artificial colors, and biological molecules such as proteins and sugars.  If you’d like to preview the book, here is a link:  Carbon Chemistry.  I will be updating and improving this book as we go through the unit, using my guinea pigs to try out any new ideas.


BIRDS  (4th quarter:  Mar. 19, 26, April 2, 9, 16, 23, 30)   $50

We will study all aspects of birds: anatomy, classification, bird calls, migration habits, eggs, etc.  I plan to use at least part of a curriculum (for grades 7-12) put out by the ornithology department at Cornell University called “Birds without Borders” which covers many bird migration and conservation topics with interactive lessons.