Once students have progressed through the basic STEM curriculum, they will be granted access to the upper level STEM focused courses. These upper level courses are designed to allow students to continue in the sciences and work at their own pace. Each one is built to support a primary online curriculum. A student who has passed basic STEM then has the option of taking the following courses:
1. Advanced STEM: The advanced STEM course is designed to continue on the themes and materials that students are presented in basic STEM. This course expounds greatly on the history of Cross-Disciplinary science, advanced ARCGIS, advanced elements of Style/Design, and W3Schools Certifications.
2. Astronomy: Students interested in the Cosmos will have the option of taking this class. Each student will explore the constellations, movement of celestial objects, evidence for alien life, and the historical origins of Astronomy. Students will be required to read “Seeing Further” by Bill Bryson as a course activity.
3. Biology: This course is designed to be a supplemental course to the current Biology class. It is designed to provide interactive activities and projects that will help students to master the content they are presented.
4. Botany: The study of plants! We focus on how hormones are created within individual plants, conduct experiments, and deprive plants of specific resources in an effort to understand how to make things grow and develop in our natural world. This course focuses specifically on the green revolution and how our world was forever changed by the efforts of corporations and private farms in the later half of the 20th century.
5. Chemistry: The school currently does not offer a complete Chemistry curriculum. I developed a curriculum based upon previous experience teaching Chemistry in the Community from the American Chemical Society. This course is based upon the work of POGIL to create learning situations for guided inquiry. Each student will develop their knowledge of the physical world by acquiring consecutive skills through self discovery.
6. Forensics: Students will learn how to process evidence, perform criminal observations, discuss ethics, and use deductive logic to solve problems. This course has a somewhat larger laboratory component that focuses students on learning the practical skills of chemical and trace analysis.
7. Genetics: By studying genetics, students can get a firm grasp on how our species has adapted to adversity. Each unit in this course focuses on modern problems (Gene Injection, GMO’s, Mutation, Regulation, HGP, etc.). The NIH curriculum in BioEthics is extensively used as the backbone for the course. In addition to conducting labs and doing a large number of punnet squares, students will do a book study on the Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks or Brave New World. Students have the option to choose their final project and how it is reported.
8. GIS: This course provides advanced studies in the arts of Geographic Information Systems. Based upon the concepts presented in Our World Geographic Education by ESRI, this course covers concepts in the sciences applied to geography.
9. Virology: This course is one of my favorite to teach and has a large amount of information that students are allowed to integrate in a variety of forms. Students will watch movies, analyze zombie behavior, and try to destroy the world – all from the comfort of the computer screen. As a PBL course, students will spend a large amount of time in discovery based activities to understand virus behavior before they apply it to real life situations.
Courses in development:
1. Construction Math: Developed in Conjunction with Arapahoe Community College in Denver.
2. Graphics in Nature: Based upon the book – “The Science of Nature”
3. Computer Science: Using google code school, w3 schools, and a emphasis on the hacking mentality, students will learn basic principals of programming.
4. App Design: Using the MIT Android App studio, students will create four simple apps to demonstrate logic skills and create a final project to demonstrate total learning.
5. Robotics: Using Lego NXT students will create functioning robots (including programming).