Thursday, January 16

Simplify Teaching High School Science with College Prep Science Lab Intensives

Having a child who wants to major in engineering puts a little more pressure on me - the homeschooling mom who is so NOT science-oriented - to ensure that his science is up to snuff.  I did okay with elementary and middle school, but knew we'd need some helping hands for high school.  Thanks to some late-night scrolling, the right thing fell into my lap....

Greg Landry, a homeschool dad and former college professor, is the wizard behind the curtain at College Prep Science.  With other 20 years teaching experience, he helps homeschool students prepare for college level science through both lab intensives and online classes.

The live, online science classes are available for grades 6-12, and feature a Christian worldview.  There are one semester and full year options.  As we already had a good spine science, we opted for the two-day lab intensives to round out the lab portion of those courses.  (Those courses did come with lab work, but I didn't feel qualified to adequately teach it to college prep standards.)

Our son needs these science lab components, not only for his graduation requirements, but also to be competitive once he enters that collegiate environment.  The two-day lab intensives cover an entire year's worth of labs in only a day and a half!  

One of my favorite aspects of the intensives is that they can be taken at any time - whether the student has completed the course or is just getting ready to begin - and so we were able to schedule both biology and chemistry back to back on the same weekend.  As we'll be traveling five hours one way (one of the few pitfalls of a rural life), and staying in a hotel, it is nice to be able to combine the intensives into one long weekend and knock out two years worth of labs in one weekend!

Labs covered in the Biology / Anatomy & Physiology 2-Day Intensive:
  • Autopsy style dissections of Sheep brain and Frog
  • An experiment to quantify and study diffusion and osmosis
  • Isolate each student’s DNA as we study genetics
  • Acid/base assessments will be performed
  • Metric system applications to Biology and medicine
  • Blood type and Rh Factor determinations on each student.
  • Construct and learn the critical importance of graphing.
  • Inflate preserved healthy and smoker’s lungs to investigate anatomical and physiological differences
  • Students will eat candy, etc. for breakfast to produce a “glucose load challenge” to help them understand the pancreas, glucose absorption, diabetes, normal and abnormal glucose response curves, and the production and function of insulin. (usually done in college-level anatomy labs)
  • Using stereoscopes and microscopes, we’ll look at the microscopic aspects of life.
  • Use Phenylthiocarbamide to study genetics
  • Do experiments to study the cardiovascular system, anatomy, heart rate, blood pressure, hemoglobin saturation, etc.
  • Study the muscles and bones.
  • Learn how to prepare and critique college-quality lab reports

Labs covered in the Chemistry 2-Day Intensive:
  • Introduction to scientific thinking
  • Collecting data & producing a college-quality lab report
  • Properties of gases
  • Atoms, matter & flame tests
  • Elements, moles & periodic table
  • Density and chemistry
  • Temperature, solubility, and bonding
  • Chemical kinetics
  • Colligative properties
  • Freezing point depression
  • Chemical polymers & surface area
  • Oscillating chemical reactions
  • Metric system and chemical applications

If you want to join us in Dallas, we'd love to see you there!  Register for one, or both, of the classes here:

Want to see more of what you're getting into?  Check out photos from past lab intensives here!

Be sure to check back in March for more photos and thoughts from our lab intensive weekend...  😎

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