Do you have any teaching experience?
I have considerable teaching experience (with a focus on high school science) spanning more than twenty years.
As a graduate student in the Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology at the University of Florida, my responsibilities included training students and research assistants in a variety of lab techniques. Additionally, I aided teaching microbiology labs to medical students.
For the past fifteen years, I have home-schooled my two sons and I am happy to say that I conveyed my love of science to both of them. I home-schooled my older son from birth through high school graduation. He is currently at University majoring in Electrical Engineering. Likewise, I have home-schooled my younger son for his entire school career. He is a high school senior taking college classes, and plans to major in one of the life sciences.
In addition to teaching my own children , I have taught courses including General Science, Physical Science, Marine Biology, Biology, Chemistry, History, and Literature at local home-school cooperatives (co-ops).
Most recently, I have designed and taught classes in the subjects of molecular genetics, cell biology, and microbiology to middle and high-schoolers in home-school science intensives.
Whenever I teach, my goal is to design lessons in a way to explain challenging concepts in ways easily understood by students. My goal is to teach science in ways that are fun, memorable, and easy to understand.
For what age range are these modules designed?
I have written these modules to target topics that I feel are lacking in many available high school curricula available to home-schoolers. That said, middle school students may find they are able to successfully complete these modules. Because videos, hands-on labs and activities, and built-in review exercises are incorporated into the modules, the material is very digestible. Students can proceed through the modules at their own pace.
These modules also make great supplements to curricula used in public and private schools. If your traditional school student lacks a basic understanding of the topics contained in these modules, or if they just want to learn more than what they were taught in school, these modules are a great fit.
These modules aren’t just for students! Many adults have used these modules to gain understanding of topics that they were not taught in school (like how DNA is expressed, the mechanisms of heredity, etc.). Additionally, these modules are a great resource for teachers (in traditional or home-school settings) who wish to become subject matter experts so they can more effectively teach their students.
Do these modules constitute a full curriculum?
No, a single module wouldn’t suffice as a year’s worth of science curriculum. These modules were designed to fill in the gaps and supplement the material typically taught in available home-school curricula. However, if your student successfully completes multiple modules, this could easily fulfill a full or partial credit in an elective (such as Advanced Topics in Biology, Molecular Genetics, or Cellular Biology).
As more modules continue to be written, our goal is that we will eventually cover all of the topics necessary to constitute an entire course in high school science.
Do you sell science kits?
I strongly believe that hands-on activities in any subject serves to solidify learning in addition to enhancing the experience for students.
Many times within these modules, experiments and hands-on learning experience can be achieved using materials readily available from your kitchen or local grocery store. However, within these modules we have included some optional experiments that require reagents or kits available commercially. For these experiments, I will post links to these kits or reagents.
Additionally, we are working with several companies to create custom lab kits to coordinate with each of our modules.
What modules do you plan to offer?
I have two modules on DNA. DNA Basics, Gene Expression, and DNA Mutations covers DNA structure, base pairing, and the cellular processes of transcription, translation, and DNA replication. Students are also taught how DNA mutations can lead to diseases. In Genetics and Heredity, students learn about gene alleles and how differences in DNA genes lead to different observable traits. The majority of the module is spent learning the fundamentals of heredity and the cellular processes involved in genetics.
Additionally, I have a module on Microbiology. In this module, students learn about the Germ Theory of Disease and its history, Koch’s Postulates, and how infectious diseases are transmitted. Students learn the characteristics of different classes of microbes: bacteria and archaebacteria, viruses, protists, and fungi. Students learn about the benefits of microorganisms in addition to the diseases they can cause. In the related course Prokaryotes, students learn about the organisms which are composed of prokaryotic cells, often called prokaryotes. They will understand the ways in which prokaryotes are fundamentally different than most other life on the planet, and will discover the fundamental roles these microorganisms play in the world. (Material in Prokaryotes is taken from the larger Microbiology course).
Upcoming modules include Cellular Biology, Plant Biology, The Chemistry of Life, and Mathematical Concepts in Science.
Do you plan to sell textbooks in hard copy form?
We have decided to offer these modules in an online format. This allows our content to remain up to date. We stay abreast of advances in the scientific community and update our course material on a regular basis.
Additionally, I my goal with these courses is not only to educate and inspire a love of science, but also to help better prepare students for higher learning. Incoming freshman at colleges and universities are expected to have a proficiency using online platforms (e-books, web-based lectures, and digital assignments). The online course format I have chosen for my science modules is consistent with the technology platforms used at the university level.