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Options for High School Science besides Bio/Chem/Physics


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My ds will be a junior next year.  He took Physical science in 8th, Biology in 9th and Chemistry this year.  Math is not his favorite subject, and so I want to wait till senior year for Physics.  I'd like him to take another science this year, preferably a lab science, but am not coming up with many ideas.  Right now, I'm planning on Holt's Environmental Science, mainly because it's all I can find.  Any opinions on that one?  I was trying to find more curriculum options for things like Astronomy or Geology so he would have more of a choice but there doesn't seem to be much out there. What are some other curriculum options out there? Or should I just not worry about science this year, and then do Physics in 12th? 

AP/DE will probably not work for this student, so I'm trying to get as strong of a course load as possible without them

Thanks

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Colleges will want to see high school biology.

Env Sci (including AP Env Sci), Earth Sci, Anat and Phys, Marine Bio, Zoology, AP Bio, AP Chem... there are options out there.

 

oops, ignore AP suggestions, sorry. I do believe you need a high school level Bio though.

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If he doesn't like math, I'd steer clear of more Chem or Physics. Did he like dissection in biology? An advanced bio course might be good. Or maybe something technology related like robotics or computer science? If he's unlikely to be a STEM major then I think most colleges would be fine with something like that for a 4th year of science.

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We used Holt Environmental Science. My son was taking AP Environmental when we pulled him out of ps, and it was the best thing I could find to finish up the subject. It wasn't too demanding (which is what we needed at the time), and I used the online teacher resources they have available. Had I picked the curriculum for that year, I would probably have gone with something else like anatomy or marine biology. 

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1 hour ago, Targhee said:

Colleges will want to see high school biology.

Env Sci (including AP Env Sci), Earth Sci, Anat and Phys, Marine Bio, Zoology, AP Bio, AP Chem... there are options out there.

 

oops, ignore AP suggestions, sorry. I do believe you need a high school level Bio though.

Yes, he took Biology w/ labs in 9th.  

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DS did Astronomy in 9th with the Great Courses lectures plus a college-nonmajors text (which included labs using the World Wide Telescope online); that was by far his favorite HS science. He did a co-op Chem lab class for 10th; combined a co-op Anatomy & Physiology lab class with a Bio text at home for 11th (listed on the transcript as Biology with A&P); and did an online DE class in Human Evolution (taught by famous paleoanthropologist Donald Johanson at Arizona State) for 12th.

The Great Courses Astronomy course is phenomenal — 92 lectures by Berkeley prof Alex Filippenko, who is a really enthusiastic and interesting lecturer. He has his own text, but it's easy to coordinate with any basic astro-for-nonmajors text. We used Comins' Discovering the Essential Universe, which was very accessible, included labs that can be done on the internet, and had short self-graded chapter quizzes online.

For Geology, Great Courses has a couple of good geo courses, plus lots of related courses like Meteorology and Oceanography which are not enough for a course on their own but could be combined as part of another course (like Earth Systems).

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17 hours ago, Homemama2 said:

Marine Biology or Zoology would definitely be something he'd enjoy.  Any curriculum recommendations for those?  The only one I'm familiar with would be Apologia.

 

There’s a new Life in the World’s Oceans course from The Great Courses, and they also have an Oceanography course (which is an earth science), and Zoology. I have not used them though.

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We were kind of in a similar boat. My dd took biology in 8th, chem in 9th, and wasn't ready for physics after that. Her math isn't caught up. Chem was hard enough, because she was learning algebra alongside. (Long story, but that is just the way it worked out.) So for 10th we have done an advanced biology- anatomy/physiology w/lab. They have done all kinds of labs with this. Next year for 11th we will do an Astronomy year while she does Alg. 2, leaving senior year for physics. I didn't plan it this way, but she has done science since 3rd grade with a group of older kids and a fantastic teacher. So she has followed along with them on their path. They are all taking physics alongside their anatomy this year, so this is our last year with that group. 

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Have you considered community classes at all? Because the CC classes are one semester, our daughter says she'd also like to take classes beyond the usual bio/chem labs there, so we're looking into other classes offered like Nutrition/Diet Therapy or Physical Geography.  I mention this because my husband took nutrition as his college science credit and absolutely loved the class, remembers the stuff to this day; apparently, the student becomes the guinea pig in a lot of the labs...this may appeal to some (if not all) students.

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11 hours ago, Corraleno said:

DS did Astronomy in 9th with the Great Courses lectures plus a college-nonmajors text (which included labs using the World Wide Telescope online); that was by far his favorite HS science. 

The Great Courses Astronomy course is phenomenal — 92 lectures by Berkeley prof Alex Filippenko, who is a really enthusiastic and interesting lecturer. He has his own text, but it's easy to coordinate with any basic astro-for-nonmajors text. We used Comins' Discovering the Essential Universe, which was very accessible, included labs that can be done on the internet, and had short self-graded chapter quizzes online.

 

 

My son also used The Great Courses as a basis for astronomy in 9th. I matched it with a text book and then he got involved in our local astronomy group and did activities all year with them. He ended the year with Astronomy Camp in Arizona. This ended up being his favorite science in high school and I put it down to Filippenko. His lectures are engaging and inspiring. 

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We haven't used much traditional curriculum outside of standard Bio and (next year) Chem.  They've been working through Environmental Science through some outsourced stuff and studying for Envirothon competitions.  They have a great Anatomy co-op class coming up. They have college credits in Fire Science.  One has college credits in Physical Geography.  We're hoping to get in a solid Nutrition credit (we touched on that in late middle school).  I've considered using Certified Personal Training textbooks for credit, but we may not be able to squeeze that in!  I know there's some online Ag-based courses somewhere, but I can't remember if it was the price or the time that was an issue for us.  We did try a Herpetology curriculum found on Amazon, but it didn't really fly with dd.  I'm wrapping up teaching a co-op Forensic Science course, adapted from a really old curriculum.

Signed,

Mom to atypical science geeks

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If you use introductory (non-majors) college texts, you'll find many more options.  These texts are absolutely appropriate for high school students.  Anyway, some ideas are geology, meteorology, astronomy, marine biology, botany, human anatomy and physiology, environmental science, forensics, etc.

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7 hours ago, Janeway said:

Ok..so my above post was odd..but I took a screen shot for you of the course listings at one local high school. 

No!  It was very helpful.  Our local schools have only a few options so this was great.

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6 hours ago, EKS said:

If you use introductory (non-majors) college texts, you'll find many more options.  These texts are absolutely appropriate for high school students.  Anyway, some ideas are geology, meteorology, astronomy, marine biology, botany, human anatomy and physiology, environmental science, forensics, etc.

Great idea!  I never thought about that.  

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5 hours ago, Homemama2 said:

Thanks to everyone who suggested the Great Courses. Our library has a huge selection of these so they might be a great option.  

Lucky you!  :)

Pam

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