June 1 – August 14 (details here)
SUMMER 2020 UPDATE
As of now the likelihood of in-person classes this summer and fall is slim. So I have made the decision to continue teaching all my science clubs online, as I have been doing since March.
Every online science club meeting has been an opportunity for me to learn to engage more deeply with your children. I keep asking myself, “What do the children enjoy doing? When are they learning, understanding, and exploring the most? What can I do better in a virtual classroom setting?” I want to thank everyone for being open minded and cooperative in this joint adventure. I always love hearing kids say—in person and now online—“Oh, wow that is awesome!” It’s a personal goal of mine to spark this reaction during every science club!
NEW TIMES CALL FOR NEW ADVENTURES!
I have thought a lot about the best way to offer this experience and I have come up with a plan that I believe will benefit both you and your children. So, rather than offering a weekly meeting with a single focus, my new plan is to offer daily meetings, Monday through Friday from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. between June 15 and August 14.
During these two-hour A.T.O.M. Science Club meetings, your kids will explore the wonders of cosmology (the universe’s story), biochemistry (how life uses atoms and energy), and space science (NASA’s launch to Mars on July 17th). At first glance, these topics may seem unrelated. As always, however, the A.T.O.M. Science focus on the foundations of chemistry and physics will tie them together. See below for more details on each topic.
Three interconnected topics – one price – maximum flexibility
Each day I will delve into a new topic in such a way that no prior knowledge will be mandatory for understanding or participation. This means your kids can join as frequently as they wish—every day, five times a week, three times a week, one full week and then skip a week, or whatever works for your family. To keep things simple, I am charging one price for the entire summer’s worth of sessions— 110 hours of science. Participate in as many as you would like 😊.
The cost for the summer sessions is $500, and remember that you can attend as many days as you wish for this one price. Siblings/multiple registrations will receive a 10% ($50) discount. Please contact me to discuss options if you are on unemployment, have lost your job due to the coronavirus, or otherwise are experiencing financial hardship. You can register and pay online.
DETAILS ON TOPICS
1) Cosmology, a journey through time covering the 13.7-billion-year story of the universe
Kids will develop a timeline of the universe starting at its birth—the origin of space-time, called the Big Bang—until today. We will discuss the universe’s earliest moments before particles formed. Then science club members and I will ponder how the first particles sprang into existence out of the energy released at the moment of the Big Bang. How did those first particles become atoms? How is it possible that we are alive on planet earth 13.7 billion years later? What an amazing, action-packed story! All that’s required is a large pile of 3×5 cards, a hole punch, binder rings, a pencil, and the student’s curiosity!
2) Biochemistry, a journey through the wonders of life and the human body
Around the world, people are trying to discover a way to respond to coronavirus and manage the risks it presents. Both children and adults feel the impact. We look to science to help address the current crisis and also ask what we can do to help prevent another global health problem. This summer, I will offer children an opportunity to explore what they as individuals can do to stay healthy. We will also discuss what the planet needs in order to exist in harmony with humans while allowing other life to flourish.
We will look at the biochemistry of the human body as a way to study how life on earth uses 25 different kinds of atoms (chemistry) as the basic building blocks to maintain life (biology). What do humans need to support life? This question naturally leads to learning about the two ways we take in the atoms our bodies require: from the atmosphere and from food. We will examine plants and the soil. By observing this amazing cycle, kids will not only see the wonder of life but also understand how they can make educated choices related to their own biochemistry as well as to the biochemistry of other life. I also will cover the significance of Earth being a water-based planet, which enables the chemistry essential to support life. And I will help them understand the choices humanity has to make around protecting the conditions that support human life.
3) Discover Mars!
Right now, NASA is preparing for its next great adventure on the mysterious and amazing red planet, Mars! NASA scientists are getting ready for the launch of Perseverance, our next robotic rover to Mars, this coming July. As excitement builds in advance of this monumental achievement, A.T.O.M. Science Club will conduct a special online program that will allow students and their families to participate in this adventure. You will learn about the Perseverance rover and its mission and look back at the rovers and landers that journeyed to Mars before it. You will learn how to use NASA online tools to explore the surface of Mars as seen through the eyes of many scientific instruments in orbit around Mars and to see how NASA plans for future missions. Each week, we will chat with a NASA scientist to learn about different exciting landforms and locations on the surface of Mars. You will learn how to identify Mars in the sky, looking up from the comfort of our own backyards. We will look beyond Perseverance, and gain an understanding of the criteria being used to select the first human landing site on Mars. As a grand finale, we will all watch NASA’s live stream of the launch of Perseverance on its epic journey of discovery to Mars!
REGISTRATION AND PAYMENT
I have set up a simple online registration system. You can go here to sign up and pay. If you have any questions, please give me a call (my preferred contact method) at 650-271-2035 or email me.
I hope you’ll join me—and invite your children’s friends to join me—in this new and exciting summer of science, exploring the amazing connections between the universe, our life here on earth, and Mars!