Middle School Courses
The Story of the Periodic Table (chemistry)
In 1869, Siberian scientist, Demitri Mendeleev, assembled and organized all detectable matter in the universe into the Periodic Table of the Elements. How did he do this? What did he know?
These are the questions that drive the laboratory explorations in this series. Students follow the 200 hundred year journey of discovery, beginning in the 1600's when scientists launched a systemic, methodical investigation into the age-old question ‘what is fire?’.
From here students steer directly into the chemical and physical properties of atoms and begin to chart a course mapping out the patterns under which atoms combine.
Surprising groupings of elements emerge, leading to a suspicion that there is a grand organization scheme underpinning all of the matter in the universe. The search is on for this arrangement!
The Six Short Courses
The Chemistry of Air
The Chemistry of Atoms
Elements and Reactivity
The Mass of Oxygen
The Periodic Law
The Story of the Atom (physics) Available 2023-24 School year
Physicists, in their quest to understand the universe, try to find the simplest of explanations to explain the things we observe. In fact, there still is a faith that one day we will arrive at a ‘grand unified theory’, one idea, one equation, which explains it all!
We are not there yet. And interestingly modern physics is kind of at a standstill. Enter the QuantumCamp student! Most kids don’t tackle advanced physics until their junior year in college. We believe if students start acclimating themselves to the quirky, surprising, lumpy world of atomic physics in middle school, breakthroughs in modern physics will occur. (Of course, the objective here is mainly to enjoy the labs and challenge yourself to build sensible explanations.)
Scientists believed they were getting close to a grand unified theory by the middle of the 1800’s. However, there was a growing realization that Newton's intuitive and logical physical laws were breaking down as new findings emerged, specifically around the colors of light stars, chemical flames, and hot objects emit. Newton’s idea proved inadequate. A different science was needed!
In these 6 short courses, students embark on an experiment-based historical journey that begins with the practical quest to build an engine and eventually leads to the discovery of the structure of nothing less than every atom in our universe.
The Six Short Courses
The Steam Engine
The Color of Light
The Hydrogen Atom
The Story of Life on Earth (life and earth science) Available 2024-25 School year
There was revolution in science in the 1950’s and 1960’s, which does not seem to have the notoriety like the other major periods of rapid advancements in science — the rise of chemistry and algebra during the Golden Age of Islam, the rise of experiment/emperical based science during the European Englightenment, the mapping of the cosmos in the late 1600’s led by Galileo and Newton, and the quantum revolution of the early 20th century.
But it was every bit as magnificent, if not more, given the broad, sweeping array of phenomena explained under one simple idea - plate tectonic theory.
Why did the big ideas in geology take so much longer than those in chemistry, physica, and even biology to coalesce? What were the data and the experiments, which ultimately revealed the workings of our dynamic earth and a beautiful explanation for the look and feature of the entire surface of the earth.
After walking this path, we go back and walk the parallel path of explaining the striking similarity, yet paradoxically, the bewildering diversity of life on earth. There has to be one unifying theory here, too. Indeed, we follow in the footsteps of some of the most iconic scientists and philosophers in history to forge our own theory explaining life on earth.
The Six Short Courses
Genetics and Evolution
The Origin of Life
Future High School Courses
The Story of Chemistry
Following the historical development of thermodynamics in the late 1700’s and early 1800’s, students uncover the one grand principle governing when all of chemistry happens.
Students probe the interesting and surprising properties of solutions and discover there are two distinct types of chemical bonds, bringing them to the turn of the 20th century.
The Chemical Bond
Through experiment, students uncover details of the chemical bond, revealing wonderful explanations of a broad variety of chemical phenomena.
The Story of Physics
Mechanics and Motion
Starting with Galileo’s experiments, students conclude with Newton's grand framework describing everything from a falling apple to the orbits of the planets.
Optics and Waves
Through a series of experiments on light, students probe the nature of waves and eventually derive the wave equation.
Following a 50-year explosion of scientific achievement in the mid 1800’s, students unite the theories of magnetism and electricity.
The Story of Biology
Students explore the properties and structures of carbon-based molecules such as carbohydrates, proteins, lipids, and nucleic acids and learn the chemical mechanisms governing biology.
As the basic building block of life, students employ ingenious laboratory methods to make sense of cells and see how they work.
Following the footsteps of Gregor Mendel and Thomas Morgan in classic genetics, students foray into modern molecular genetics to explain both the unity and the diversity of life on earth.