High School Science Curriculum Overview

Online Biology, Earth/Space Science, Chemistry, & Physics Courses

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High School Science Courses

Time4Learning offers an online, interactive high school Science curriculum that is organized into five courses: Biology, Earth/Space Science, Physical Science, Chemistry, & Physics. In each high school course, literacy is addressed in the activities in the form of vocabulary, comprehension, fluency, and writing activities.

High school science curriculum is designed to help students prepare for college study as they pursue careers in technology, medicine, engineering, manufacturing, and other related science fields. Parents are considered the "teacher of record" and will be responsible for reviewing and grading the offline lessons and writing projects. Time4Learning can be used for homeschool, afterschool and summer skill building.

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Overview of the High School Science Courses

Understanding science is necessary in the modern world. It is a key part of understanding breaking news, interacting with our planet, choosing and using technology, and even making healthcare decisions. Therefore, high school science prepares students for their adult life regardless of the career path they choose. High school science courses combine online and offline activities, labs and lessons, worksheets, and assessments that address literacy and provide the background that colleges look for in students continuing in the science field.

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Biology - Course Overview

Biology uses a combination of instructional videos, printed worksheets, writing exercises, tests and quizzes to introduce the concepts of life on Earth and its interactions with both living and nonliving matter. Students investigate living things through the scientific process. Many types of organisms will be considered, including animals, plants, viruses, bacteria, and protists. Students will also consider the interdependence of many different kinds of life within one ecosystem. This course prepares students for further study of science in Physical Science.

Biology lessons are organized into 14 chapters that introduce and cover:

  1. Introduction to Biology – Students develop skills needed to design experiments and follow scientific processes. Students learn the disciplines of scientific inquiry.
  2. Understanding Living Things – Students consider the definition of life. Students explore the needs of living things at a biochemical level.
  3. Understanding Cells - Students are introduced to the cell theory. They study cell components and functions. Students compare prokaryotes and eukaryotes.
  4. Understanding Genetics - Students compare and contrast asexual and sexual reproduction. Students consider heredity and differentiate between meiosis and mitosis. Students understand Mendel's pea experiments, ideas of genetics, DNA and RNA. Students are introduced to the concept of genetic engineering.
  5. Understanding Evolution - Students explore the concept of natural selection and Charles Darwin's contributions to the theory. Students describe the development of life, including fossil evidence, adaptations, geologic time, binomial terminology and a cladogram.
  6. Understanding Viruses - Students understand viruses, their function and structure. Students compare and contrast viruses with organisms. Students describe ways viruses causing diseases and conditions. Students investigate the use of vaccinations to prevent viral diseases.
  7. Understanding Prokaryotes - Students understand concepts of bacteria, prokaryotic cells, and eukaryotic cells and can explain their basic structures. Students understand how bacteria can affect humans.
  8. Understanding Protists - Students understand the structure and function of protists. Students classify protists by comparing them to plants, animals and fungi. Students differentiate between types of protists and compare types of eukaryotic cells.
  9. Understanding Fungi - Students are introduced to fungi, their role in ecosystems (as decomposers) and in human health. Students identify the structure and function of fungi and identify examples as heterotrophic and saprobic.
  10. Understanding Plants – Students study and identify the structures and functions of plants including tracing water and nutrients through their structures. Students will classify plants according to their structures and compare examples of vascular and non-vascular plants. Students investigate different types of reproduction in plants.
  11. Understanding Animals - Students compare animal structure, function, and development to those of other organisms. Students examine invertebrates and vertebrates, fishes and amphibians, birds and reptiles, and mammals.
  12. The Human Body - Students learn how smaller units within the body complex and interact to form tissue and organ systems. Students examine the organ systems of the human body and learn how they work together towards homeostasis.
  13. The Interdependence of Life – Students explore living and non-living factors in ecosystems. They consider the interdependence of living things within an ecosystem and learn to predict ecosystem change with internal population change. Key concepts include: competition, limiting factors, carrying capacity and succession.
  14. Ecosystems and Human Impact - Students consider human impact on different types of land and water ecosystems. Students explore examples of interdependence and types of pollution. Students explore the concept of biodiversity and learn about conservation measures to avert extinction of species and trends such as desertification and global warming.

For a more detailed description of the lessons, visit the high school Biology course overview.

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Earth/Space Science - Course Overview

Earth/Space uses a combination of instructional videos, printable worksheets, writing exercises, tests, quizzes, and both online and offline projects to teach students about the earth, weather, oceans, the solar system, and space exploration. Students will gain an overall awareness of the Earth's structure, components, and how the different elements that make up our planet are interrelated with those found in the universe.

Earth/Space Science lessons are organized into 18 chapters that introduce and cover:

  1. Intro to Earth/Space Science - Students will explore their journey with earth and space science by studying examples of matter and energy transformations on and within the Earth, and between the Earth and sun.
  2. Models of the Earth – This chapter on the models of the earth will teach students to explore the importance of cartography, and examine its use in geography and Earth science.
  3. Plate tectonics - Students will review the history of plate tectonics, and how the theory of plate tectonics has changed over time.
  4. Earth's Structure and Energy – This chapter concentrates on the Earth's structure and energy, including the Earth's interior, earthquakes, and volcanoes.
  5. Earth's Composition - Students will learn the classification process of minerals, rocks, and other Earth resources based on their properties and origins. Lessons within this chapter include the rock cycle, igneous rocks, sedimentary rocks, metamorphic rocks, and Earth's resources.
  6. Erosion and Deposition – Erosion and deposition are explored in this chapter. Lessons focus on weathering, erosion, and deposition, along with the surface features formed by them.
  7. Earth's History – This chapter explores Earth's history, and how landforms are created through geologic processes. Included in this chapter are lessons on landform development, determining the age of fossils and rocks, the Relative Age, the Absolute Age, and geologic time.
  8. Earth's Atmosphere – The composition and structure of Earth's atmosphere, along with its evolution are discussed in this chapter.
  9. Weather and Climate - Students will consider weather and climate as it relates to Earth in this chapter. Topics of study include humidity, clouds, precipitation, wind, air masses, fronts, and weather forecasting.
  10. Fresh Water - Students will explore various fresh water systems, such as streams and drainage systems, groundwater, and caves.
  11. Oceans - Students will explore oceans and how they operate. Lessons focus on the currents of the ocean and ocean basins.
  12. Glaciers – This chapter focuses on glaciers, how they are formed, and what impacts they have on the Earth. Students will study glacier anatomy, movement, deposits, landforms, and climate.
  13. Historical Astronomy – Students will review important historical achievements in astronomy, as well as learn about the basic types of astronomical navigation in this chapter.
  14. Earth's Solar System – This chapter looks at the Earth's solar system and all of its parts. Students will discover how the sun, moon, Earth, and solar system were formed, what characteristics the planets have in common, what differences exist among the plants, and what part asteroids, meteors, and comets play.
  15. Stars – Students will investigate the life cycle of a star in this chapter. Lessons also include information on the different types of stars, black holes, and the Hertzsprung-Russell Diagram.
  16. Galaxies – Galaxies are the focus of this chapter. Students will discover how galaxies were formed, and what the different classifications of galaxies are. The Milky Way is also discussed in this chapter.
  17. Cosmology – This chapter takes a look at cosmology and reviews its past and present, while looking at what it holds in the future.
  18. Space Exploration – Students will review past space explorations, what impacts space exploration has had, and what scientists are looking to discover in the future.

For a more detailed description of the lessons, visit the high school Earth/Physical Science course overview.

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Physical Science - Course Overview

Physical Science uses a combination of instructional videos, printed worksheets, writing exercises, tests, quizzes, and both online and offline projects to teach the concepts of matter and energy. Students investigate matter through its states and properties. They investigate force, motion, and magnetism as well as energy in a variety of forms. This course prepares students for further study of science in Chemistry.

Physical Science lessons are organized into 22 chapters that introduce and cover:

  1. Scientific Processes - Students learn proper and safe use of lab equipment. They collect and display appropriate data and form valid conclusions from investigations they have planned and implemented.
  2. States of Matter – Students understand the properties of solids, liquids and gasses. Students learn the properties of the states of matter. Students note change in arrangement and motion of molecules and recognize heat transfer with a phase change.
  3. Properties of Matter - Students identify and understand physical properties of matter: volume, mass, density, phase change, ductility, malleability and conductivity. They learn the ways in which physical and chemical properties of matter are different.
  4. History of Atomic Theory - Students learn about the historical development of atomic theory. They will consider the ideas of Dalton, Thomson, Rutherford, and Bohr. They will compare the Modern Atomic model to past ideas and models.
  5. Structure of the Atom - Students identify the subatomic particles that make up an atom. Students explain the relative mass and locations of the subatomic particles.
  6. Properties of Elements - Students understand whether a substance is an element. Students understand that when atoms gain or lose neutrons they become isotopes. Students will calculate atomic mass.
  7. The Periodic Table - Students learn about the periodic table. They note trends and draw conclusions as to the elements. Students note families within the periodic table.
  8. Chemical Bonding - Students understand that a chemical bonds involves the gain, loss, or sharing of valence electrons. Students will understand and compare ionic and covalent bonding.
  9. Balancing Equations - Students understand that chemical equations must be balanced. Students practice writing and balancing chemical equations, moving from simpler to more complex equations.
  10. Chemical Reactions - Students understand the types of chemical reactions and their differences. Students consider reactions that require energy and reactions that release energy. Students compare reaction rates and the factors that influence them.
  11. Classifying Matter - Students differentiate and classify different types of matter including compounds, mixtures, and solutions.
  12. Acids and Bases - Students understand the properties of acids, bases, and neutrals. They will test for pH and read the pH scale.
  13. Motion and Force - Students learn to observe motion and calculate speed, velocity, and acceleration. Students understand inertia, momentum, and net forces
  14. Gravity - Students learn the principals of gravity and how it influences objects. Students learn to differentiate between mass and weight and calculate their difference.
  15. Work and Power - Students explore the concepts of work, force, motion, and power. They understand how the concepts of work, motion and force apply to machines.
  16. Understanding Energy - Students understand energy in several forms including: kinetic, potential, mechanical, chemical, electrical, heat, and nuclear.
  17. Wave Energy - Students learn the different types of waves: transverse, longitudinal, surface and their components. Students consider that waves behave in different ways.
  18. Electromagnetic Spectrum - Students identify the parts of the electromagnetic spectrum and compare types of electromagnetic waves.
  19. Electricity - Students identify electric forces and electric fields. Students recognize and understand the functions of different parts within electric circuits. Students learn to calculate electrical current, power, and energy.
  20. Magnetism - Students understand magnetism including: magnets and their poles, magnetic forces and fields, and electromagnetism.
  21. Heat and Temperature - Students understand the concepts of heat and temperature. Students compare and contrast methods of heat transfer.
  22. Nuclear Energy - Students explore the concept of radioactivity and consider its medical and commercial uses. Students explain the difference between nuclear fission and fusion.

For a more detailed description of the lessons, visit the high school Physical Science course overview.

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Chemistry - Course Overview

Chemistry uses a combination of instructional videos, printed worksheets, writing exercises, tests and quizzes to explore the composition of matter and the physical and chemical changes that can occur to matter. Students explore chemistry by studying the atom, the combination of atoms in compounds, and interactions between matter and energy. This course prepares students for further study of science in Physics.

Chemistry lessons are organized into 8 chapters that introduce and cover:

  1. Science is a Process – Students learn how to study chemistry. Lessons cover types of measurement and data collection, significant digits, and scientific notation.
  2. Organizing Matter: Patterns - Students explore patterns associated with chemistry. Lessons include atomic parts and models, understanding atomic mass and particles, the periodic table, electron configurations, molecular geometry and ionic, covalent, and metallic bonding.
  3. Language of Chemistry - Students explore the language of chemistry. They learn rules and conventions for naming chemical formulas and compounds and chemical equations and reactions. Students examine the law of conservation of mass. Students perform stoichiometric calculations.
  4. Phases of Matter - Students explore the states of matter and the laws associated with them. Topics covered include: kindtic-molecular theory, Boyle's Law, Charles's Law, Lussac's Law, the combined gas law, and ideal gas law, molecular composition of gasses, solids and liquids, and phase changes.
  5. Solutions and Their Behavior - Students investigate solutions. They explore concentration in solutions, ions in aqueous solutions, colligative properties of solutions, and acids and bases. They will learn how changing various factors effects properties of solutions.
  6. Chemical Reactions - Students investigate chemical reactions. They explore kinetic energy in chemical reactions, reaction energy and reaction rates, chemical equilibrium, and oxidation-reduction reactions. Students will connect what they learn to real-life situations.
  7. Organic Chemistry - Students investigate organic molecules. Students examine carbon molecules and organic compounds.
  8. Nuclear Chemistry - Students explore nuclear chemistry through learning about the nucleus of the atom, radioactive decay, and nuclear reactions. Students will consider nuclear reactions as a source of usable energy.

For a more detailed description of the lessons, visit the high school Chemistry course overview.

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Physics - Course Overview

Physics uses a combination of instructional videos, printed worksheets, writing exercises, tests and quizzes to investigate matter and energy and how they interact. Students use mathematics to investigate motion and its relation to force and momentum. Some other topics include energy, rotational mechanics, temperature and heat, thermodynamics, and vibrations and waves. The course prepares students for further study of science at the college level.

Physics lessons are organized into 21 chapters that introduce and cover:

  1. Linear Motion - Students consider linear motion, learning about vectors and scalars, position and displacement. Students learn to calculate linear speed, velocity, and acceleration. Students also learn to use kinematic equations, graphs of motion, and reference frames and relative motion.
  2. Projectile (2-D) Motion - Students investigate projectile motion using vectors. Students investigate velocity without acceleration and velocity with constant acceleration.
  3. Newton's Laws - Students explore ideas of motion using Newton's laws. Students consider mass and forces such as friction. Students calculate force, the equilibrium of forces, and create a free-body diagram.
  4. Momentum - Students explore the concept of momentum. Students calculate momentum and relate impulse and momentum. Students learn about conservation of momentum and apply the theory to analyze collisions.
  5. Energy - Students explore energy by calculating work and power. Lessons in the chapter cover potential energy, kinetic energy, energy transfers, conservation of energy, machines, and efficiency.
  6. Rotational Mechanics - Students investigate rotation and revolution and centripetal force. Students measure and calculate force as it relates to the circular motion of an object.
  7. Universal Gravitation - Students explore forces of gravity including weight and gravitational fields. Students investigate Newton's Law of Universal Gravitation and Kepler's Laws explaining orbital motion .
  8. Special Relativity - Students investigate Einstein's special law of relativity and relate their investigations to what they learn about the speed of light. Students will recognize that nothing in the universe travels faster than the speed of light in a vacuum.
  9. Temperature and Heat – Students relate temperature to the motion of particles within an object. Students relate heat to the internal energy of an object. Students analyze forms of heat transfer: convection, conduction, and radiation. Students calculate change in temperature when given amount of heat. Students use kinetic-molecular theory to compare phase change and heat.
  10. Thermodynamics - Students investigate physical systems and the laws of thermodynamics. Subjects of lessons include: the first law of thermodynamics, entropy, and the second law of thermodynamics.
  11. Vibrations and Waves - Students explore waves and vibrations. Lessons include: simple harmonic motion, properties of waves, types of waves, energy transfer by waves, and the Doppler Effect.
  12. Sound and Light – Students will use what they know about waves to explore the properties of sound and light. Some topics include: the electromagnetic spectrum, color, transparent and opaque materials, and polarization and coherence.
  13. Reflection and Refraction – Students consider reflection and refraction through ray theory. Students will make ray diagrams, predict the path of reflected light, examine how light reflects from mirrors according to their shapes, and consider refraction and lenses and their effect on light.
  14. Diffraction and Interference – Students experiment to investigate diffraction of light. Students explore the concept of interference in terms of light and sound waves.
  15. Electrostatics – Students explore a static charge and the electric forces and fields that cause it. Students investigate conductors, insulators, and charged objects. Students explore the concepts of electric fields and potential energy.
  16. Electric Current – Students investigate electric current, voltage and resistance and learn Ohm's Law to calculate these factors. Students learn to calculate power used by electric circuits.
  17. Electric Circuits – Students investigate parallel, series, and complex circuits. Students understand the function of each component of the circuit and the set-up to make different types of circuits.
  18. Magnetism – Students will investigate different aspects of magnetism. They will learn about magnetic fields, how electric currents affect magnetic fields, and magnetic fields and charged particles.
  19. Electromagnetic Induction – Students learn the principles of electromagnetic induction. Students apply what they have learned to understand the place of electromagnetic induction in motors, generators, and alternating current.
  20. Quantum Physics – Students explore the differences between quantum physics and traditional physics. Topics include: light and energy quanta, the photoelectric effect, waves and particles, and quantum physics.
  21. Nuclear Fission and Fusion – Students investigate the relationship between matter and energy as it relates to nuclear fission and fusion.

For a more detailed description of the lessons, visit the high school Physics course overview.

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Time4Learning High School Courses - Program Structure

Time4Learning high school offers an online, interactive curriculum for ninth through twelfth grade that correlates to state standards. The majority of Time4Learning members use it for homeschool, although some use it as an afterschool alternative to tutoring, or for summer study.

High school is distinguished from the PreK-8th grades by an increased emphasis on higher order thinking skills, the effective combination of video with animation, and an increased number of writing projects designed to help students achieve overall college and career readiness. It is organized into courses that cover math, language arts, science, and social studies, with the optional elective courses of health and economics/finance also available.

Students use their own individual login to access Time4Learning's secure, ad-free learning environment. An automated system combines multimedia lessons, instructional videos, printable worksheets, quizzes, tests and both online and offline projects to teach the materials. The system also reinforces concepts, tracks progress, and keeps printable reports that parents can turn into student transcripts or include with homeschool portfolios.

In addition to our standards-based curriculum, Time4Learning members have access to a suite of online tools, lesson plans, teaching resources, and homeschool support to help them along their journey. Parents are considered the "teacher of record", and the home from which they teach is the "school." It is up to the parents to review and grade their student's offline lessons & writing projects, compare Time4Learning to their state standards, and make sure all graduation requirements are met.

It is also important to mention that Time4Learning is a curriculum provider-- not a school. Therefore, Time4Learning cannot be accredited, nor can homeschooled students "graduate" from Time4Learning. Visit our homeschool high school resources page for additional tools, tips and high school resources on this topic.

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