Class Time: Tuesdays, 9:00 am – 11:00 am
Grade level: 9th and up
Prerequisite Courses: None
Prerequisite/Required Skills: Independent study habits, willingness to participate and follow instructions well. Students will be expected to come to class fully prepared, having read the assigned reading with completed study questions in order to better participate during lecture and lab.
Instructor: Tracy Niess
Contact Information: firstname.lastname@example.org
This high school biology course covers the science and chemistry of life, ecology, cell structure and function, cellular energy, DNA and, genetics, evolution, prokaryotes and viruses, protists and fungi, plant diversity and reproduction, plant structure and function, and the biology of various types of animals. Apologia’s curriculum presents biology from a creationist point of view. Typical class format will include lecture followed by lab.
LAB: The laboratory component of this course provides hands-on experiments connecting textbook instruction to lecture materials. During labs, students will utilize the scientific method, record data, read and create graphs. The experiments include microscope labs, dissection labs, field study observation labs and some household labs. The latter two could require transportation to other sites; a parent release form will be required for those.
Although not mandatory, this notebook purchase is recommended to provide invaluable assistance in note taking, the elimination of copywork, the capability to review the important terminology, use of drawing aids as well as use of the provided lab form. Without this notebook, your student will require a well organized, divided binder and increased writing/organization. Good note taking is a learned skill; through the use of the recommended student notebook, notes taken in class will suggest using their Cornell system design provided.
Tuition: $400 Materials Fee: $65
Estimated Homework Time: Up to 5 hours per week. A suggested daily schedule is found in the student notebook with clear daily assignments that includes study days for test prep. For those opting not to purchase the notebook, all assignments will be provided weekly by the teacher at the conclusion of class as well as electronically. Advance reading of the weekly module is imperative to better prepare for and understand the college prep level lecture material which includes new vocabulary, terminology and lab procedures. All modules take about two weeks to cover.
Class Size: Minimum 6 students. Maximum 15 students.
*We will be borrowing microscopes. If you would be willing to lend us your microscope for use during the year, we’d be grateful; 10 of the 16 modules use a microscope. Please email Tracy Niess at email@example.com.
Book: Apologia’s Exploring Creation with Biology, 3rd Edition ISBN-13: 9781946506450
Suggested Student Notebook: Exploring Creation with Biology, 3rd Edition ISBN-13: 9781946506481
Note: This curriculum provides multiple avenues for varied learning styles and/or struggling readers: ( https://www.apologia.com/shop/?swoof=1&pa_topic-series=biology)
Teacher Qualifications: Tracy Niess graduated Summa Cum Laude from Duquesne University with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Management and a minor in Marketing. After a number of great years in the corporate world serving in a number of Sales/Marketing roles including her favorite as Director of Corporate Events and Communications for more than 10 years, through the Lord’s prompting and provision, Tracy chose to become a teacher. Starting as a preschool teacher at her church, the love of teaching was ignited and she became certified preparing her for the full-time homeschool journey that began for her son who will graduate in May 2023. This journey included teaching everything from unit studies, writing, drama, and history at various co-ops to even creating her own science co-op. Mrs. Niess found she loves teaching kids of all ages most any material, but through her love of God’s creation in the outdoors and her son’s career interests in the sciences, she has found science and the outdoor field studies as some of her favorites. More recently, Tracy taught high school Biology, Principles of Zoology and Ecology and is now leading a high school team in the nation’s largest natural resource competition, Envirothon. Other environmental involvement includes becoming a certified Stream Monitor through Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy and serving along with her son in their amphibian, herpetology, and salt watch programs. Tracy and her husband have always participated/coached in all sports their children participated in and she currently provides coaching assistance to her son’s homeschool track/cross country team. Mrs. Niess is an active member and Elder at Ashburn Presbyterian Church where she participates on the Worship Team and Choir, leads VBS and children’s choir, provides direction for and assists with Youth Group and other church wide events and serves as the Wedding Coordinator. When she has extra time, you will find Mrs. Niess in her vegetable or flower gardens, loving and caring for her sheep and chickens on their farm, creating/designing anything from nature for display or gifts, playing board games with her family, reading a book or exercising/running on the trail behind their home. She lives in Leesburg with her witty, hardworking husband, Bill, and her athletic, outdoor son, Cooper, and their sweet but lazy rescued dog, Louie.
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