This high school science course introduces students to science and chemistry in an approachable, engaging way. Authored by John Hudson Tiner, the emphasis is on the people and principles that have made science into what it is today, not on memorizing and using formulas. The program is divided into 12 chapters, each packaged individually. While some chapters focus more exclusively on either chemistry or physics, many cover both. Throughout each chapter, plenty of anecdotes, biographies, and interesting details are shared, making it especially appealing to students who would otherwise probably not enjoy science as much. Designed as a two-credit course, six chapters of the course may also be studied for one credit (although local requirements may vary). Overall, a student will get a very thorough history and understanding of the science concepts in this course, but very little hands-on lab experience (the publisher cautions that additional lab classes may be needed for this program to count for the desired number of credits). However, this course may be a good option for the self-motivated student that does not have a solid math background, and is not looking to major in the sciences in college. - Jess
Designed specifically for self-study (although they can also be used in a classroom situation), these courses have a few things in common with Alpha Omega LIFEPACs. First of all, the course is broken down into booklet-sized increments. Secondly, the work is primarily reading and workbook activities. Hands-on "lab" activities are not incorporated into the courses, although you could add them on fairly easily. One major difference, however, is that Paradigm Accelerated courses are not written from a religious standpoint, although they promote good values and are more conservative than most other secular curriculums. One final general note: Paradigm's courses are designed to appeal to all students, even those who may not be interested in science. If your student already loves science and is looking towards a science-related major in college, they may need a more rigorous program.
The courses are made up of text booklets, activity booklets, and a teacher's resource kit. (For some courses, the text portion is available on CD-ROM in .pdf format.) All of the instruction to the student is found in the text. Text booklets each represent a chapter of the course and typically contain three sections, each of which is split into five lessons, or 15 lessons per chapter. Each lesson is between three and four pages in length, and they are usually focused on a specific topic. Definitions of introduced vocabulary used in the lesson and black-and-white illustrations and diagrams further augment each lesson. Lessons always end with a Life Principle, which is usually a thought-provoking quote from a notable individual that relates in some way to the lesson. After the lesson has been read, the student can complete the corresponding activity pages which are typically made up of short-answer, multiple-choice, true/false, and "list" questions that reinforce the lesson. Students are also asked to write the Life Principle for the lesson. There are about 15-25 questions for each lesson which is a fair amount, considering the length of the lesson itself. After five lessons and lesson activities have been completed, there is a review quiz. Quizzes include approximately 50 questions, mostly short answer and multiple-choice. Chapter tests are taken after a whole chapter has been studied and are about 50 questions in length. Quizzes and chapter tests are found in the Teacher's Resource Packet, which also includes complete answer keys and forms for teacher use. Please note that no answers are found in the student materials. Teacher's Resource Kits are available as a CD-ROM with .pdf files or as a loose-leaf paper copy with the CD-ROM. The content is identical between the CD and the paper copy but there may be times when one form or the other is more convenient. (Please note the publisher is transitioning from CD-ROMS to digital downloads.) - Jess
Items listed in this section tend to be complete science programs with a teacher and student component, requiring few supplements besides science supplies.