Newton at the Center – Fall 2016 – Spring 2017

Starts on the Date/Time - Jan 23 2017 - 9:00 am - 10:00 am

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This is a two semester class, you must register for this class in the fall of the school year.

Go to 2017 Spring Class Schedule

CLASS DESCRIPTION:Newton at the center andrea whitson GHF GHFO
Newton at the Center is book two in Joy Hakim’s fantastic series that teaches the fundamentals of science by tracing the thoughts, historical context, and experiments of the great thinkers of the western tradition. The class is a great option for new students and those who completed Aristotle Leads the Way with us in 2015-2016.

Our hands-on class is based on a curriculum from the Johns Hopkins Talent Identification Program (available on Amazon) and covers a full-year science curriculum suitable for gifted middle-school-/junior-high-aged children. In the GHF class, we supplement the Hakim/Johns Hopkins materials with additional material, videos, simulations and hands-on experiments at home.

We will recreate experiments from Galileo, Newton, Lavoisier, du Châtelet, and other great thinkers from the Scientific Revolution. During the year, students will cover the fundamental laws of motion, gravitation, atomic theory, the how and why of the periodic table of elements, optics, electromagnetism, an introduction to calculus and radioactive decay. But, don’t let that scare you! The concepts are presented in an entertaining and memorable way—suitable for both young scientists and young poets.

Students should expect to do a minimum of 2 hours per week on homework outside of class, but optional enrichment activities are included in addition to that time in most homework packets.  Experiments can be conducted with materials found in the home or easily available through a local supermarket or hardware store and are designed to be low cost.

Tests, homework, and grades are provided optionally and may be graded at home or by the instructor. We fully support 2e students and will tailor testing, homework, and class participation so that it is low stress and meaningful for each student.

Please note that this is a two-semester course.

andrea whitson GHF GHFO Aristotle Newton KerballInstructor: Andrea Whitson  

5-10 students, 10 years and older

Time: Tuesday 9-10 am Pacific.

Weekly beginning Aug 29 2016 and Jan 23, 2017

Class Registration Fee: $485.00 (GHF Members receive a $15 discount off of each class they sign up for)

GHF Members must be logged in to access the Member-only GHF Online registration form. The first day of class will be displayed on the Event Calendar.  Weekly schedule of classes.


 Semester 1

Week 1: Aristotle was wrong? Say it isn’t so! History of Science Leading Up to the Scientific Revolution

Week 2: Was the Plague a Friend of Science? Also, Leonardo!

Kate estimating  by recreating some Ancient Greek groundwork for calculus that Newton and Leibniz expand upon.

Kate estimating  by recreating some Ancient Greek groundwork for calculus that Newton and Leibniz expand upon.

Week 3: More on Leonardo

Week 4: Dr. Zepernik (Copernicus), Why was he so Different? He showed his work!

Week 5: Parallax, As plain as the nose on Tycho Brahe’s Face, Kepler works for Tycho

Week 6: Galileo and His Times

Week 7: Galileo and the Pendulum, Dropping Heavy and Light Things– Why It Works That Way

Week 8: Galileo and the Medici’s, Gravity and Inertia

Week 9: Galileo, Kepler and the Planets

(Tycho would not Approve, but Newton Will!)

Week 10: Jello Optics and Telescopes

Week 11: Descartes and His Coordinates

Week 12: Newton and His Times

Week 13: Calculus— We Take An Integral, Equations of Motion

Week 14: Calculus— We Take A Derivative, Equations of Motion

Week 15: Newton’s Laws of Motion Part 1

Week 16: Newton’s Laws of Motion Part 2


Semester 2

Week 1: Review of Newton and Galileo

Week 2: Conservation of Momentum

Week 3: The Woman who proved Newton was wrong about Energy

Week 4: Conservation of Energy

Week 5: Ideal Gas Law (and Thermodynamics) 1, The End of Alchemy

Week 6: Ideal Gas Law (and Thermodynamics) 2, Charles Law, Boyle’s Law

Week 7: Ideal Gas Law (and Thermodynamics) 3, The Lavoisiers and Matter is Conserved

Week 8: Ideal Gas Law (and Thermodynamics) 4, Bernoulli and Review of the Experiments

Week 9: Ideal Gas Law (and Thermodynamics) 5, Temperature is not Heat

Week 10: Ideal Gas Law (and Thermodynamics) 6, Avogadro’s Number and Atomic Weights

Week 11: ”The Periodic Table 1, Using Light to Look at Atoms”

Week 12: The Periodic Table 2, Mendeleev and His Times, Early Tables

Week 13: The Periodic Table 3, Lewis Dot Structures to Create new Molecules

Week 14: Electricity and Magnetism, Faraday and Maxwell

Week 15: Work, Energy and Thermodynamics 1, The Laws of Thermodynamics, No Such Thing as Free Energy

Week 16: Work, Energy and Thermodynamics 2, Maxwell’s Demons





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