Environmental Sciences with Madeline Goodwin!

by Madeline Goodwin, GHFO Instructor

We live on a 12,756-kilometer-wide ball of rock hurtling through space at 108,000 kilometers an hour while spinning at 460 meters per second, which is composed of 32% iron, 30% oxygen, 15% silicon, 14% magnesium, and 7% other stuff. That ball of rock is surrounded by an atmosphere that contains 78% nitrogen and 21% oxygen, and has a hydrosphere with 1.4 billion cubic kilometers of water cycling between the solid, liquid, and gaseous stages. Plates grind together, lava resists pressure, air spins into storms. This world is a force of nature. Let's take a tour of our planet!

This planet has always fascinated me. As a kid, I would try to raise pill bugs in little habitats I created for them. I would scratch rocks together, wondering which ones were harder and why. For our homeschool "curriculum," my family went on road trips across the U.S., stopping at National Parks, Monuments, and other preserved areas. I learned about the diverse landscapes we see in different regions of the country.

Many years and two degrees in environmental sciences later, I'm thrilled to be able to share that enthusiasm with your kids! I've always loved teaching—as my younger brother can attest—and the opportunity to teach for GHF, an organization that has provided my family and me with so many resources and so much support through the past ten years, is an honor and privilege.

In Intro to Planet Earth, we will spend a semester digging into the science of our home world, using fans, straws, water, and Oreo cookies.

We'll build our own volcanoes . . .

. . . play with food . . .  oreo

. . . and get creative with household supplies. household supplies chemistry homeschool


The goals of this class are simple: learn things and have fun. Students will go on a guided tour of the planet, with class discussions, at-home science projects, and other small assignments. Parents and guardians will have the opportunity to bond with their kids as we conduct this exploration of our extraordinary world!

If your child is ready, they can skip to the next class in the sequence is Ecosystems of the World! Your child will travel the world and explore its many and varied ecosystems! From the Arctic tundra to the African rainforests, diverse topography, ocean and atmospheric currents, and latitude support millions of different plants, animals, fungi, and other species. In this class, we will learn about these biological communities and their interactions with Earth systems.

Pre­requisites for Ecosystems: Intro to Planet Earth and Meet the Biosphere, or equivalent comprehension of Earth systems and biology. Not sure if your child is ready for this class? Take this quiz!

Here's what one parent said about these classes.

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Register for Intro to Planet Earth, Ecosystems of the World or any of the other science classes available from GHF Online.

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