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Science

Life Science

Grades 6-7
Teacher: Aubrey Saunders

Life Science is an honors-level middle school science course. This course is taught as a traditional science course, incorporating laboratory activities, virtual activities, short-term projects, long-term studies, and field investigations. No previous formal science classes are required to be successful in this class. Aubrey's classes emphasize discussion and active learning over a straight lecture format.

Chemistry

Grades 9-11
Teacher: Paige Kirsch

This course is designed for Cedar Park students in the 2024-2025 school year and covers the prediction of chemical interactions, subatomic particles, molecular structures, chemical reactions, stoichiometry, gas laws, and thermodynamics. Paige's high-energy classes review the material learned at home through videos and readings, and are complemented by relevant labs to apply our knowledge and skills. Join us and embark on a thrilling journey into the world of chemistry!

Forensics

Grades 7-8
Teacher: Paige Kirsch

Designed for mature middle schoolers, this course strikes a great balance between educational rigor and fun. With a compelling introduction into the world of Forensics, kids learn how to analyze crime scenes, calculate ballistics trajectories, discern risk factors in medical history reports, and more! 

Our first semester begins with a murder. Students are tasked to analyze the blood spatter, finger prints, and stomach contents found at the crime scene, as well as discern the chemical properties of a new type of illicit substance found near the body. Next, kids apply their knowledge of medicine and microscopy to create their own fake crime scenes for others to solve. The spring sets us off into a look at scientists who use Forensics in their careers. We learn about the technology used by FBI agents and Forensic Anthropologists to piece together mysteries that happened recently or over thousands of years ago. Along with great labs and exciting activities, this semester offers students a chance to engage with phenomenal guest speakers who have decades of experience in the field. 

 

Over all, this course challenges kids to think creatively and engage with some of the foundational skills of biology, chemistry, and physics. It's an exciting course aimed to inspire students to use science to solve problems. Don't miss out! This one fills fast!

Physics

Grades 11-12
Teacher: Paige Kirsch

This course uses laboratory and field investigations to critically analyze topics such as laws of motion, changes within a system, conservation of energy, forces, and characteristics of waves, electricity, and magnetism. In high school physics, we use a combination of math and science to solve problems and predict engineering outcomes. Therefore, a prerequisite of Algebra 1 is required to take this course. 

Our first semester begins with the study of kinematics, Newton's Laws, and a deep dive into projectile motion. We pull out our hammers and skateboards and cars and ramps to simulate the principles of physics, answering important questions like, "Why does the bottom of a glass bottle shatter if you hit it from the top?"

The second semester dives into gravity (pun intended), momentum, waves, and electricity. We design our own electrical grids in cities , learn why candles in space are spherical instead of pointed, and observe how sand forms different patterns on a metal plate when vibrated by various frequencies. Virtual office hours are offered weekly to ensure that everyone stays on the same page if they work hard!

 

Don't miss out on this great class that combines high-energy labs and lectures with quality at-home readings and videos to create a place for all kids to succeed. 

Biology

Grades 8-9
Teacher: Paige Kirsch

This course allows students to explore relevant topics such as DNA, cells, genetics, metabolism, and environmental issues while empowering them to make informed decisions and conduct research. Our weekly labs are accompanied by high energy lectures and games to enhance the learning done at home through videos and textbook readings. 

Our first semester is all about microbiology, where students experiment with calorimetry, DNA isolation, and microscopy. We also complete fun activities, such as taking virtual reality tours of the cell to create elaborate cell models representing the smallest structure of life! In the second semester, we dive into the relationships between organisms and their environment, offering a comprehensive learning experience over genetics, physiology, and environmental sciences. We experiment with EKG probes, conduct thorough pedigrees over "super taster" families, debate HIPPA violations, and analyze the ramifications of relevant environmental issues like ocean acidification and draught. Throughout the course, various careers are highlighted to provide students context for how they could work in the field of biology. We also apply our knowledge to diseases such as cancer, diabetes, sickle cell anemia, and cystic fibrosis. Don't miss out! Explore the wonders of the natural world and discover the secrets of life. 

Math

Math

English

English

Math Fundamentals

Grades 5-6
Teacher: Dawn Roberts

Math FUNdamentals is intended for late-elementary or early-middle school students, designed to prepare the students for success in pre-algebra. Hands-on activities, mental math challenges, and games will engage the students in sharpening their math skills. There will also be an emphasis on how to organize and show work that is critical to success in higher level math courses. Students will have homework outside of class to deepen their understanding of the mathematics concepts covered in class.

Geometry

Grades 9-10
Teacher: Dawn Roberts

Geometry is the study of shapes. In this course, students will learn about geometrical concepts such as points, lines, and planes. Students will learn how to construct logically sound geometrical proofs, calculate area and volume, and measure angles. This course ends with a brief introduction to trigonometry and statistics.

Required materials for this course include the textbook, a scientific calculator, graph paper, a ruler, and a protractor.

Prerequisites: successful completion of Algebra I.

Pre-Algebra

Grades 7-8
Teacher: Dawn Roberts

Pre-algebra is designed to combine previously learned numerical concepts and prepare the student for success in algebra and beyond. This course covers concepts dealing with positive and negative numbers, decimal numbers, fractions, ratios, percentages, factoring, inequalities, graphing, and an introduction to polynomials and solving equations. Hands-on activities, games, and projects are used to re-enforce concepts that make math more fun. Students will have homework outside of class to deepen their understanding of mathematics. 

Algebra 2

Grades 9-10
Teacher: Dawn Roberts

Algebra II requires the student to develop critical thinking skills to solve real life problems. The author challenges the student with problems that combine several mathematical concepts and thus requires the deepening of algebraic and logical thinking skills developed in previous courses. A graphing calculator is required and the TI84+ is recommended.

Prerequisites: successful completion of Algebra I and Geometry.

Algebra 1

Grades 8-9
Teacher: Dawn Roberts

To quote Harold Jacobs, “Algebra is the gate and key of mathematics. Algebra has become the language of science.” Having a firm foundation in algebra is essential to all higher level math and science classes. This course, using this classic text by Harold Jacobs, will provide students with a rigorous training in algebraic concepts and the skills and discipline needed to succeed in higher level math and science classes in high school and beyond.

Pre-Calculus with Trigonometry

Grades 10-12
Teacher: Jo Lindberg

Pre-Calculus is designed as a full-year course following Geometry and Algebra II. This course will thoroughly cover trigonometry and increase the depth and understanding of different types of functions introduced in previous courses. Emphasis is placed on numerical, graphical, algebraic, and verbal understanding of the functions and concepts covered. A graphing calculator is required and the  TI84+ is recommended. (If you have questions about which calculator to get, please email Jo Lindberg at tcubedaustin@gmail.com.)

 

Prerequisites: successful completion of Geometry and  Algebra II

Middle School English I

Gods and Goddesses! Mortals and Monsters!
Grades 6-7
Teacher: Rachel Hoyle

In this introduction to Middle School English course, we will explore the world of the ancient myths, legends and heroes.  We will also read and examine the modern take on mythology of the Percy Jackson novels. This class is highly interactive — we read, act, create artwork and write until we can write no more. During this year, we will lay a foundation in grammar, punctuation and vocabulary development. We will broaden our ‘word horizon’ by learning Greek and Latin roots, prefixes and suffixes. In addition, students will begin to fully utilize the writing process through the exploration of a variety of creative writing styles. Students will compose personal pieces, short stories, myths, legends, poems, plays, descriptive and imaginative pieces. This class is an ideal introduction for the student who is new to the formal ‘classroom experience.’

Prerequisite: must be age 11 by the first day of class

High School Honors English II

O, Humanity! Love, Pride, Prejudice, Alienation, Domination
Grade 10
Teacher: Rachel Hoyle

In the Honors English II course, students will read and analyze a variety of texts in order to critically approach and respond to a diverse set of genres and styles.  We start the year with a unit on Science Fiction.  We study deeply human characteristics in literature — love, pride, prejudice, alienation, domination and hubris. In addition, students will continue to refine their writing skills by addressing all aspects of the writing process. We study logic and argumentation, culminating in major writing assignments focusing on both short fiction and non-fiction pieces and literary analysis. The main instructional approach of the course will be student-centered and focused on interactive instruction. The goal of this course is to increase student confidence and achievement in both critical reading and writing.

Prerequisite: High School English I or teacher approval

Middle School English II

All Things Magical and Mysterious
Grades 7-8
Teacher: Rachel Hoyle

In this Honors Middle School English course, students will read and analyze short fiction, nonfiction, poetry, drama, and novels.  We dive into magical realms, mysteries, romance and Shakespeare!  The ultimate goal of middle school English is to lay the groundwork for the literary analysis and critical thinking and writing necessary for entrance into English I.  The readings are targeted to the advanced 7th grader or 8th grader, and the class is best suited to the student who has had some 'classroom' experience and the maturity to keep pace. In addition, students will begin to fully utilize the writing process through the exploration of a variety of writing styles.  Students will compose personal pieces, descriptive and imaginative pieces, and a mini-research paper. Vocabulary building will be intertwined throughout the course. 

Prerequisite: Middle School English I or teacher approval

High School Honors British Literature with Study Tour

This blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this England...
Grades 11-12
Teacher: Anne Lynch

This course is a survey of British literature from the Medieval period to the Modern while integrating a study of history in relation to the context of the literary work. This helps the reader's understanding and appreciation of the literature, as well as providing cultural context for University level study to come.  Students write critical and argumentative essays, engage in creative writing projects, and make technology-assisted oral presentations. Students also continue to prepare for the ACT, SAT, and college entrance exams. Choice of Shakespearean plays to be read will depend on the performance schedule of the Globe Troupe and Royal Shakespeare Company for the Summer season.

Prerequisite: High School English II, teacher approval, and must be age 15+

High School Honors English I

So You Say You Want a Revolution...
Grade 9
Teacher: Rachel Hoyle

In the Honors English I course, students will be exposed to a wide range of literature, including short stories, non-fiction works, poetry, plays, and novels.  We have a focus on Revolution - both social and political.  We examine why and how these massive changes occur, how rhetoric shapes them, and how we record them in fiction. In addition, students will utilize the writing process to produce a variety of written pieces, including short fiction, persuasive and expository essays, and a mini-research paper. Writing instruction will center on the organization and structure of ideas. The instructional approach will consist mainly of project-based learning, as well as more traditional reading and writing activities. The goal of this course is to expose students to a variety of texts in order to hone critical thinking skills.

Prerequisite: Middle School English II or teacher approval

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