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Marine Biology & Oceanography | 24-25

Marine Biology & Oceanography

In this live online Marine Biology & Oceanography class, high school homeschoolers will collaborate with their teacher and peers to develop an understanding of how we impact the ocean and how, in turn, the ocean impacts our lives.

  • Students taking this integrated science course will study the chemical, physical, and biological components of the ocean.

  • Marine Biology & Oceanography is divided into three units of study: the ocean environment, organisms of the sea, and structure and function of marine ecosystems. 


Class Details

  • Marine Biology & Oceanography | Traditional, full-year, live, lab-science class

  • Tuition & Fees:

    • Tuition $775

    • Digital Resources Fee: $45 (includes the course ebook)

    • Custom Lab Kit: Approximately $154

    • See all required class resources HERE.

  • Instructor: Marcy Swisher

  • Dates: August 26, 2024 to May 4, 2025

  • Weekly Live Classes: Mondays @ 12-1 p.m. Eastern

  • Prerequisites: 

    • ​Grade Level: 10th-12th (15+)

    • Students must have successfully completed a high school-level Biology class.

    • Completion of a high school Chemistry class is helpful but not required.

  • Class size: 10-12

  • See our FAQ for:

    • age/grade guidelines, prerequisites, and class fit recommendations

    • a complete list of days, times, and breaks

    • a list of CA charter schools where this course is a-g approved

  • Format:

    • Students share an interactive online classroom and meet live on Zoom

    • Please note: live classes are not lectures.

      • Students will be actively discussing their coursework and collaborating with their peers each week, and in order to do that, they will be expected to keep their webcams on and participate.

      • Regular attendance in live classes is not optional, but we certainly understand that "life happens." Since there will be the occasional reason that live attendance is not possible, the instructor will work with the student to keep them caught up.

  • Average weekly time estimate: 6-8 hours, including recorded and live instruction

  • All Blue Tent science courses are NCAA-approved.

  • Instructor video about the class


Foundational Elements

This course will be taught using the "flipped classroom" model.

  • Students will prepare for class by completing weekly assignments and activities. Those may include textbook reading, videos, podcasts, or current articles.

    • Before each live class, students must complete weekly notes. These are their "entry ticket" into the class, and will help the teacher plan for and tailor class discussion

    • Live class time will be spent expanding on the material through discussion, peer activities, group projects, or hands-on labs.

  • A typical week will open on Monday morning and close Saturday afternoon.

    • Live classes on Mondays will reinforce the prior week's material.

  • Marine Biology & Oceanography will not be test heavy; rather, emphasis will be placed on discussion (both in class and on discussion boards), projects, and labs.

    • Marcy Swisher's favorite way to assess student knowledge is through group discussion and interaction.

  • Marcy will work to create a safe and welcoming environment for all students.

    • She understands that it can be scary to talk in class, but promises to help guide students and give them the encouragement needed to feel confident.

    • Discussions are rarely about the "right" answer. Often, just contributing a thought is enough to spark a meaningful dialogue. Marcy will assure students that she doesn't always have all "the answers" either and that the key is exploration and inquiry! 

  • This class is meant to introduce students to a seminar framework, where regular class participation is valued over teacher-led lectures, and Marcy will strive to make this an enjoyable and rewarding experience for all. 

Core and Supplemental Resources

  • Your digital resources fee includes:

    • An ebook of McGraw Hill's Marine Science (2019)

    • Interactive learning resources and activities that are closely paired with the text.

    • Marcy will invite several experts in the field of marine biology to be guest speakers

  • Students will watch and discuss podcasts from an array of sources, including "Speak Up For the Ocean Blue," "Meet the Ocean," and "NOAA Ocean Podcasts."

  • Virtual and hands-on labs will be interwoven throughout the year.

  • Students will work within the Google suite to complete and submit most assignments. Each student will create and share a Google folder with the instructor and will collaborate through Google Docs set up for sharing within the class.

Marine Biology & Oceanography will be highly interactive, utilizing online message boards as well as live class time to develop a truly collaborative and enjoyable course. Whether students live on a coast or thousands of miles inland, this class is designed to be a fun way to further develop a love of the ocean. 

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