Description: This three-term course incorporates science, geography, and history to give a fuller perspective on the history of the universe all the way through to current times. It is primarily a world history course (and will cover all of the material needed for a high school world history course) that truly incorporates many cultural and scientific perspectives to teach your student how we fit into this society, planet, and overall universe.
This course has an online component. There is not a static textbook required. During the terms, projects will be assigned to your individual student. Some work on them will need to be done outside of the classroom. You are not expected to purchase any additional materials for these projects, nor should they prove to be very time-consuming. Schrodinger Academy aims to keep homework well within reason! There are short videos and passages that students may be asked to watch or read before attending class.
The course is organized into 5 main 'chapters'. Here is a chapter by chapter breakdown directly from the curriculum:
CHAPTER 1: THE UNIVERSE
Thresholds of Increased Complexity - Origin Stories From Many Cultures - Goldilocks Conditions - The Big Bang - Star Formation - Birth of Elements
Where did everything come from? Where are we heading? Big History tells the story of the universe starting from the Big Bang, the formation of stars, planets, life on Earth, modern civilization - and what might exist in the future.
CHAPTER 2: OUR SOLAR SYSTEM AND EARTH
Lifecycle of the Sun - Planet Formation - The Young Earth - Astronomers Throughout History - Biosphere - Tectonic Plates - Proving Continental Drift
Ever since the Big Bang the universe has been drifting and expanding. The birth and death of stars leaves an aftermath of galaxies, planets, and even living organisms. Watch the Earth transform from a violent, molten rock to a supporter of life. Discover how astronomers use collective learning to put our planet in its proper place. And learn about Earth's drifting surfaces that cause earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and continental "surfing".
CHAPTER 3: LIFE
Chemicals to Consciousness - Early Life - Adaptation - Mass Extinctions - Geological History - Tree of Life
What makes life on Earth so special? How do you explain its diversity? And, what exactly is it? How life emerged remains a mystery, but we know that it possesses four qualities: it can metabolize, self-regulate, reproduce, and adapt. We also know that life is fragile in the face of gradual and sudden changes to the environment. Just ask the dinosaurs.
CHAPTER 4: HUMANS
Human Evolution - Foraging, Migration, & Beyond - Development of Writing - Rise of Civilization - Religion - How Cultures Connect - Ancient Cities - Agriculture
About 200,000 years ago, we evolved to become the most important force for change on the planet. Our knack for collective learning - preserving information, sharing it with one another, and passing it to the next generation - helps us create entirely new forms of complexity.
CHAPTER 5: THE MODERN REVOLUTION & THE FUTURE
Modern Era - Population & Energy Consumption - Trade, Invention, & Globalization - The Future
After the rise of agriculture, powerful civilizations such as the Persians, Romans, and Mongols developed and exploited long-distance trade routes to expand their regional influence. New transportation and navigational technologies would later connect all world zones, ushering in greater global exchange, commerce, and collective learning. Humans gained control over much of the Earth. So what's next?
Grade Level: These courses are appropriate for middle and high school students.
Course Text: TBA
(Purchase on your own. This is an earlier edition and available new or used.)
Big History Project