Home school program

Explore the Wonder!

The Wonder Club is filled with fun, interactive, and hands-on activities facilitated by experienced staff. Participants learn to ask questions, carry out investigations, analyze data, develop models, and design solutions through exciting games and projects! Engaging in these science and engineering methods prepares them to be better equipped for STEM careers.

10 Week Home School Program

Ages 7-9 - February 18, 25 March 3, 10, 17, 24, 31 April 14, 21, and 28

Ages 10-13 - February 20, 27, March 5, 12, 19, 26, April 2, 16, 23, and 30

Register before December 1st for a 10% Early Bird discount!

$240 per student*
*10% discount for Thanksgiving Point members

 

What are the Topics?

Throughout the course, students will be exposed to topics in physical science, life science, earth and space science, and engineering design. Within each of these branches, topics include properties of matter, waves, energy, ecosystems, cells, traits, solar system, geology, the design process, and much more.  Ages 7-9 will look at all of these topics through the lens of seasonal cycles in nature, a study called phenology. The older age group (10-13) will study all of these topics through the literal lens of a microscope.

 

Nature's Cycles - Phenology

Ages 7-9

Tuesdays 1:30-3:30

See below for a full schedule of dates and class topics

Watch closely as the world around you transforms in the changing sunlight. Look at the Earth’s rotation around the sun and how it creates seasons by playing on a room-sized solar system map. Examine changes in weather and climate and watch how plants and animals change their survival strategies from winter to spring through active games and outdoor exploration. Learn to record the changes you see as you notice the signs of spring in your hand made nature notebook.

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Look Closer - Microscopy

Ages 10-13

Thursdays 1:30-3:30

See below for a full schedule of dates and class topics

Take a close look at geology, biology, and chemistry with the use of both simple and advanced microscopes. See the amazing and tiny world of crystals, fungi, bugs, plants, cells, and much more! Students will get familiar with the tool, looking closely at everyday items to learn how they work, what they are made of, and what they can tell us about how the world works. You will even get to build your own microscope to take home and continue exploration.

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Phenology - Ages 7-9

Museum of Ancient Life

The Solar System: I wonder why seasons happen. I wonder how far away the sun is.

Step into the solar system on our giant space mat and visualize the Earth’s rotation around the sun. Experience why seasons happen and what triggers the chain reaction of spring each year.

Butterfly Biosphere

Weather and Climate: I wonder when it will be warm again. I wonder why spring is so rainy.

Set up a weather station and begin recording weather data. Experience a rainforest climate in our Butterfly Biosphere Conservatory and compare to Utah’s winter desert climate in our outdoor garden.

Museum of Natural Curiosity

Snow Science: I wonder if all snowflakes are actually unique. I wonder why snow is sometimes different.

Learn about the snowpack, and how snowflakes form in the water cycle. Observe melting and freezing as it occurs in our backyard garden. Engineer houses to withstand huge amounts of snow.

Museum of Natural Curiosity

Winter Survival – Plants: I wonder how different animals stay warm in the winter. I wonder what they eat.

Examine plants up close and see their unique winter survival strategies. Hypothesize the hardships that face plants in the cold months and investigate how they change for a warmer season.

Museum of Natural Curiosity

Winter Survival – Animals: I wonder how plants get enough sunlight in the winter. I wonder how they keep their water from freezing.

Investigate what animals do in the winter and how they survive. Learn to look for animal signs in the winter and discover some of the incredible winter survival strategies they use.

Museum of Natural Curiosity

Birds of Spring: I wonder which birds are the first to come back to Utah in the spring. I wonder what they look like and sound like.

Learn to identify some of Utah’s migratory birds like the red-winged black birds and robins. Investigate their migration patterns and the seasonal changes that drive those migrations. Learn where to look and how to contribute to Journey North citizen science.

Butterfly Biosphere

Insects of Spring: I wonder if insects can be a sign of spring too. I wonder when and where to look for them.

Explore our backyard garden for the first bugs of spring. Investigate where they might go all winter and examine some of the incredible strategies insects use to get through until spring.

Museum of Natural Curiosity

Running Rivers: I wonder why the rivers are so much faster in the spring. I wonder how we can minimize the flood damage.

Observe what happens to rivers in the spring and hypothesize what causes them to get so full and fast. Talk about the dangers of floods and design solutions to mitigate the risks.

Farm Country

Spring on the Farm: I wonder what farmers do all winter. I wonder how the farm changes as things warm up.

Experience the farm in a time of transition. Observe and engage in the important farming practices that take place in the springtime, for the plants and the animals that give us food and drink and clothes.

Museum of Natural Curiosity

Combining Observations: I wonder why scientists pay such attention to signs of spring. I wonder what our observations can tell us about Utah and the world.

Chart all of our recorded phenological data collected over the past 10 weeks. Make predictions of what we might see later on this spring. Create your own phenology journal to continue observation and exploration into the rest of the seasons.

Microscopy - Ages 10-13

Butterfly Biosphere

Observation: I wonder what’s inside a drop of water. I wonder what exactly a microscope is.

Jump right into microscopy by viewing life inside a drop of water with a microscope anyone can make at home. Investigate the significance of microscopes and explore the exciting world of the too-small-to-see.

Museum of Natural Curiosity

Microscopes: I wonder how a microscope works. I wonder if I can make one.

Investigate how microscopes work, experimenting with lenses and light. Experience how simple a microscope can be by creating your own 3D-printed, take-home microscope.

Museum of Ancient Life

Rocks and fossils: I wonder what makes rocks different. I wonder where rocks come from.

Observe how rocks start to look radically different once you zoom in 20, 40, or 100 times. Examine rock crystals and hypothesize about their formation.

Butterfly Biosphere

Insects: I wonder how bugs can walk on walls. I wonder what and how bugs eat.

Introducing our most advanced student microscopes to zoom in up to 400X. Examine the tiny external structures of insects and investigate how they eat, what, and experience the world based on the structures we find when we look up close.

Butterfly Biosphere

Insects II: I wonder how butterfly wings are built. I wonder why they are that way.

Examine the delicate scales on a butterfly’s wing and its crazy compound eyes. Investigate how these animals function in their environments and experience their world.

Museum of Natural Curiosity

Technology: I wonder what’s inside my cell phone. I wonder how a microchip works.

Work with some simple circuits and learn basics of microcomputing. View microchips and other bits of technology under the microscopes to uncover their tiny secrets.

Museum of Ancient Life

Food: I wonder what my food is really made of. I wonder what exactly happens when food goes bad.

Bring in a snack to eat and examine up close. Examine mold growth on bread to see what exactly mold is. Peel apart an onion to prepare a slide for viewing plant cells!

Ashton Gardens

Plants: I wonder how plants breath. I wonder if trees eat.

Dissect a flower and view its pollen, leaves and stem at 100X and 400X zoom. Compare the leaves of coniferous and deciduous trees on a microscopic level.

Farm Country

Fibers: I wonder what’s the difference between wool and cotton and other fabric. I wonder why wool is so warm.

Meet many of the animals at our farm that provide us with warmth in the cold months. Touch and feel the animals and then examine the wool, down, and leather that they provide in the microscopes.

Butterfly Biosphere

Curiosity: I wonder what else I can look closely at. I wonder what else I can explore.

This is the opportunity to examine and investigate whatever you are still curious about. Collect specimens from outside and study them up close along with any objects students brought with them.

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