High School Chemistry 1 & 2 is a two-semester online course for homeschool students that covers the fundamentals of chemistry as well as introducing students to the evidence of intelligent design in chemistry. Students will meet with the teacher for 90 minutes online on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Additional time available for drop-in sessions. Space is limited, so register early!

  • Dates: August 26, 2024 – May 30, 2025
  • Schedule: T, Th with two sessions to choose from: Section A @ 9:00-10:30 am (PT); Section B @ 11:00 am-12:30 pm (PT)
  • Textbook: Pearson Chemistry 2017 (may also be branded Savvas Chemistry)
  • Instructor: Kristin Marais
  • Tuition: $350 per semester (use code chem25 for a $25 discount!)

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This course is best suited for homeschooling students as Discovery Institute Academy is not a credit-bearing institution and thus cannot issue official transcripts. Please see the “Learning and Assessment” section in the syllabus for more on how this practically relates to evaluating a student’s overall “grade” at the end of the course.

Course Details

This course will address the concepts of a traditional high school chemistry course, preparing students for a future high school AP chemistry course or college/university general chemistry course. The course will tie in intelligent design (ID) concepts where applicable.

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Subjects Covered

In the first semester, students will become proficient in the process of science, matter and atomic structure, electronic structure, chemical bonding, and intro to chemical reactions. In the second semester, students will go deeper into chemistry topics by classifying various types of reactions; carrying out stoichiometry problems; studying the behavior of gases; and exploring the states of matter, properties of solids, liquids, and solutions, thermochemistry, kinetics, equilibrium, and spontaneity, acids and bases, and nuclear chemistry.

Academic Skills

At various points, students will develop the skills of scientific inquiry through posing questions, formulating hypotheses, designing and/or conducting experiments, collecting and analyzing data, drawing conclusions, and communicating their findings. 

Methods and Media

Students will learn through a variety of mediums including videos, handouts, assigned readings, discussion boards, Labster virtual simulations, wet-labs, activities, projects, and quizzes/assignments. DiscoveryU will be the portal for reviewing content (e.g., articles, instructional pages, handouts, videos, etc.) including select Discovery Institute books, articles, and multimedia embedded into the course. Canvas will be the portal for submitting assignments, reviewing assignment scores / feedback, checking overall grades, and emailing the instructor.

Course Syllabus

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Registration and Tuition

Tuition is $350 per each semester, but for a limited time, we are offering a discount code for $25 off semester 1 tuition. (Code: chem25). Registration and tuition for semester 1 is due before Monday, August 19, 2024. Tuition for semester 2 is due before Monday, December 16, 2024. Space is limited, so register early!

Meet Your Instructor

Kristin Marais

Kristin Marais has roughly 15 years of educational experience spanning the traditional building classroom, online classroom, curriculum development, and tutoring. She graduated from the University of California Riverside with a BS in biochemistry and then completed a MS in Teaching through Western Washington University. Kristin is a Washington state certified teacher with endorsements in chemistry, biology, and general science. She has 10 years of teaching experience within public school districts, and 7 of those years were as an online instructor. She is passionate about chemistry as a subject, well-versed in online instruction, and dedicated to her students. 

Learn More about Kristin

Kristin’s teaching experience began informally and without teaching credentials of any kind when she served at a small mission school for a year in the Micronesian Islands, teaching 4th grade students. After obtaining her teaching certificate, Kristin’s work with students with IEPs (individualized education plans) within a conceptual physics course was recognized by both parents/guardians of these students and their special education teachers in a “SEPAC award.” Kristin spearheaded her 9th grade science team by developing standards for their new curriculum and adapting this curriculum to a one-to-one program where all students would have laptops for the first time. 

Later, during her 7 years as an online instructor for a fully online public school, Kristin had extensive experience developing and teaching online curriculum including biology, chemistry, physical science, and an integrated chemistry-earth science course. Throughout, she developed supplemental handouts, simulations, labs, and projects, hosted 1:1 Zoom sessions with students, provided detailed student feedback, and monthly communicated student progress to parents/guardians. Kristin adapted and piloted a standards-based model for online assessment, experimented with various grade-pathways for at-risk students, and shared ideas and approaches for online labs with her science colleagues. Throughout, she was committed to developing science courses which were engaging and relevant while tirelessly assisting struggling students, often employing outside-of-the-box strategies to support students individually. 

Outside of teaching, Kristin spent 4.5 years in South Africa and founded a small nonprofit she continues to chair called “FALSA” (Free-a-Life-South Africa) that sponsors addicts in Johannesburg through a 3-step program including detox, rehab, and post-rehab. She also enjoys coffee, hiking, camping, travel, and mentoring teens.