Astrobiology is unique. It is the study of us, and life among the stars. It brings together social studies, space studies, and biology. It brings us together!
"You made me really think into things that I thought had simple answers"
I have to say, THIS COURSE WAS OUT OF THIS WORLD!! (no pun intended)
I had so much fun learning about astro science, and until this course, I never knew what a heliosphere was. I have learned SO MANY THINGS that are not taught in school. All of the homework were hands on activities, and this was the ONLY occasion where I look forward to doing homework (crazy right?). After every class, I am always left astonished about all the wonders of outer space. Thank you for all of your teachings and inspirations!
I really loved the complexity and emergence topic as well as the Golden Record! The complexity and emergence topic gave me a name for the things I like to think about. The Golden Record gave me an opportunity to think about the complexity of our current human knowledge (it’s aweing!).
I wanted to send a quick note to tell you how much Ch. enjoyed your astrobiology class. It was planned exceptionally well and left her running downstairs after each one to excitedly share what she had learned.
Thanks for sharing your knowledge!
Joy L, parent
I cannot really describe how excited A. was at the end of a couple of sessions. He really felt he was part of something that requires a lot of smarts and was really excited and proud of having pushed his knowledge limits.
My son LOVED the classes. Half way through the course, he begged me to register him for the next session already. He loves in class discussions and homework challenges, and i can hear the difference in his reasoning when talking about science and other subjects! Thank you, Julia!
My child loved every minute of Julia's online physics course. He typically hangs back around unfamiliar people, but not this time. He stayed very engaged, eagerly sharing his ideas. When I asked him what he liked about the course, he said it was the fun of discussing ideas, without feeling like being lectured or tested. I loved watching him think deeply about the complex topics, researching relevant information online, asking lots of questions and sharing his ideas with me as well as with his classmates and his instructor. We are looking forward to more courses with Julia.
Our son attended two courses ran by Julia - Big Ideas of Physics and Space Mission Planning. He absolutely loved them and said that he was looking forward to his Friday lessons the whole week. He said that the quality of instruction was excellent and the instructor was knowledgeable and approachable, We are signing him up for another course with Julia this term. Thank you so much for broadening our son's horizons by introducing him to the big and fascinating world of Physics!
Marsha and Ilia, parents
Both kids loved the class, especially J. The class is so different from anything he ever had before (Outschool classes, AOPS classes, etc), it's eye-opening, really got him to start thinking!
Julia is an inspirational teacher full of joy and enthusiasm for her subject. Last year she brought her program to our sixth grade students. Students enjoyed the surprise of realizing that sometimes there can be more than one answer to a problem or more than one approach to finding solutions. Julia’s modeling of how to think about challenging problems helped the students drop their preconceptions and gave them the freedom to experiment and innovate.
I enthusiastically recommend this program to educational institutions or individuals who want to foster in their students deeper thinking skills and confidence in their ability to face intellectual challenges.
Middle School Teacher and Director of Student Affairs
In her book, author Julia Brodsky is offering a treasure trove for home-schoolers, math-club facilitators, and -- wishful thinking! -- mathematics teachers galore, at large, anywhere and everywhere. Studded with wisdom of the pedagogical ages, and framed by a coherent-cum-practical educational vision that could come only from a deeply reflective and exhaustively experienced practitioner in the studio and field - one who has fielded all the "what should we dos," "what ifs", and "buts" - Brodsky presents a compendium of charming, accessible, just-add-water activities, in which less is more, delight trumps drill, and engagement, empowerment, and exuberance prevail.
Associate Professor of Cognition and Development, Graduate School of Education, UC Berkeley
El curso Wonders of Light fue muy divertido. Fue mucho más interesante que una clase regular de ciencias que tenemos en la escuela. Podría hacer muchas preguntas y los videos fueron muy divertidos. El curso comenzó con facilidad, pero realmente se convirtió en desafiante y profundo al final
What I loved about Julia’s book, " Bright, Brave, Open Minds", is that it gave me a chance to impart so much more than information to my children - I soon understood that the underlying purpose was not necessary the mastery of facts, but an opportunity to teach them how to think, that it is acceptable to be wrong, and that sometimes there is more than one answer to the problem.
owner of GatheringInk, co-founder of Mosaic Freeschool, journalist and a homeschooling mom
I am writing in full support of Julia Brodsky’s online astrobiology course Art of Inquiry.
I am a planetary scientist at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. I have multiple astrobiological projects and I believe that Astrobiology is perfect to open and inspire young minds to study science. Astrobiology is incredibly broad and diverse. Habitability of exoplanets, prospects of life on Mars and Europa, synthesis of biomolecules in comets, evolution of the ancient life on Earth, mass-extinctions, Snowball glaciations … - all these fascinating topics are studied under NASA's Astrobiology program. Introducing such unresolved mysteries to kids would show young students that science is “cool” (or “rad” as my son calls it) and just might be enough for some to start a long journey to become a next generation scientist or engineer.
At a young age it is incredibly important to learn how to ask big questions, how not to be afraid of the unknown, how to pursue a problem when there are no prepared answers. Specific knowledge and techniques will come later. In my case as a kid I wanted to find aliens and I still want to find life on Mars and Europa. As I started working towards my interests I realized that I need knowledge in multiple disciplines - physics, chemistry, biology. At that time Astrobiology was not defined as a scientific discipline and it was a challenge for a student like myself because biologists did not talk to space physicists, geologists did not see the need to learn about planets etc. Astrobiology program changed all of that. Scientists of different disciplines are talking and multidisciplinary research is encouraged. It would be beneficial if we show this type of collaboration to younger students because interdisciplinary research efforts become a new norm in modern sciences.