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Testimonials From Our Students And Parents

Testimonials From Our Students And Parents

Stephanie K, parent

We met Julia 3 years ago as new homeschoolers when we signed up for an in person physics class. At the time, we were looking for a content rich, discussion based science class. Well we found it! She ignited the learning passion again! Her current online offerings in astrobiology and space science have been part of our homeschooling endeavor ever since. The content in her classes often connects to everything else we are learning as many subjects really are interconnected. Her passion for science and education is contagious! Julia is a Forbes education contributor, and we value her insightful and inspiring articles.

N., student

“These lessons add meaning to my life” 

O., student

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!

A.N, student

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!

Alina B., parent

Julia's Astrobiology class for kids is Phenomenal. Our son could not wait for each lesson, and then couldn't stop talking about what he had learned with Julia. The class made him think in new ways, and consider things that he couldn't even imagine before. This is a fantastic class that I would highly recommend to a child who is interested in science.

Jennifer A., parent

Julia is a gifted teacher with an incredible amount of knowledge that she's eager to pass on to the kids. She asks engaging questions, really encouraging kids to think.
My daughter, 10, says her classes with Julia are her favorite, and she likes that she's not treated like a kid or a girl (her words).

Stefano, parent

I cannot really describe how excited Antonio 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.

H.H, student

I really loved the complexity and emergence topic! The complexity and emergence topic gave me a name for the things I like to think about. It also gave me an opportunity to think about the complexity of our current human knowledge (it’s aweing!).

S., student

You made me really think into things that I thought had simple answers

A., student

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

Vera N., parent

Amazing online classes on astrobiology - my 9 year old daughter is so engaged and happy to participate!

Jenny, parent

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!

Maria S., parent

My son took 2 sessions of Art of Inquiry. Lessons were very interesting and engaging. He learned a lot, but most of all, he developed critical thinking skills he did not have before. He now constantly brings up what he learned, and is making interesting connections.
Julia is a great instructor and really encourages kids to think. She is running the class very effectively, allowing everyone to participate and staying on topic at the same time. She brings tons of experience (both in science and in education). I think it is practically impossible to find another instructor who has so much experience in the field, and in educating young kids at the same time.
Alex enjoyed interacting with other kids and exchanging ideas.
Lastly, even though we are on the West coast, the time was very convenient.

Marsha and Ilya, parents

Our son attended two courses run 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!

Katya, parent

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!

Natalia B., parent

My child has always been curious. Studying astrobiology made her even more curious, she is coming up with more questions and initiating home science experiments. She is asking more questions about cause and effect, coming up with riddles, writing more... What is most important, she is not afraid to ask silly questions or make a mistake. In the beginning of the session she was a little shy but I hear her getting more involved. We have more science talks in the family. I highly appreciate how Julia wove the current events, specifically COVID-19 pandemic and underlying issues. Children explore it with a scientific approach which helps reduce fear, avoid prejudice. 

Joy L., parent

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!

Yelena M., parent

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

Leah, parent

Your classes are looked forward to by Noah every week. He often talks about things discussed in class in great detail to us. Your classes have broadened his understanding. Thank you!!! We love your classes and are looking forward to year 2!

Caitlyn P., parent

Reece's study of Astrobiology over the past 5 months has made a significant difference in his world view and thinking - it has been amazing. He's never been a kid who was particularly drawn to science - he has always been very passionate about military history in particular. I thought that your program would be a great way for him to be exposed to engaging and challenging science, but didn't necessarily expect him to love it. I was wrong! He anxiously made sure that I had signed him up for the spring session and is constantly sharing all that he has learned with any adult that will listen - music teacher, grandparents, neighbors, etc. He is so much more thoughtful about the complexities of the world, the questions that are out there, and we end up discussing astrobiology as a family regularly. I found myself explaining the Great Filter the other day to my brother! One really powerful change I have noticed is that when Reece started classes with you, the idea of the vastness of the universe and things like black holes were scary and overwhelming to him. Now he is excited by those ideas and is able to navigate the subtleties and possibilities of different topics, better gauging what is and is not an imminent threat to his safety. 
Thank you for this wonderful program and Reece is looking forward to the fall session!

Hridhay B., student

I am taking the Astrobiology classes (10 week course) from art of inquiry taught by Ms. Julia Brodsky.  It is a very refreshing experience.  I have Autism and the online interactive model of the classroom is perfect for me.  It has me interacting with peers but without overwhelming my senses.  I really like the pace of the class and the great videos that go with each concept.  It helps reinforce the concepts that are abstract .  I am also relaxed and can ask questions in a chat session without feeling that I am on the spot.  No question is too simple in the class .  Also, Ms. Brodsky is constantly asking us to offer our opinion / take on the concepts presented.  I am able to put forth my thoughts without any anxiety.  I also take 1:1 / small group classes in a private school which involves face to face interaction.  That requires different skills and I work on building it . But a combination of online and face to face is needed for children like me who have sensory processing issues. 
I personally love astronomy and this class has kindled my interest even further because of its stimulating content presented in a relaxed way. Homework is creative and is meant to make me think versus just check my concepts. Thank You Julia for making me realize this science is my passion and call. 

ENDORSEMENTS

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Mark Saul

 

Director, Center for Mathematical Talent, Courant Institute, NYU

It is a commonplace of teaching that you first try to teach the way you were taught. And so people pioneering math circles or informal learning situations often start out in the wrong direction, trying to apply to these situations the teaching methodologies that they experienced in formal classrooms. Julia Brodsky does a wonderful job describing other ways to teach. And maybe ‘teach’ is the wrong verb: other ways to guide students in learning from and enjoying mathematics. The mathematical examples are tailored to encourage children’s exploration.

Dr. Alexander Pavlov 

 

Planetary Studies, AST, NASA/GSFC

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.

Angela Harris

 

owner of GatheringInk, co-founder of Mosaic Freeschool, journalist and a homeschooling mom

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.

Dr. Dor Abrahamson

 

Associate Professor of Cognition and Development, Graduate School of Education, UC Berkeley

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. 

Cindy Kahan

 

Middle School Teacher and Director of Student Affairs

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.