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Summit Science 1 (Independent Study)

Summit Science 1 (Independent Study)

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Quick Overview

Students learn to perform experiments and record observations, and understand how scientists see the natural world. They germinate seeds to observe plant growth, and make a weather vane.

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Course Outline

Acting Like a Scientist

  • Learn how to use tools and equipment to measure distance in centimeters, mass in grams, volume in milliliters, and temperature in degrees Celsius.
  • Follow steps in the scientific process.
  • Compile data in tables, draw graphs, and interpret results.


  • Identify matter as a solid, liquid, or gas.
  • Explain the properties of each type of matter.
  • Learn about the relative motion of molecules in each state.
  • Demonstrate that matter can change states by heating or cooling.
  • Become familiar with mixtures, solutions, and surface tension.

Everyday Weather

  • Understand what causes the seasons.
  • Construct a rain gauge and weather vane to measure weather conditions.
  • Use equipment to record observations on a weather calendar.
  • Learn about cloud formation, cloud type, precipitation, condensation, evaporation, and the water cycle.

Animal Classification

  • Classify major animal groups according to their identifying characteristics.
  • Study mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, insects, and fish.


  • Discover how animals use their characteristics to thrive in their environment.
  • Learn how to infer what animals eat from the shapes of their teeth.
  • Study animal defense and behavior.


  • Learn to recognize plants and animals common to a variety of habitats.
  • Study food chains.
  • Learn about endangered plants and animals.
  • Read about John Muir’s tireless work to preserve the wilderness.

Oceans and Undersea Life

  • Discover the diversity and dangers of the oceans.
  • Explore tide pools and the depths.
  • Find out how waves and currents move.
  • Read about the life and major accomplishments of Jacques Cousteau.

Light Up Your Life

  • Explore how light behaves.
  • Investigate how light reflects off different surfaces.
  • Demonstrate how light travels in straight lines.
  • Classify objects according to how much light the objects transmit.
  • Learn about Thomas Edison’s life and his major achievements.

The Human Body

  • Become familiar with the major systems of the human body.
  • Learn about Elizabeth Blackwell’s determination to become the first woman to earn a medical degree.

Our Green World

  • Study the functions of roots, stems, leaves, flowers, fruits, and seeds.
  • Examine fibrous and tap roots.
  • Observe stems transporting water from roots to leaves.
  • Dissect and germinate seeds.
  • Match fruits to seeds.
  • Learn that flowers turn into fruit.
  • Learn that chlorophyll is the substance that allows plants to manufacture food.

Additional Information

Course Length 12 Months
Prerequisites N/A
Course Materials

Many K12 courses utilize physical materials in addition to the online content.  These materials may include the following.

Standard Kits

STANDARD kits contain K12 course materials that are required for completion of the course.  These kits include K12 authored materials and/or difficult to procure materials that a student needs to complete a course. Printed reference guides are not included in Standard kits.


CONSUMABLE kits contain only those materials from the standard kit that are intended for one time use. Families who purchase a Standard kit for Child A could later purchase a Consumable kit for Child B to complete the same course.


Offered for added convenience, ADDITIONAL kits contain easily obtained materials needed for the course which a family may already have in their home. 

Coach and/or Student Reference Guides are available for purchase with some courses.  Electronic versions of these reference guides are also available within digital courses.

Course Start Date

Independent Study Courses

Courses can be started any day for independent study courses without a teacher. Full-year courses last 12 months and semester courses last 6 months.


Courses Taught by a K12 Teacher

Courses with a teacher have designated start dates throughout Fall and Spring. Full-year courses last 10 months and semester courses last 5 months. Courses are taught by teachers in K12 International Academy. For details on start dates, click here.

Teacher Assisted This course is available in two forms: taught by a teacher or designed for independent use. This teacher-supported course is taught through K12 International Academy. It is also available as independent study, where a parent will guide the course.
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To use this course, you'll need a computer with an Internet connection.  Some courses require additional free software programs, which you can download from the Internet.

Hardware and Browsers (Minimum Recommendations)

Windows OS

  • CPU: 1.8 GHz or faster processor (or equivalent)

  • RAM: 1GB of RAM

  • Browser: Microsoft Internet Explorer 9.0 or higher, Mozilla Firefox 10.0 versions or higher, Chrome 17.0 or higher

  • At this time our users are encouraged not to upgrade to Windows 10 or Edge (the new browser)


Mac OS

  • CPU: PowerPC G4 1 GHz or faster processor; Intel Core Duo 1.83 GHz or faster processor

  • RAM: 1GB of RAM

  • Browser: Firefox 10.0 versions or higher, Chrome 17.0 or higher (Safari is not supported!)

Using  Mobile Devices with the Online School

Unfortunately, many portable devices do not support the software products required to run the Online School. These devices may include (but not limited to): Chromebooks, iPads, iPhones, iPods, Kindles, eReaders, and Andriod phones.

Internet Connections

It is highly recommended that a broadband connection be used instead of dial up.


By requesting this information, you agree to have a K12 or school representative contact you directly at the number provided, whether by person or a device that will automatically dial your home or cell phone. Consent not required for purchases.

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