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Science & Nature

News, Science, and Society Discussion Club

Learners will read and critically analyze current news and join peers to present, discuss, and debate the impact of the story on society, planet, politics, and culture while also identifying grade-level science concepts in the stories.
Dr. Orie
15 total reviews for this teacher
New class
55 minutes
per class
Once per week
every week
year olds
learners per class
per learner

How does an "Ongoing" course work?

Meets on a weekly schedule, join any week, no need to catch up on previous material
Live video chats, recorded and monitored for safety and quality
Discussions via classroom forum and private messages with the teacher
Automatic payment every Sunday, cancel any time
Great for clubs and for practicing skills

How Outschool Works

Available Times


Next on Thu, Oct 6

Meets Once per week
2:00 – 2:55 PM
Don't see a time that works for you?


Class Experience

How do you make difficult science concepts stick in a young learner’s mind? Explore their real-world application through news stories! In this course, learners will read weekly news stories and identify the basic science concepts at hand. Weekly news stories that include earth science, biology, chemistry, and physics will be selected. They will also critically analyze the stories and be challenged to understand what it means for our lives and the world around us. 

Learners will gain this understanding through our dissection of the underpinning themes of society, planet, politics, and culture within the stories. Using my background in science, medicine, sociology, and experience from time living and working in international cultures, I will expand on these themes to give learners a deep understanding of how everyday events shape our collective wellbeing.

Each week, learners will be expected to read at least one news story of personal interest to them plus one that I will assign to the group in my weekly announcements in the Classroom which will be posted by 11:59 PM CST every Sunday. At the beginning of class, learners will have the opportunity to share their story with peers. In the second part of class I will lead a lecture-discussion about the assigned news story covering its basic science and greater impact on society and the planet.  

As we analyze the assigned news story, learners will be challenged to clearly present their viewpoints and engage in friendly debates with peers about various points. The goal of this exercise is for students to learn how to confidently assert their position in conversations and support their opinion to the degree that they can sway the views of others. This is an invaluable skill both in speaking and writing. 

At the end of every session, learners will summarize and present the main takeaways from the news story in the feature, “This Week in News…”. This will be a timed exercise to help learners develop the skills of thinking on their feet, public speaking, and providing a brief, comprehensive overview. 

10 Minutes – Students presentation of weekly current events of interest to them. 
40 Minutes – Teacher led interactive lecture on the basic science behind the news story and how the themes of society, planet, politics, and culture underpin its greater impact.
10 Minutes – “This Week in News…” Learner recap of key takeaways from assigned news story.
I'm a medical journalist that has lived and practiced in the US and overseas. I've also taught middle and high school science since 2006. 
In addition to the Outschool classroom, this class uses:
55 minutes per week in class, and an estimated 0 - 1 hours per week outside of class.
As we will read current events/news stories in this course, there is a likelihood that a learner may have strong feelings about a story covered in class. Should this happen, learners will be redirected to focus on the learning objectives intended for the assignment and less so the details of the story. However, all efforts will be made to select news stories that are not controversial or sensationalized to avoid this event. Likewise, learners will be guided to only discuss the news stories as they relate to our study of grade school sciences and redirected should the discussion lead into pop culture, race, religion, etc. 
We will use NewsforKids.Net for kid-level news stories. 


Dr. Orie
Lives in the United States
Doctor-Educator and Medical Journalist
15 total reviews
38 completed classes

About Me

I'm your friendly doctor-educator next door guiding kids of all ages through important health lessons and the science behind how the body works. I started teaching elementary age children in 2002 and have since taught tweens, teens, and adult... 
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