Scientific American Discussion Group

Discuss active topics of the scientific community in a secular environment.  Using Scientific American, we will explore areas of current scientific research.

Learning Objectives include critical thinking, reading comprehension, exposure to current science theories, and fundamental science concepts. 

  • Students must be able to read articles in Scientific American
  • Students will need a quiet environment and a working microphone.
  • The class is intentionally designed open-ended to accommodate various levels of students.
  • The hg+ course is designed for highly gifted late elementary and middle school students.
Materials Required
  • Access to the current issue of Scientific AmericanScientific American releases a new issue every month.  We will work from the current issue only.  We will not access archived articles.
  • Students will need access to the internet.
  • Students will need a quiet environment, microphone and headset.
Class Description
  • The Scientific American Discussion Group course is a student driven 50 minute discussion based course. 
  • All topics are chosen from the current month’s issue of Scientific American.  When a new issue is released, we will discuss the cover topic, if appropriate.  The instructor will present a preselect listing of articles within the issue.  Then the students will vote on articles covered the following weeks. 
  • Students will need to have read the preselected article AND have discussion questions ready prior to class.
  • The instructor has the right to censor.
  • Additional assignments may include related video, websites, analysis and small projects.
  • We screen websites heavily before posting links. However, websites are in control of the advertising on said sites, not Willow Scholars. Parental supervision is highly recommended.

This is a 16 week course.

  • The 16 week course is $234.00.
  • Scientific American has various options for purchase and has run sales in the past on Black Friday and Memorial Day.  The periodical can also be purchased as digital only, print only, or both.  We will NOT use the archives.  What I like most about Scientific American is that it is found in most bookstores and most libraries.  Cost estimates range from $25 – $40.
  • Please note: if you purchase from Scientific American online, they tend to put people on quarters.  This means in March, they send back issues for Jan and Feb.  This also means your subscription will not end in March, but December.  If you want the subscription to start in a specific month, please contact them via phone.  They have been very good about working with students in the past.