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Course name
Cetaceans: Marine Mammals
Live course taught by MacBeth Derham for Spring 2025 Middle School Biology
Summary

Join us for this fun 6-8th grade science course exploring our marine mammal friends! Learn the history, biology, breeding, habitats, and behaviors of whales, dolphins, and porpoises in this science course for all middle school students. 

How to get the most out of Cetaceans: Marine Mammals with MacBeth Derham:

  • First, read the course materials below before the first class meeting.

  • Then have a notebook ready and available for class notes each live session.

  • Read assignments before class meetings

  • Watch that week’s recording if you need to revisit information from our live session.

  • Do the assignments, quizzes, and any extra work assigned for that week.

  • Once the course is completed to the parent's and professor’s satisfaction, there is a Certificate of Completion at the end to be filled in for your records.

Total Classes: 12

Class Dates: Wednesdays, January 8 to April 2, 2025. (No class Mar. 5)

Starting Time: 11:30 AM Eastern (10:30 Central; 9:30 Mountain; 8:30 Pacific)

Duration: 45 minutes

Prerequisite: None

Suggested Grade Level: 6th to 8th grade. Interested high school students are also welcomed to join us.

Suggested Credit: One full semester of Science, Vertebrate Biology, or Life Science

Instructor: MacBeth Derham

Course Description: Why would a mammal live in the water? Wonderful whales, delightful dolphin, playful porpoises...or not? Do they really like us? And are they really like us? And what on Earth is ambergris? Join us this semester as we discover the answers to these questions and more.

Course Outline:

  • Week 1: Cetacean ancestors, fossils, whale fingers?

  • Week 2: A tale of tails--who's who? Or just a fluke?

  • Week 3: Brains, skulls, skeletons

  • Week 4: Circulation, respiration, adaptation

  • Week 5: The 5 senses? Echolocation, and play!

  • Week 6: Range, habitat, and migration, breeding

  • Week 7: Baleen whales

  • Week 8: Toothed whales

  • Week 9: Dolphins, porpoises

  • Week 10: Narwhals, beaked whales

  • Week 11: Whaling--historically to the present

  • Week 12: Captivity (Thanks for the fish!)

Course Materials: Guide to Marine Mammals of the World from National Audubon, ISBN 13:  978-0375411410 (https://amzn.to/3LFcaKB or BookFinder.com)

Homework: Weekly reading and quizzes. Students are encouraged to visit an aquarium, or go on a whale watch, if possible.

Fee: For all 12 classes: $177 if you register on or before November 15, $197 if you register after Nov. 15. (Registration closes one week before the first day of class. After that date, registrations are not guaranteed. There is a $20 surcharge for late enrollments after the course is closed.)

Course name
Cetaceans: Marine Mammals
Instructor
MacBeth Derham
Semester
Spring 2025
Category
Science ➤ Biology
Grade level
Middle School
Course type
Live
Price
$197
Seats available
25 seats available
Seats remaining
23 seats remaining
Start time
January 8th, 2025 at 11:30 AM ET
End time
April 2nd, 2025 at 3:00 PM ET
Access start time
December 25th, 2024 at 12:59 PM ET
Access end time
December 30th, 2025 at 12:00 AM ET
Enrollment availability start time
March 18th, 2024 at 4:10 PM ET
Early enrollment discount ends
November 15th, 2024 at 12:00 AM ET
Late enrollment penalty start time
January 1st, 2025 at 12:10 PM ET
Enrollment availability end time
January 4th, 2025 at 12:00 PM ET
Relative due dates
Relative due dates are disabled for this course.

About MacBeth Derham

MacBeth Derham studied biology at Mount Holyoke College and has taught natural history in the field for over 30 years. She currently teaches classes for her homeschool group, tutors math and science privately, and is the 7th-grade catechist in her parish’s Faith and Formation program.

MacBeth Derham studied biology at Mount Holyoke College and has taught natural history in the field for over 30 years. She currently teaches classes for her homeschool group, tutors math and science privately, and is the 7th-grade catechist in her parish’s Faith and Formation program.
Since 2005 she has worked with The Front Lawn Players, a Shakespeare troupe made up of students ages 3-18, as both a speech coach and director. She spent the summer of 2017 in Oxford studying literature (including Shakespeare), philosophy, theology, and history. A more than reasonable amount of her time there was spent out of doors, in nature, walking the paths loved by Lewis, Tolkien, and friends.

Mrs. Derham speaks at homeschool conferences on the interdisciplinary need for nature study. She is a retired homeschooling mother of four very different grown children and wife to Don.

Click here for more info about MacBeth Derham!

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