Curiosity Labs is the home for our Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) curricula, and is where you’ll find courses on math, physics, chemistry, biology, programming, electronics, robotics, etc.  Where feasible, courses are built around hands-on projects that utilize free and low-cost tools such as open source software, Arduino and Raspberry Pi, and supplies you either already have or can find at a local grocery or hardware store.

For your convenience, we plan to offer kits for most of the technology courses in the Campus Bookstore, but you can purchase the components on your own through any number of online retailers.  Materials for chemistry, physics, and biology may be best procured locally, so each class will provide a list of materials and recommendations on where to find them.

Keep reading below for more information on our approach to Math, Science, Engineering, and Technology.

Electronics I

When Doc Johnson first took a college programming class it took a full semester to get to the first application that wasn’t contrived and pointless — as a result, he didn’t learn much in return for the effort and expensive tuition.  Learning how to program without having a use for it is about like trying to learn English by studying a dictionary.  While there are important things to learn about how programming works in the traditional “hello world” program; it isn’t particularly interesting, and it does nothing to help understand what you might use a computer program for.  In Electronics I, we will use the Arduino ecosystem to teach the fundamentals of electronics and programming hand-in-hand.  Future courses will build on this foundation to delve into home automation, robotics, and more advanced programming.

Survey of Science

Before we delve into any specific discipline, we believe it’s important to understand the overall significance.  Survey of Science is taught as a series of stories surrounding many of the most significant scientific and engineering developments in the history of mankind.  Each lecture covers one major invention, discovery, or innovation that fundamentally altered our understanding of the universe or changed every day life.  Lectures will range from the development of agriculture thousands of years ago to the ultraviolet catastrophe and photoelectric effect that heralded quantum mechanics.

Math Fundamentals

Math fundamentals covers all the basics from now numbers and number systems works, to arithmetic and geometry.  By the end of the course, the student will have the tools needed to jump into Algebra.  We have found that almost all learners have holes in their understanding of key math concepts, particularly with regard to why things work the way they do.  If this applies to your student, this class can fill those holes.  For those who haven’t yet tackled math, this is the perfect place to start.  We won’t beat you over the head with mindless repetition.  We won’t just give you recipes without explaining why and how they work. We won’t spend a lot of time on things that won’t ultimately be useful.  We will show you why things work, and show you modern applications where it is still relevant (think long-division).