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Class dates: Wednesdays, Jan. 18 to April 25, 2011. No class Feb. 22 (Midterm Break), Apr. 4 (Holy Week) or Apr. 11.
Total classes: 12
Starting time: 4:30 pm Eastern (3:30 pm Central)
Duration: 1 hour
Suggested high school credit: 1 full semester
Suggested grade level: 9th to 12th
Fee: $160 if you enroll on or before November 1, 2011. $185 after Nov. 1 for all 12 classes.
Instructor: Phillip Campbell
Course description: This class will look at the development of twelve of the world's most revolutionary inventions, focusing not only on their mechanical development but on how they changed culture and altered the way man views his place in the cosmos. Man's capacity to invent is a result of his being made in the image of God, the original Creator. This class explores the creative capacity of mankind and how man has shaped and reshaped his own self-understanding through his inventions, beginning with the alphabet and going all the way up to the Internet.
Class 1: Alphabet: How human language begot writing, first in pictographic and then alphabetic systems, making possible for the first time the expression of complex, abstract ideas and making human inquiry possible.
Class 2: Cartography: A look at the development of mapmaking, from primitive drawings of mountains on cave walls to the adoption of the system of latitudes and meridians, and how this revolutionized the way people viewed the world, focusing on cartography as an expression of culture.
Class 3: Timekeeping: Man's calamitous history at attempting to keep some reckoning of the passing of hours, days, months and years and why this struggle was so important.
Class 4: Firearms: The origin of gunpowder, its uses, and how it revolutionized the way people think about battle and wage warfare.
Class 5: Printing Press: The transformation of writing from an individualized labor of love into a mass produced, marketable commodity.
Class 6: Telescope: A look at the seismic shift in cosmology, astronomy and theology that followed in the wake of the discovery of the telescope, as well as a primer of the Galileo controversy from a Catholic viewpoint.
Class 7: Money: This class will trace the development of money from stones and shells to gold goings to the fiat paper currencies of today, focusing on how changes in the availability and use of money and banking drove changes in culture and development.
Class 8: Antibiotics: The slow development of medical knowledge of antibiotics, from the Roman Galen up to the discoveries of Louis Pasteur and Alexander Fleming.
Class 9: Photography: The development of this marvelous invention which, for the first time in history, allowed mankind to truly capture a moment in time - but what was gained and what was lost by this revolutionary invention?
Class 10: Automobile: The wondrous invention of the "horseless carriage" and how the distribution of the automobile throughout all levels of society permanently changed every aspect of our culture, everything from how wealth is displayed to concepts of punctuality to procedures for courtship and dating.
Class 11: Electricity: The strange story of the discovery and utilization of electricity, from the experiments of Dr. Franklin to the bizarre rivalry between Tesla and Edison over whose energy was more beneficial (and more dangerous).
Class 12: Internet: Perhaps the greatest innovation of all time, leading to interconnectivity of the whole human race and the universal diffusion of knowledge. This class will examine the development of the Internet, from the first communications between servers at colleges back in the 60's to the age of Google, including a discussion of how the Internet has benefited and detracted from human relations.
Course materials: Online sources will be provided as needed by the instructor. No textbook required.
Homework: Homework will consist of a tutor-guided semester long research project/paper with different components due at various intervals throughout the semester.
Instructor biography: Phillip Campbell holds a BA in European History from Ave Maria University and recently completed a certificate program in Secondary Education through Madonna University. He has a background as a Youth Director and RCIA instructor. He teaches history and Scripture for the St. Augustine Homeschool Enrichment Program. Mr. Campbell is the author of the popular fantasy-epic Tale of Manaeth. His writings have also appeared in such publications as St. Austin Review and The Distributist Review. Mr. Campbell and his wife of eight years homeschool their four children.
Equipment requirements: Classes are online, live and interactive. Students are required to have high-speed internet and a headset with microphone.
Mr. Campbell will be available via email in between classes for questions and comments.
Recordings of classes are provided to students within 24 hours and available for 6 months.
Homeschool Connections does not provide record keeping services.