2021 CLASSES: Physics - STEM Smorgasbord

Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember.
Involve me and I learn.
- Benjamin Franklin -
Class Description

Want to delve into the real magic of the universe? Learn the basics of physics, guided by Susan Bacon through our physics textbook and labs, while engineer and tech designer extraordinaire, John McIntosh, teaches us about the cutting edge of physics through lectures on Zoom. This is an exciting course to add to your high school years. During labs we will delve into many hands-on experiments with cool lab equipment such as electrical circuit boards, solar energy cars, pendulums, acceleration ramps, ferrofluid, prisms, robots, pulleys, and much more. Then learn to document your lab with lab sheets.


By participating in all the following you should have a full year of high school physics completed.

  • Attend the STEM Physics lectures twice a month on zoom.

  • Read the assigned physics book chapters and answer questions in each chapter (answers are in the book)

  • Take a mid-term exam (graded by Sue)

  • Take a final exam (graded by Sue)

  • Attend the once-a-month physics lab (lab materials and lab sheets provided)

  • View the PowerPoints enriching and supplementing the book material. (Sue provides these)

Lecture Topics -

Thermodynamics, meteorology, quantum mechanics, Astronomy 1 (cosmology, dark matter and dark energy), Astronomy 2 (the search for exoplanets), Radar, Electronics (theory and prototyping), Mechanical (design and prototyping)

Book and PowerPoint Topics -

Solar, Robotics, Air, Sound. Light and Optics, Solar, Motion, Energy, Gravity, Atoms and Molecules, Solids, Liquids and Gases, Heat Energy, Wave Motion, Diffraction, Interference, Electricity, Magnetism

Students need to purchase – textbook A Self-Teaching Guide: Basic Physics Third Edition by Karl F. Kuhn and Frank Noschese 

ISBN – 978-1-119-62990-0

Meet The Teachers

John McIntosh has degrees in both engineering and biology. Starting as an astronomy major, he gravitated to physics, and ended up in engineering. He has a master’s degree in electrical engineering, and worked as a Whitaker Fellow on his PhD in biomedical engineering and neuroscience at the university of Alabama at Birmingham. He has the majority of coursework completed for a Master’s degree in biotechnology with a chemistry minor.

Mr. McIntosh’s career has involved system engineering, intelligence analysis and primarily
sensor design and analysis. He had his own company for 10 years, where he worked on a
unique passive, bistatic, radar concept involving the Global Positioning System. He currently works at KBR as a senior radar engineer on the both the Patriot radar system, as well as the development of the lower tier air and missile defense system (LTAMDS), an advanced radar concept in the process of design and development.

His hobbies include electrical and mechanical design, including programming microcontrollers and digital signal Processors (DSPs). He also has a home machine shop consisting of a completely computer controlled milling machine and lathe, for subtractive manufacturing of prototypes. Additionally he has two 3-D printers for additive manufacturing prototyping, a
standard fused deposition machine and a stereolighographic machine for high resolution (approx. 20 microns) projects. He plans on acquiring a computer controlled surface mount layout machine for advanced circuit prototyping.

Mr. McIntosh has numerous publications on radar and sensors in SPIE and IEEE as well as a Patent. He has also published and presented a paper on a new, better spatial and temporal
functional magnetic resonance Imaging (fMRI) technique based on the ‘fast response’.

In his off hours, he enjoys playing with his faithful but rambunctious golden retriever, Beau and watching typical nerd television (Futurama, MST3k, anything Marvel related, etc.).

sue bacon.jpg

Hello! I'm Susan Bacon, director of Franklin School. I have a B.S. in Education with a minor in Gifted Education. I'm a state certified teacher with 5 years public school teaching experience and 35 years of working with students. Through private tutoring, teaching homeschool classes, and working with homeschooling families I have found that my greatest joy in life is helping students find their own unique way of learning.

After working as a cover school coordinator for 5 years I founded Franklin School. I saw a need to provide families with a more creative learning experience with a larger variety of activities. As director of Franklin School these past 20 years I have offered homeschooling families curriculum assistance, transcripts, a lending library, activities, classes, field trips, parent workshops, and many other homeschooling amenities. 

As a certified and very experienced teacher my goal is to assist parents by offering support in all areas of homeschooling and to help enrich each student’s educational adventure by offering a variety of classes. 

Schedule and Fees

High School Credit Level 

Audit (lectures only) -

Enrolled Families: $50 for 8 one-hour lectures

Visiting Families: $70 for 8 one-hour lectures

approximately $6.25 ($8.75) a lecture

High School Credit -

Enrolled families: $100 class fee

+ $30 lab fee

Visiting families: $120 class fee 

+ $30 lab fee

approximately $10.80 ($12.50) a class

Lecture: Tuesdays, 1:00pm - 2:00pm

Lab: Thursdays, 1:00pm - 3:00pm


1st semester:​

AUG  10, 19, 24

SEP    7, 16, 21

OCT   5, 14, 19

NOV  9, 18, 30

Eight virtual lectures over Zoom - 

Aug 10, 24; Sep 7, 21; Oct 5, 19; Nov 9, 30


Four in-person physics labs -

Aug 19; Sep 16; Oct 14; Nov 18