• Alt Biology and Alt Science

    Welcome to Science at the Alt Program. 

    Here we strive to learn something real everyday.

    Alt Science is science and biology applied to real life.

    In Alt Biology, we base a lot of our lessons and discussions around things we observe in real life. We go to the garden and look around the valley, and we take the things we observe, and we study them using various fields of biological inquiry.

    Alt Science is based on the idea that we can apply science to understanding everything, from the big questions about the universe and space and time to the little everyday things that we care about and that affect the quality of our lives.

    Alt Science is the application of scientific knowledge and modes of thinking to improve our lives and to make the world a better place.  

    This is our garden classroom where we go to learn, observe, reflect, unwind, recharge, and discover. 

    Garden

    Contact the Alt Science and Biology teacher lafe.conner@wasatch.edu.

    Find Canvas for Alt Biology https://wasatch.instructure.com/courses/29522.

    Find Canvas for Alt Science https://wasatch.instructure.com/courses/29521.

    Find instructions to become a parent observer of a Canvas Course https://www.wasatch.edu/domain/2173.

     

    Teacher Bio: Lafe Conner, Ph.D.

    Selfie

    I am a teacher by calling and by chioice. 

    My main life goal is to help people experience, understand, appreciate, and enjoy life by discovery, observation, and careful study of nature in their external environment and in their internal physiological and psychological state of being. 

    I teach all the time: as a parent, as a professional, and as a volunteer.  

    My wife and I have four children, and we learn from them all the time. We spend our summers together directing Scout camps, which has taken us to camps in Yellowstone and Grand Teton, Bear Lake, Catalina Island, and the redwood forests of California. I love learning new things with and from my children, and I try to teach them as much as I can through conversation, experience, and example. 

    Family photo

    My career as a teacher began in 2015 at American Preparatory Academy in Salem, Utah, where I taught 7th and 8th Grade Science, Physics with Tech, and Biology. I also started teaching Freshman Biology (BIOL 1010) as an adjunct instructor at UVU in 2015 and have been teaching a Saturday morning class at the Orem campus since then. I came to Wasatch High School Alt Program in Fall 2019. 

    As a teacher, I love to take an integrated approach, not only to science but to all knowledge of any kind. History, art, science, are all ways of learning and knowing, and I encorporate them into my teaching and into the work I ask students to do for my classes. 

    I gained my teaching credentials through a lot of schooling: Bachelor's of Science in History from USU in 2006 with an English minor, Master's of Arts in History from USU in 2008, and Doctor of Philosophy in Biology from BYU in 2015. After finishing my PhD, I went through the Alternative Route to Licensure (ARL) program of the Utah State Board of Education and received my teaching license in March 2018. I am endorsed to teach Biology, Middle Level Science, and History. 

    As a teacher, my philosphy is that human development is the primary goal of education. The purpose of learning is to make us better human beings. For me that means to be compassionate, intelligent, understanding, kind, sympathetic, and whenever possible to be wise. Wisdom is being able to apply what you have learned to make decisions that align with your highest values. Education can help you develop and inform those values, so that you will love the ideals that serve your own best interests and the best interests of all human and nonhuman life and of the earth and all of its natural order and its diverse ecosystems. 

    Great teachers helped me discover how to be the human being I want to be, and I am forever in their debt. I hope to repay them by sharing the things that I learned from them and because of them. 

    Knowledge is valuable. Humanity, life, and all the natural order of the universe are also valuable. 

    My goal as a teacher is not to train workers, but to open minds. Curiosity, wonder, awe, amazement, contemplation, concentration, reflection, meditation, those are the things I strive for with my students. I hope that if you ask my students, "what did you do in science?" they would say, "I thought, I listened, I reflected, I wondered, I learned something I could never have taught myself, and I grew to love learning and to love knowledge and to want to be the best person I can be."