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Mathematics for Natural Philosophy: Chemistry

This Club will focus on the five top topics suggested by the Mathematical Association of America for Chemistry students: Formula and unit conversions; significant figures; Proportions and concentrations; Expressions involving exponents and logarithms; and Graphing.  Ideal preparation for upcoming Scholé Academy’s Honors Chemistry.

The instructor’s goal for the Natural Philosophy Club is: All would grow in “Ordo Amoris” (i.e., “Love for God’s Orderliness) and beauty found in His “Opera Digitorum” (i.e., “The Work of Your Fingers,” Psalm 8: 3) as they gain understanding and confidence in Natural Philosophy (i.e., “Love of Wisdom”).


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Dr. Ralph “Rafe” E. Spraker, Jr. earned his Ph.D. from the University of South Carolina (2010); Three Master’s degrees including an MSSE from Montana State University, Bozeman (2011); and Bachelor’s degree from BIOLA University (1983). His STEM cognates include: BioLogica: Biochemistry, Genomics, Molecular and Systems Biology; MatheMatica: Information Technology, Mathematics, Physics, Quantitative Analysis and Statistics; and GeoLogica: Astronomy, Geochemistry, Geophysics, Hydrology, and Physical Geography. His experience spans over 25 years in secondary, undergraduate, and graduate education. He also currently advises doctoral dissertation students in STEM.

Dr. Spraker maintains a two-mile segment of the Mountains to the Sea Trail segment from the “Raven Rock” [BRP Milepost 290] to the “Aho Gap” [BRP Milepost 288, Elevation 3722] which parallels the Blue Ridge Parkway near his home in Boone, NC. He enjoys photography and hiking in the Blue Ridge Mountains and “Out West” (Alaska, Alberta, British Columbia, Idaho, Montana, Utah, and Wyoming) with his dear wife Debbie of 38 years. He enjoys studying Lutheran and Patristic theologians (“Solus Christus”) and reading about Revolutionary War history [he just finished Chernov’s George Washington: A Life].

“Quia Lex per Mosen data est Gratia et Veritas per Iesum Christum facta est.”
Ioannes I : XVII



Red checkmarkComputer: You will need a stable, reliable computer, running with a processor with a speed of 1 GHz or better on one of the following operating systems: Mac OS X with Mac OS 10.7 or later; Windows 8, 7, Vista (with SP1 or later), or XP (with SP3 or later). We do not recommend using an iPad or other tablet for joining classes. An inexpensive laptop or netbook would be much better solutions, as they enable you to plug an Ethernet cable directly into your computer. Please note that Chromebooks are allowed but not preferred, as they do not support certain features of the Zoom video conference software such as breakout sessions and annotation, which may be used by our teachers for class activities.

Red checkmarkHigh-Speed Internet Connection: You will also need access to high-speed Internet, preferably accessible via Ethernet cable right into your computer. Using Wi-Fi may work, but will not guarantee you the optimal use of your bandwidth. The faster your Internet, the better. We recommend using a connection with a download/upload speed of 5/1 Mbps or better. You can test your Internet connection here.

Red checkmarkWebcam: You may use an external webcam or one that is built in to the computer. Webcam Recommendations: Good (PC only) | Best (Mac and PC)

Red checkmarkHeadset: We recommend using a headset rather than a built-in microphone and speakers. Using a headset reduces the level of background noise heard by the entire class. Headset Recommendations: USB | 3.5mm

Red checkmarkZoom: We use a web conferencing software called Zoom for our classes, which enables students and teachers to gather from around the globe face to face in real time. Zoom is free to download and easy to use. unnamed-e1455142229376 To download Zoom:

  1. Visit
  2. Click to download the first option listed, Zoom Client for Meetings.
  3. Open and run the installer on your computer.
  4. In August, students will be provided with instructions and a link for joining their particular class.



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