Science Pickle

Pick Your Path of Exploration for Independent Learning


Use your own questions and interests to drive your learning. 

About Science Pickle

Time lapse image of sun setting near Durham, NC.

What's Here?

 Science Pickle provides educational experiences, referred to as arcs, with the depth of a semester-long course but you pick the path to explore.  

The materials are for homeschooled students, lifelong learners, and teachers, and are focused on high school and above.  Many activities may be scaled for middle school use.


Work by yourself or in teams to explore a variety of activities: reading, inexpensive experiments, data analysis, challenges, software simulations, games, and self-graded assessments.

Cactus with curved spines.

Learning About Your Learning

 Learning is personal - it may be influenced by a teacher, coach, director, or mentor, but deep learning comes from your own drive to explore, test, apply, and create using the information, skills, and ideas generated by the activities.  What works for you may not work for anyone else - so learning about your learning means growing from challenges and setbacks as well as successes.  Explore the experiments in Learning to see what works best for you.

Try the Learning Experiments
Sunrise over White Sands, NM.

Ideas to Use Website and Activities

There are a variety of experiences on the website to explore concepts and develop skills.  A good deal of science deals with looking for patterns, meaning, and stories in data, which comes in many forms: descriptions, spatial maps, graphs, and numerical values.  To learn how to develop your abilities to work with data, read the supporting text prior to working with the data, and once you are adept, read the text after working with the data to compare ideas.

The software activities have a variety of data visualizations with a range of supporting text: introductory material, challenges, answers, and big ideas.  Try to work through the challenges prior to checking the answers, and if you feel comfortable working through a section, read the big ideas section last to compare your thoughts with those that are posted.  As you work through the topics, take notes, make sketches and diagrams, and create concept maps of how the components interact.

What's New and What's Coming


What's New


Added section on feedback processes in What is a System?

And posted final version of the Earth, Wind, and Forces software.


Added two new pages to Earth Systems: Vectors and Forces and Earth, Wind, and Forces.  Included with these two pages is software to conceptually and mathematically explore vectors, forces, and how wind is created and modified by pressure gradient, Coriolis, friction, and centrifugal forces.


Added new page to Earth Systems: the Star-Planet Connection which includes software to explore how the energy budgets of planets respond to changes in the orbital parameters: obliquity, eccentricity, and precession.  Explore why Earth has been having cyclical Ice Ages and which exoplanets being discovered may support life.

Also, significant additions to Earth Systems Energy page: activities and experiments for exploring conduction, radiation, advection, convection, and latent heat.

Past "What's New?"

What's Coming

Atmosphere, clouds, and precipitation sections with activities and software.

Sign up to become a beta tester of early versions of the software.

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Contact Us

Idea? Suggestion? Problem? Collaborate? Become a software beta tester?

Science Pickle

Independence in Learning

Photo of John Pickle, founder of Science Pickle.

I have always loved science, and I eventually became a meteorologist.  When I was forecasting typhoons, no one could tell me if my forecast was correct - I had to wait to find out.  Dealing with the uncertainty of our choices and decisions is a large part of many careers, yet so much of education controls the path - and choices - of our learning.  Science Pickle is an attempt to bring self choice into learning, and I believe it provides an amazing incentive for learning to one's own standards.  

I have also loved education, and have been involved with it as a curriculum developer, education software developer, professional development trainer, program manager at a science museum, and a high school science and math teacher for nearly 25 years.  There are many ways to learn, and I am striving to bring a variety of experiences to Science Pickle. 

And, yes, since 5 years old, I have enjoyed my last name.  I toyed with using the slogan "Pick your path of pickled exploration" but the eye rolls won...

Unless credited otherwise, photos were taken by me during my years as a geologist, meteorologist, and appreciator of nature.

John Pickle, Founder