Content Syllabus

Earth Science

Course Version 2.0

Course Length: Two semesters

Course Description: This course will study the phenomena affecting the formation, history and current conditions of Earth, including its oceans and atmosphere. Topics include astronomy, geology, oceanography and meteorology. Students will discover how earth science affects their lives by exploring topics related to Montana.

Prerequisite Skills and Knowledge: None

Course Outline:

Semester 1  

Earth/Space Science is a laboratory course focusing on the study of space, geologic structures and forces, the waters on our planet, and the atmospheric forces that shape our world. Through experimentation and investigation, students will explore the earth cycles including the geosphere, hydrosphere, crysosphere, atmosphere, and the carbon cycle. Students will learn about scientific inquiry, geologic time, space exploration, the solar system, and the universe. Students will use web 2.0 tools, interactive experiences, higher-order thinking, collaborative projects, and real-world application through labs and a variety of assessments. Upon completion of the course, students will have a clear understanding of the dynamic forces at work in the world around them, becoming better caretakers of our planet, Earth.

Major Topics and Concepts:

Beginning with Science

Science processes

Observations and inferences

Historical frame of reference- scientists and explorers

Theory vs. law, science vs. pseudoscience

Cryosphere, Hydrosphere, Biosphere, Atmosphere, Geosphere

Climate and Meteorology

Structure of the atmosphere

Trends in temperature and atmospheric pressure

Factors influencing weather and climate

Humidity, air pressure, air masses, temperature, long term conditions

Global air circulation and winds, coriolis effect

Severe weather formation, influence on human behavior

Severe Storms; Lightning (Honors)

Freshwater

Water cycle

Conservation

Water Quality

Groundwater

Surface water

Rocks and Minerals

Properties of minerals

Rock cycle

Soil and soil formation

Rocks and minerals as resources

The Universe

Light waves

Space exploration

Gravitational forces

Stars and Constellations (Honors)

Semester 2

Earth/Space Science is a laboratory course focusing on the study of space, geologic structures and forces, the waters on our planet, and the atmospheric forces that shape our world. Through experimentation and investigation, students will explore the earth cycles including the geosphere, hydrosphere, crysosphere, atmosphere, and the carbon cycle. Students will learn about scientific inquiry, geologic time, space exploration, the solar system, and the universe. Students will use web 2.0 tools, interactive experiences, higher-order thinking, collaborative projects, and real-world application through labs and a variety of assessments. Upon completion of the course, students will have a clear understanding of the dynamic forces at work in the world around them, becoming better caretakers of our planet, Earth.

Geologic Time

Gregorian calendar

Relative and absolute time

Origin and evolution of life

Geologic time scale, geologic periods and history

Fossils, fossil formation

Reading series of events in sedimentary rocks based on principles of geology

Oceans

Composition of ocean water

Ocean currents

Sea floor features

Using latitude and longitude to navigate and locate points on the globe/map reading

Climate and current connection

Our Solar System

Organization of the Milky Way and types of galaxies in general

Characteristics of stars - focus on ours - the sun

The planets in our solar system

Moon/Earth Relationships

Moon phases

Effects of moon on tides

Kepler’s Law, Newton’s Law

Sun/Earth Relationships

Rotation and revolution characteristics

Causes of seasons

The Geosphere

Layers of the Earth

Carbon cycle

Plate tectonics

Continental drift

Surface features

Geologic events

State Standards Check:

The standards for my curriculum are located at:

http://www.opi.mt.gov/pdf/Standards/10ContStds-Science.pdf   

X

This course meets state standards.

No specific state standards cover this course.

This course meets additional standards as follows:

Course Textbook/Materials: None

MTDA Lead Teacher: Robin Hehn, Columbus Public Schools

Syllabus Revision Date: August 2013