Earth and the Solar System

Course Description

Students will build on their current understanding of Earth processes, as well as aspects of astronomy such as Earth’s place in the universe and in our solar system. Units include Earth’s interior and exterior, Earth’s atmosphere and climate, and our solar system. The class will include structured class discussions, labs, and research presentations. 

Key Course Learning Experiences

Students will have various opportunities to investigate, explain and model phenomena in geology and astronomy.  While creating student led presentations and persuasive speeches, all students will work to improve their oral and written explanations of natural phenomena on various topics of their choosing.  In these research presentation experiences, students will work both collaboratively with peers and individually to carry out research investigations on topics in geology, meteorology, and astronomy, and have the opportunity to teach their peers about subjects that they have a personal interest in.

Essential Learning Goals

  • (25%) Scientific Literacy - This is a measure of a student’s understanding of science/astronomy/geology concept understanding. 

  • (35%) Explanation of Phenomena- This is a measure of a student’s ability to explain the science phenomena involved in a given scenario to their peers.

  • (20%) Process of Inquiry - This is a measure of a student’s ability to think critically and analyze various sources, topics, and points of view.

  • (20%) Communication/Collaboration - This is a measure of a student’s ability to organize and present information that is appropriate and accessible to a class of their peers.

Major Assessments and Success Criteria

Students will demonstrate understanding through written explanation of phenomena with a focus on logic and evidence, and through the creation of models.  An example of this would be defending your position on a given scientific theory.  


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