Earth Space Science

Pre-Requisites: None
Credits: 1.0
Estimated Completion Time: 2 segments/32-36 weeks


Be captivated by the wonders and beauty of the third planet from our Sun, Earth. Be amazed by what awaits your discovery within our solar system and beyond. It is your turn to explore the universe. 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
Segment 1:

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)
  • Water cycle
  • Conservation (Honors)
  • 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)
Segment 2:
Geologic Time
  • Gregorian calendar
  • Relative and absolute time (Honors)
  • 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
  • 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 techtonics
  • Continental drift
  • Surface features
  • Geologic events (Honors)

Grading Policy

Besides engaging students in challenging curriculum, FLVS guides students to reflect on their learning and to evaluate their progress through a variety of assessments. Assessments can be in the form of self-checks, practice lessons, multiple choice questions, writing assignments, projects, research papers, essays, labs, oral assessments, and discussions. Instructors evaluate progress and provide interventions through the variety of assessments built into a course, as well as through contact with the student in other venues.

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