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Earth and Space

Earth and Space

High School


Course Description:

In this course, students study the Earth’s place in the universe, dynamic Earth processes, energy in the Earth system, biogeochemical cycles, and the structure and composition of the atmosphere. Students understand that astronomy and planetary exploration reveal the solar system’s structure, scale, and change over time; plate tectonics operating over geologic time has changed the patterns of land, sea, and mountains on Earth’s surface; energy enters the Earth system primarily as solar radiation and eventually escapes as heat; each element on Earth moves among reservoirs, which exist in the solid earth, in oceans, in the atmosphere, and within and among organisms as part of biogeochemical cycles; and life has changed Earth’s atmosphere, and changes in the atmosphere affect conditions for life.

Semester 1

Unit 1: Introduction to Earth and Space
Studying Earth
Earth’s Systems

Unit 2: Systems of Matter and Energy
Earth’s Energy
The Rock Cycle
Cycles and Cycle Models

Unit 3: Natural Resources
Designing Solutions to Resource Problems
Rock and Mineral Resources
Energy Resources

Unit 4: Earth in the Solar System
Formation of the Solar System
Gravity and Orbits
Earth and the Sun

Unit 5: Space
Observing Matter in Space
The Universe
Evidence for the Big Bang

Semester 2

Note: if the following section is blank the course is 1 semester long

Unit 6: Plate Tectonics
Earth’s Dynamic Interior
Tectonic Plates
Plate Interactions
Natural Hazards

Unit 7: Earth’s Changing Surface
Surface Processes
Earth’s Surface
Development of Features

Unit 8: Earth’s Water
The Properties of Water
Water Resources

Unit 9: The Atmosphere
Earth’s Atmosphere
Weather Prediction and Modeling
Climate and Climate Change

Unit 10: Exploring Earth’s History
The Rock and Fossil Record
Geological Time
Earth: Past, Present, and Future

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