SCZ401: Environmental Science (2012-2013)
CURRICULUM PROGRAM: Science
COURSE TITLE: Environmental Science
CALENDAR YEAR: 2012-2013
GRADE LEVEL: 10-12
COURSE LENGTH: 36 weeks
Laboratory Requirement: Students who take this course spend a minimum of 30% of their time engaged in hands-on laboratory exercises. All DoDEA Science courses have a minimum 30% dedicated time period for laboratory exercises. This translates to approximately 54 instructional days or 16 to 27 multi-day laboratories dedicated to student hands on laboratory time. Demonstrations and virtual laboratories, while useful in the classroom, do not count toward the 30% laboratory requirement.
Major Concepts/Content: Environmental Science is designed to be an elective course for students with a career or special interest and high motivation for an in-depth study of environmental science. Information is presented in an integrated approach with science as inquiry, science & technology, science & social perspectives, and the history & nature of science. The course integrates unifying science concepts and processes of systems, order & organization, evidence, models & explanation, change, consistency & equilibrium, and form & function.
Scientific inquiry and understanding about inquiry are emphasized through practical implications and meaningful applications. Topics students study include, but are not limited to, the laws of matter and energy, ecosystem analysis, population dynamics, renewable and nonrenewable resources, human impact on the environment, and the relationships among economics, politics, ethics, and the environment.
Major Instructional Activities: Scientific inquiry is defined as the diverse ways in which scientists study the natural world and propose explanations based on the evidence derived from their work. Scientific inquiry also refers to the activities through which students develop knowledge and understanding of scientific ideas, as well as an understanding of how scientists study the natural world (NSTA, 2004). Based on the philosophy that scientific knowledge is best acquired through inquiry, the course uses a variety of techniques to promote and inquiry in the classroom (ex. multiple revisions, high quality questioning, synthesis, making conclusions based on evidence, etc).
Instructional activities are staged in appropriate settings. They include laboratories, classrooms, forms of technology, and field studies. Teaching strategies include in depth laboratory investigations, demonstrations, collaborative peer-to-peer discussions, and student hands-on experiences.
Major Evaluative Techniques: All aspects of progress in science are measured using multiple methods such as authentic assessments, performance assessments, formative assessments, observational assessments, projects, research activities, reports, group and individual student work and conventional summative assessments.
Course Objectives: Upon completion of Environmental Science, students should be able to:
- Engage in full and partial scientific inquiries to design, conduct, and communicate scientific investigations to explore ideas about the natural world.
- Use scientific inquiry to design and conduct scientific investigations to meet a human need, make a decision, solve a human problem, or develop a product.
- Recognize and describe the interrelationship between science and technology.
- Apply the tools of technology (e.g., computers) in scientific endeavors.
- Identify qualities inherent in scientific behavior (e.g., reasoning, insight, energy, skill, and creativity).
- Discuss contributions of men and women of various social and ethnic backgrounds to science and technology.
- Apply science concepts to make decisions (weighing risks and benefits) about students' personal health and well-being.
- Assess the energy transfer in the earth system and explain dynamic processes that determine global climate.
- Relate the earth's geochemical cycles (carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, water) to geological processes.
- Critique theories on the origin and evolution of the earth system.
- Summarize theories on the origin and evolution of the universe.
- Support wise use of natural resources.
- Measure and evaluate the effect of human societies on earth.
- Distinguish between human and natural hazards.