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SCZ6110T: AP EnvSci (2013-2014)

CURRICULUM PROGRAM: Virtual School Program
COURSE TITLE: AP Environmental Sci
CALENDAR YEAR: 2013-2014

Major Concepts/Content:

AP Environmental Science provides an investigative approach to the interrelationships of the natural world through the study of the fundamental concepts, principles, and methodologies of environmental science, with an emphasis on inquiry and critical thinking skills, including problem solving and experimental investigations. Topics of study include Earth systems and resources, ecosystems and energy flow, population biology, land and water use, energy resources and consumption, pollution, and global change. Though our system has an open enrollment policy, students should understand that this course is designed to be a second year environmental science course, and the equivalent of a one semester-long, laboratory-based, introductory, college level environmental science course. The course requires a working knowledge of biology, chemistry and/or physics, and one year of algebra. The breadth, pace and depth of material covered exceeds the standard high school Environmental Science course, as does the college-level textbook, laboratory work, and time and effort required of students. Students are expected to take the AP Environmental Science Exam at the end of this course.

The AP Environmental Science curriculum is designed to provide a strong laboratory and field investigation component to instruction. The goal is to complement classroom instruction through firsthand observation and interaction with the environment. AP science revisions focus on seven overarching practices that capture important aspects of the work of scientists. Science practices describe the knowledge and skills that students should learn and demonstrate to reach a goal or complete a learning activity.

  • Science Practice 1: The student can use representations and models to communicate scientific phenomena and solve scientific problems.
  • Science Practice 2: The student can use mathematics appropriately.
  • Science Practice 3: The student can engage in scientific questioning to extend thinking or to guide investigations within the context of the AP course.
  • Science Practice 4: The student can plan and implement data collection strategies in relation to a particular scientific question. Note: Data can be collected from many different sources, e.g., investigations, scientific observations, the findings of others, historic reconstruction and/or archived data.
  • Science Practice 5: The student can perform data analysis and evaluation of evidence.
  • Science Practice 6: The student can work with scientific explanations and theories.
  • Science Practice 7: The student is able to connect and relate knowledge across various scales, concepts and representations in and across domains.

AP science instruction incorporates any teaching method that encourages students to construct and/or discover knowledge with an understanding of how scientists study the natural world. Teaching using the seven science practices expands beyond lab investigations and field experiments, including classroom experiences such as scientific model development and revision and peer-to-peer critique of explanations. The approach to instruction may vary for investigations, field experiments, and classroom experiences, depending on the science practices and content being developed, the amount of necessary content or skills scaffolding, the extent of teacher involvement to support that scaffolding, and student readiness.

DoDEA Environmental Science Standards

Course Objectives:

Upon completion of AP Environmental Science students should be able to:

  • Understand the fundamental concepts and principles and methodologies of environmental science as a means of understanding the interrelationships of the natural world.
  • Identify, investigate and analyze environmental issues and problems of the natural and man-made world.
  • Evaluate the relative risks of environmental issues and explore their resolution.
  • Develop and apply science practices that enable students to establish lines of evidence and use them to develop and refine testable explanations and predictions of natural phenomena.

Course Outline:

  • Module One: Intro to Environmental Science
  • Module Two: Ecological Principles
  • Module Three: Human Impacts on Sustainability
  • Module Four: Sustaining Biodiversity
  • Module Five: Sustaining Land & Water Resources
  • Module Six: Sustaining Energy Resources
  • Module Seven: Human Health & Environmental Hazards
  • Module Eight: Environmental Impacts of Urbanization
  • Module Nine: Sustaining Human Societies
  • Module Ten: Applying Principles of Environmental Science

Essential Software:


  • Environmental Science for AP
  • Friedland, Relyea, Courard-Hauri
  • Bedford, Freeman & Worth 2011
  • ISBN: 071673849X

Course Notes: Weighted - Must Take AP Exam (+ indicated Weighted)