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SCZ3020T: EthSpa (2014-2015)

CURRICULUM PROGRAM: Virtual School Program
COURSE TITLE: Earth & Space Science
CALENDAR YEAR: 2014-2015

Major Concepts/Content:

This course begins with a discussion of the nature of science, the processes of science, and instruction on how to carry out scientific investigations in the lab and the field. The course then covers the properties of rocks and minerals and how to identify and classify them. Students will learn about geologic time, a history of life on Earth, and the development of the geologic time scale. The next parts of the course focus on Earth’s tectonic, atmospheric, and ocean systems, including instruction on earthquakes, plate boundaries, properties of the atmosphere, properties of the oceans, and how human activities impact the atmosphere and the ocean.

The second semester of the course begins with instruction in weathering and soils, followed by a discussion of river and groundwater systems, glaciers, shoreline features, and eolian systems. Students learn about the processes of weathering, how soils are natural resources, and the landscape features associated with rivers, glaciers, shorelines, and areas impacted by wind erosion. The course then covers mineral and energy resources, including fossil fuels, nuclear resources, and alternative energy sources. The course ends with a unit on the structure and composition of the solar system, with discussion of how Earth compares to other planets, the movements of asteroids and comets, and the life cycle of stars.

DoDEA Earth and Space Science Standards

Course Objectives:

Upon completion of Earth and Space Science, students should be able to:

  • Describe and demonstrate the nature of science, including laboratory skills and designing investigations.
  • Research and explain the unique features of Earth.
  • Describe properties of rocks and minerals, their development and significance as resources.
  • Analyze and use maps to describe geologic features and meteorological data.
  • Understand the historical development of Earth and describe dating principles.
  • Describe and discuss the theory of plate tectonics and its impact on landscape, earthqakes, and volcanoes.
  • Understand the Earth’s atmosphere and oceans and how their movement drives weather and climate.
  • Describe the processes of water movement, weathering, and erosion.
  • Understand glaciation and its impact on the landscape.
  • Describe the origin and use of fossil fuels, nuclear power, and renewable energy sources including sustainability.
  • Discuss the impacts of human activity on the atmosphere, oceans, and other natural resources.
  • Describe the origin, structure, and composition of the solar system, stars, and the universe.

Course Outline:

  • Module One: The Study of Earth Science
  • Module Two: Rocks and Minerals
  • Module Three: Geologic History
  • Module Four: Plate Tectonics
  • Module Five: The Atmosphere-Ocean System
  • Module Six: Weathering and Soils
  • Module Seven: Rivers & Groundwater Systems
  • Module Eight: Landscape Features
  • Module Nine: Earth’s Natural Resources
  • Module Ten: The Solar System

Essential Software:


  • Title: Earth and Space Science
  • Publisher: Holt McDougal Houghton Mifflin 2010
  • ISBN#: 978-0-554-00539-3