District Science Goals:
1. Apply knowledge of science and engineering concepts to question, understand and think critically about real-world problems that impact our daily lives in order to develop effective solutions.
2. Utilize science and engineering practices to understand that there are multiple contributing factors in all problems and become active participants in developing effective solutions and communicating results of inquiry or design processes to an audience in both written and verbal forms utilizing research and data.
The purpose of this class is to help students understand all of the changes that have occurred to shape the world they know today and how current changes will effect them in the future.
Major Topics Covered:
- Science Practices
Students will develop problem-solving, decision-making and inquiry skills.
(learning how to ask questions and not just accepting everything at face value)
- Earth’s Place in the Universe
Construct a scientific explanation based on evidence from rock strata for how the geologic time scale is used to organize Earth's 4.6-billion-year-old history.
- Biological Evolution: Unity & Diversity
Analyze and interpret data for patterns in the fossil record that document the existence, diversity, extinction, and change of life forms throughout the history of life on Earth under the assumption that natural laws operate today as in the past.
Apply scientific ideas to construct an explanation for the anatomical similarities and differences among modern organisms and between modern and fossil organisms to infer evolutionary relationships.
Analyze displays of pictorial data to compare patterns of similarities in the embryological development across multiple species to identify relationships not evident in the fully formed anatomy.
Construct an explanation based on evidence that describes how genetic variations of traits in a population increase some individuals’ probability of surviving and reproducing in a specific environment.
Gather and synthesize information about the technologies that have changed the way humans influence the inheritance of desired traits in organisms.
Use mathematical representations to support explanations of how natural selection may lead to increases and decreases of specific traits in populations over time.
- Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics
Construct an argument supported by empirical evidence that changes to physical or biological components of an ecosystem affect populations.
Evaluate competing design solutions for maintaining biodiversity and ecosystem services.
- Earth and Human Activity
Apply scientific principles to design a method for monitoring and minimizing a human impact on the environment.
Construct an argument supported by evidence for how increases in human population and per-capita consumption of natural resources impact Earth's systems.
Ask questions to clarify evidence of the factors that have caused the rise in global temperatures over the past century.
- Earth's Systems
Analyze and interpret data on the distribution of fossils and rocks, continental shapes, and seafloor structures to provide evidence of the past plate motions.
Collect data to provide evidence for how the motions and complex interactions of air masses results in changes in weather conditions.
Develop and use a model to describe how unequal heating and rotation of the Earth cause patterns of atmospheric and oceanic circulation that determine regional climates.
- Engineering Practices
Define the criteria and constraints of a design problem with sufficient precision to ensure a successful solution, taking into account relevant scientific principles and potential impacts on people and the natural environment that may limit possible solutions.
Evaluate competing design solutions using a systematic process to determine how well they meet the criteria and constraints of the problem.
Analyze data from tests to determine similarities and differences among several design solutions to identify the best characteristics of each that can be combined into a new solution to better meet the criteria for success. Develop a model to generate data for iterative testing and modification of a proposed object, tool, or process such that an optimal design can be achieved.