This one-semester course focuses on how the Earth has changed over time and how it continues to change. Topics include: interactions of Earth systems; human impact on Earth systems; geology and plate tectonics; climate and climate change; and a descriptive history of the universe and solar system. Course activities include weekly journal and discussion assignments; webquests; online and at-home labs—all with an emphasis on critical thinking and reasoning from evidence. Students are asked to apply the concepts they are learning to their home community—through assignments such as a geology tour of your area and a state-of-your-watershed report.
Course materials: Online edition of Earth Science (Prentice Hall, 2006); other selected web sites. Students are asked to identify native geological features and building stone in their communities, so some flexible transportation should be considered. Other labs are conducted online and supplies are not required. Before a student can enroll in a MNOHS science course, MNOHS must receive a permission form signed by a parent or guardian (if the student is under 18).
Standards met: This course meets all standards and benchmarks in the following strands of the 2009 Minnesota Science Standards for Grades 9-12: The Nature of Science and Engineering; Earth and Space Science.
Honors Opportunity: Yes