|MNOHS Science Teacher Pete Glaser|
Earth and Space Science at MNOHS is divided into four quarter-length topical courses. Separately and together, they focus on how the Earth has changed over time and how it continues to change. Course activities include at-home and virtual labs, independent investigations, and class discussions— all with an emphasis on critical thinking, reasoning from evidence, and applying the information and skills you learn to solving real world problems.
- Astronomy (Q1, 0.25 credit): focuses on how the universe is constructed, and how each part works together with all the other parts, and how Earth fits in. You will learn about the Big Bang theory; how planets form and move; how stars, including our own sun, begin and end; and how different cultures applied and added their knowledge of the cosmos to our current understanding of the stars and their movements. You will use online and virtual telescopes and then apply that knowledge to analyze astronomical data. Course activities include investigation of the solar movement, real and virtual labs, and astronomical problem solving.
- Geology (Q2, 0.25 credit) is dedicated to the study of Earth’s solid parts and systems. We will start on the smallest level–atomic scale, through grain sizes, to the hand measurements, the outcrop dimensions, continuing to the mountain range grandeur, exploring the tectonic plate greatness, and the grandest levels, the Earth’s layers. We will look at what creates, deforms, and destroys Earth’s structures. You will take what you have learned and apply how the land around you shapes how you interact with it. Course activities include investigating rocks, minerals, and sedimentation from the ancient Green River Basin, and other virtual labs and observational projects.
- Meteorology (Q3, 0.25 credit) focuses on the atmosphere, the science of weather, and climate. We will explore the role of air, water and wind within atmospheric systems; wind speed and direction; cloud types; lightning; and hurricanes, thunderstorms, and tornadoes. You will collect and analyze atmospheric observations and data to predict the weather. A large component of the class will focus on climate change and problem solving related to climate change, what they mean to you.
- Hydrology (Q4, 0.25 credit) focuses on how water interacts within different Earth systems. We will study how the water cycle works with the rock cycle to reshape the land around you: properties of water, precipitation, lakes, streams, rivers, groundwater, watersheds, atmospheric processes, coastal regions, and aquatic ecology. You will also consider wastewater, conservation, and water shortages, and apply the information and skills you learn to solve real world problems.
Course materials: We will use many research articles, videos and Internet sites; links and attachments will be provided in class. Virtual Labs are conducted online. Any supplies, such as a ruler and protractor, can be found easily or made at home.
Standards met: Taken together these courses meet all the standards and benchmarks in the 2019 Minnesota Science Standards for Grades 9-12: Earth and Space Science.
Credit: 0.25 per quarter
Honors Opportunity: Yes
Prerequisites: None. 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).