Earth Science A

Why This Class

Earth is the only known habitable planet in the Universe—and as a resident of that planet, you want your student to appreciate their home. This course opens their eyes to the many systems at work on Earth every day and the unique characteristics that make life on Earth possible.

Mentors in this course guide students in a discovery of how scientists believe the universe began and how Earth came to be. They introduce students to the evidence that informs those theories and the questions that remain. From there, students explore the interactions between the Earth, Sun, and Moon and learn how the energy and movements of each create weather patterns. Students also examine natural systems including tectonic plates, earthquakes, and volcanoes to recognize the forces of continuous creation and destruction on their planet.

Students emerge from this course with an awareness of the systems that make Earth habitable, an appreciation for the fragility of those systems, and a desire to learn even more about their home planet.

Overarching Questions

What is the universe and how was it formed?

How does energy exist in the universe and what does it teach me?

What characteristics allow life to exist on Earth?

How does the earth function as a living system?

What can I learn about the creation of this planet and the solar system from the water and rocks on Earth?

Reading List

Reading the Rocks: The Autobiography of the Earth by Marcia Bjornerud

This course requires additional supplies. Please see the book list in SIS for details.

Course Details

Recommended Grade: 9th (Freshman)

Prerequisites: None

Corequisites: Algebra 1

Estimated Weekly Hours: 5-7

Format: Live, self-paced

Credits: 0.5

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Please note that program and course descriptions, as well as reading and materials lists, are subject to change as we continuously improve our curriculum throughout the year. Book and materials lists for the upcoming school year are published in SIS mid to late June. Some courses require subscriptions e.g., Adobe software or online magazines that may not be covered by partner schools.