Earth Science B

Why This Class

You see news stories about Earth’s health and natural resources every day, and you want your student to be informed about the factors behind these issues. This course leads your student on a scientific study of energy and agriculture to expand their perspective on the challenges facing Earth—and the choices facing humanity—today.

Mentors in this course guide students to examine two of Earth’s assets: the often-overlooked resource of soil and the much-discussed resource of carbon-based fuels. Students explore and deliberate the processes that, over the course of decades or millions of years, create the dirt to grow our food and the energy to power our homes, cars, and technologies. Students participate in class discussions and debates about climate change, nuclear power, and alternative energy sources.

By the end of this course, students gain a detailed understanding of the challenges facing humanity in the current and future use of Earth’s soil and energy resources. They also appreciate their role in deciding the outcomes of these issues.

Overarching Questions

How is soil made, what is it made of, and why does it matter?

How did soil types affect early civilizations? What about today?

What if the characteristics of the earth change? How would I be affected?

How can we our existing energy resources more efficiently?

What are the three primary alternative energy sources?

Reading List

Dirt: The Erosion of Civilizations by David R. Montgomery

Energy for Future Presidents by Richard A. Muller

Course Details

Recommended Grade: 9th (Freshman)

Prerequisites: None

Corequisites: Algebra 1

Estimated Weekly Hours: 5-7

Format: Live, self-paced

Credits: 0.5

Please contact our Customer Support Team at if you have questions.
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.