RUTHERFORD HIGH SCHOOL Rutherford, New Jersey COURSE OUTLINE ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

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1 RUTHERFORD HIGH SCHOOL Rutherford, New Jersey COURSE OUTLINE ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE I. INTRODUCTION Environmental Science introduces students to a broad view of the biosphere and the physical parameters that affect it. The full year course emphasizes Physical and Earth Science components involved in biogeochemical cycles that impact biomes. Students study a variety of topics including biotic and abiotic factors in habitats, ecosystems, and biomes; interrelationships between resources and environmental systems; sources and flow of energy through environmental systems; factors that influence carrying capacity; and natural and man-made environmental changes. The course encourages critical thinking, use of the scientific method, integration of technology, and application of knowledge and skills learned to practical questions/problems. Safe field and laboratory investigations are used in instruction to illustrate scientific concepts and principles and support inquiry instruction. II. OBJECTIVES A. SKILLS The student will be able to: 1. Discuss science as a body of knowledge and an investigative process. 2. Conduct scientific investigations systematically. 3. Form a hypothesis. 4. Develop a practical and logical procedure. 5. Present conclusions based on investigation/previous research. 6. Exhibit behaviors appropriate to the scientific enterprise consistently. Examples: curiosity, creativity, integrity, patience, skepticism, logical reasoning, attention to detail, openness to new ideas. 7. Demonstrate correct care and safe use of instruments, equipment, and living organisms. 8. Demonstrate the ability to choose, construct, and/or assemble appropriate equipment for scientific investigations. 9. Apply critical and integrated science thinking skills. 10. Measure with appropriate units and significant figures.

2 11. Use mathematical models, simple statistical models, and graphical models to express patterns and relationships determined from sets of scientific data. 12. Use written and oral communication skills to present and explain scientific phenomena and concepts individually or in collaborative groups using technical and nontechnical language. B. CONTENT The student will be able to: 1. Study Earth by: a. Locating the Earth in a diagram of the solar system b. Identifying and describing the three layers of Earth. c. Describing the three main types of rocks that make up the lithosphere. d. Explaining why fresh water is a valuable resource for all organisms. e. Explaining how organisms interact with the biosphere. f. Describing ways in which the three layers of the biosphere have changed over time. 2. Investigate Methods of Science by: a. Explaining why there is always uncertainty in science b. Distinguishing between subjects that can and cannot be studied scientifically c. Describing the methods that scientists use in their work. d. Explaining why good communication is so important in science. e. Describing the steps involved in conducting a scientific experiment. 3. Investigate Ecosystems by: a. Differentiating between biotic and abiotic factors of an ecosystem. b. Describing ways in which the three layers of the biosphere have changed over time. c. Predicting how changes in the environment might affect organisms. d. Describing the structure of an ecosystem. e. Relating the concept of habitat destruction to the loss of biodiversity. 4. Examine Ecological Interactions by: a. Describing the interaction of matter and energy in the biosphere. b. Identifying the roles of producers, consumers, decomposers in an ecosystem c. Describing the concept of the trophic level d. Describing food chains and food webs. e. Examining the effects on ecosystem structure on population size and pollution. f. Explaining how the biogeochemical cycles recycle resources through the atmosphere, hydrosphere, lithosphere, and biosphere.

3 g. Differentiating between primary and secondary succession. h. Analyzing succession in various ecosystems. i. Describing the major symbiotic relationships. j. Explaining the relationship between the population sizes of predator and prey. k. Examining the concept of ecosystem balance and explaining how humans affect that balance. 5. Investigate Biomes by: a. Distinguishing among the various biomes. b. Identifying how different biomes affect the various components of the atmosphere. c. Identifying the relationships between landforms and types of biomes. d. Identifying characteristics of water chemistry in different aqueous environments. 6. Investigate People in the Global Ecosystem by: a. Describing Earth as a network of systems and connections. b. Explaining how Earth is closed with respect to matter and open with respect to energy. c. Identifying hunter-gatherer, agricultural, and industrial societies. d. Describing how the impact of humans on the environment has increased over time. e. Defining the sustainable development ethic. f. Describing the major events that have affected the rate of human population growth throughout history. g. Discussing factors that can result in a decline in human populations. h. Comparing and contrasting population growth trends in developing and industrialized nations. i. Listing the major groups of nutrients and the amount of energy provided by each type. j. Explaining the effects of economics on food production. k. Describing the process of Green Revolution farming. 7. Examine Energy Resources by: a. Distinguishing between renewable and nonrenewable resources b. Describing the sources of the three main types of organic fuels. c. Explaining how changes in human societies have changed the demand for energy. d. Describing some of the problems associated with the uses of fossil fuels. e. Comparing biomass fuels to fossil fuels. f. Illustrating the fission chain reactions that power nuclear reactors and breeder reactors. g. Diagramming the structure and function of a nuclear reactor.

4 h. Stating the problems associated with the safe disposal of radioactive wastes. i. Describing how solar energy can be used to heat buildings and generate electricity. j. Describing how wind, water and geothermal energy can be used to produce electricity. k. List the advantages and disadvantages of alternative energy sources. 8. Identify Resources in the Biosphere by: a. Describing minerals and identify some of their characteristics. b. Identifying and explaining ways in which extraction of minerals may affect the environment. c. Identifying different soil types and how they influence soil characteristics. d. Identifying causes of soil mismanagement and predicting possible outcomes from such mismanagement. e. Classifying hazardous wastes according to their characteristics. f. Explaining why water conservation is important. g. Predicting the effects of the depletion of an aquifer. h. Tracing the sequence of events involved in the purification of water. i. Identifying the major types of water, air and land pollution and their sources. j. Describing the effects of pollution on plants and animals. k. Identifying the effects of acid precipitation and ozone depletion l. Explaining the greenhouse effect and global warming. m. Discussing ways of managing human impact on the environment. III. PROFICIENCY LEVELS Environmental Science is an inquiry-based science course for students completing Biology. IV. METHODS OF ASSESSMENT The teacher will provide a variety of assessments including homework, class participation, tests and quizzes, laboratory reports, projects, and final exam. V. GROUPING Environmental Science is appropriate for heterogeneously grouped sophomore/junior /senior students. VI. ARTICULATION/SCOPE The length of the course is one year.

5 VII. RESOURCES A. TEXT Environmental Science. Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, B. RESOURCES Environmental Science: Human Ecology and Human Impact. Addison Wesley, Laboratory and Field Investigations in General Ecology. Rolan. Environmental Science. Amsco, Laboratory Investigations. Holt, Rinehart and Winston, VIII. METHODOLOGIES A. Direct teacher instruction B. Demonstrations C. Computer assisted instruction D. Videos and video clips with appropriate activities E. Problem and question & answer sessions ( B.2, C.5) IX. SUGGESTED ACTIVITIES A. Laboratory experiments B. Mini-activities (e.g. simulations) C. Cooperative learning-problem solving D. Library research E. Homework X. INTERDISCIPLINARY CONNECTIONS Connections are made to mathematics by means of collaborative projects. Discussions as to the historical significance and background of scientific experiments and discoveries strengthen the connection to history. The significance of particular biomes to various cultures around the world also connects environmental science to world studies. Writing assignments in the form of laboratory reports and open-ended questions makes use of skills learned in language arts literacy.

6 XI. DIFFERENTIATING INSTRUCTION FOR STUDENTS WITH SPECIAL NEEDS: STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES, ENGLISH LANGUAGE LEARNERS, AND GIFTED & TALENTED STUDENTS Differentiating instruction is a flexible process that includes the planning and design of instruction, how that instruction is delivered, and how student progress is measured. Teachers recognize that students can learn in multiple ways as they celebrate students prior knowledge. By providing appropriately challenging learning, teachers can maximize success for all students. Examples of Strategies and Practices that Support: Students with Disabilities Use of visual and multi-sensory formats Use of assisted technology Use of prompts Modification of content and student products Testing accommodations Authentic assessments Gifted & Talented Students Adjusting the pace of lessons Curriculum compacting Inquiry-based instruction Independent study Higher-order thinking skills Interest-based content Student-driven Real-world problems and scenarios English Language Learners Pre-teaching of vocabulary and concepts Visual learning, including graphic organizers Use of cognates to increase comprehension Teacher modeling Pairing students with beginning English language skills with students who have more advanced English language skills Scaffolding word walls sentence frames think-pair-share cooperative learning groups teacher think-alouds

7 XII. PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT Teachers shall continue to improve their expertise by participating in a variety of professional development opportunities made available by the Board of Education and other organizations. XIII. CURRICULUM MAP Month Topic Suggested Activities September October November December Goals of Environmental Science Fields of study in environmental science. Our Environment through time Environmental Problems Current Environmental Issues The Experimental Method Making Informed Decisions Plate tectonics, earthquakes, volcanoes Composition and Layers of the atmosphere The Greenhouse effect, Atmospheric gases The Hydrosphere. Water Cycle, Ocean s temperature zones Ecosystems, Biotic, Abiotic factors, levels of organization Evolution, Natural Selection Coevolution, Artificial Selection, Resistance The six kingdoms of organization Producers, consumers and decomposers Food chains and Food Webs Carbon cycle Nitrogen Cycle Phosphorous Cycle, Primary Succession Secondary Succession Article presentations Tragedy of the Commons Lab: Ecological Footprint Lab- Analyzing Environmental Issues Group Research-Should polystyrene packaging be banned? Cell Respiration in Yeast Lab Lab: Stream Discharge Lab: Plate Tectonics Lab: Percent of Oxygen in the air Lab: Atmosphere and living things Issues and Decisions- Monitoring Volcanic Activity Food Web Lab Lab: Explaining the carbon cycle in fermentation Research and PowerPoint Presentation on Environmentally Responsible companies January February Marine Biome Freshwater Biomes- Populations Population Demographics Niche, Species Interactions, Competition Issues and Decisions 9 Inconvenient Truth Essay Lab: Population Sampling-Capture-Recapture Method Article summary project Lab-: Population in Developing Countries March April May Biodiversity Species and Population Survival Species prone to extinction, human causes of extinction The Water Cycle Water conservation Water pollutants Air pollution Noise and Light Pollution Climate, Latitude, Atmospheric Circulation Acid Rain Factors Determining Climate Ozone layer Lab: Analyzing the Value of Biodiversity Demonstration: Exotic Species Lab: Simple Biodiversity Assessment, Internet Activity: Species Survival Plans, Lab: Porosity and Permeability Demonstration: How Much Water Is There? Lab: Modeling an Aquifer Demonstration: Why Can t We Drink Salt Water? Demonstration: Acid Rain Lab: Acid Rain Lab: Global Warming

8 June Global Warming Land Use-Urban and Rural Land Management and Conservation Lab Measuring Soil Depth and Compaction Inquiry Lab: Creating a Land-Use Model Revised 2015

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