High School Earth and Space Science A / B
Earth and space science is the study of the structure of our planet and Earth’s role in the solar system and universe. This branch of science relies on observations, historical data, and physical evidence to describe the natural processes that occur around us and in distant space. Semester A begins with a discussion of the methods and tools that scientists use to study Earth and space science, including the scientific method, modeling, and mathematics. You’ll look at theories for how the planets, solar system, and universe formed and explain the interactions between the Sun, Earth, and Moon. You’ll also learn about the emergence of Earth’s materials, atmosphere, and first lifeforms, as well as the dating methods that help us piece together Earth’s unique history. You’ll begin Semester B by comparing the composition of rocks and minerals and analyzing the processes involved in the rock cycle. You’ll explore the tectonic mechanisms that lead to some of Earth’s most prominent geological features. Next, you’ll study important interactions between the hydrosphere and atmosphere and the role they play in weathering and erosion. You’ll also differentiate between weather and climate and make evidence-based predictions about both using data and modeling. The last unit in this course highlights the negative effects that humans can have on the natural cycles of Earth, as well as effective measures we can take to protect our planet.