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Science, Grade 9 - 12, Earth and Space Elective, 2005

1.) Describe sources of energy, including solar, gravitational, geothermal, and nuclear.

2.) Describe effects on weather of energy transfer within and among the atmosphere, hydrosphere, biosphere, and lithosphere.

•  Describing the energy transfer related to condensation in clouds, precipitation, winds, and ocean currents
•  Describing characteristics of the El Niño and La Niña phenomena
•  Using data to analyze global weather patterns
Examples: temperature, barometric pressure, wind speed and direction

3.) Explain how weather patterns affect climate.

•  Explaining characteristics of various weather systems, including high and low pressure areas or fronts
•  Interpreting weather maps and symbols to predict changing weather conditions
•  Identifying technologies used to obtain meteorological data
4.) Describe the production and transfer of stellar energies.

•  Describing the relationship between life cycles and nuclear reactions of stars
•  Describing how the reception of solar radiation is affected by atmospheric and lithospheric conditions
Example: volcanic eruptions and greenhouse gases affecting reflection and absorption of solar radiation

5.) Discuss various theories for the origin, formation, and changing nature of the universe and our solar system.

•  Explaining the nebular hypothesis for formation of planets, the big bang theory, and the steady state theory
•  Relating Hubble's law to the concept of an ever-expanding universe
•  Describing the impact of meteor, asteroid, and comet bombardment on planetary and lunar development
6.) Explain the length of a day and of a year in terms of the motion of Earth.

•  Explaining the relationship of the seasons to the tilt of Earth's axis and its revolution about the sun
7.) Explain techniques for determining the age and composition of Earth and the universe.

•  Using radiometric age methods to compute the age of Earth
•  Using expanding universe measurements to determine the age of the universe
•  Identifying techniques for evaluating the composition of objects in space
8.) Explain the terms astronomical unit and light year.

9.) Relate the life cycle of stars to the H-R diagram.

•  Explaining indicators of motion by the stars and sun in terms of the Doppler effect and red and blue shifts
•  Describing the relationship of star color, brightness, and evolution to the balance between gravitational collapse and nuclear fusion
10.) Identify scientists and their findings relative to Earth and space, including Copernicus, Galileo, Kepler, Newton, and Einstein.

•  Identifying classical instruments used to extend the senses and increase knowledge of the universe, including optical telescopes, radio telescopes, spectroscopes, and cameras
11.) Describe pulsars, quasars, black holes, and galaxies.

12.) Describe challenges and required technologies for space exploration.

•  Identifying long-term human space travel needs, including life support
•  Identifying applications of propulsion technologies for space travel
•  Identifying new instrumentation and communication technologies needed for space information gathering
Examples: Mars Exploration Rover, Cassini spacecraft and Huygens probe, Gravity Probe B

•  Identifying benefits to the quality of life that have been achieved through space advances
Examples: cellular telephone, GPS

•  Identifying new technology used to gather information, including spacecraft, observatories, space-based telescopes, and probes

Science, Grade 9 - 12, Environmental Elective, 2005

1.) Identify the influence of human population, technology, and cultural and industrial changes on the environment.

•  Describing the relationship between carrying capacity and population size
2.) Evaluate various fossil fuels for their effectiveness as energy resources.

•  Describing the formation and use of nonrenewable fossil fuels
•  Identifying by-products of the combustion of fossil fuels, including particulates, mercury, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, and carbon dioxide
•  Identifying chemical equations associated with the combustion of fossil fuels
•  Describing benefits of abundant, affordable energy to mankind
•  Identifying effects of fossil fuel by-products on the environment, including ozone depletion; formation of acid rain, brown haze, and greenhouse gases; and concentration of particulates and heavy metals
3.) Evaluate other sources of energy for their effectiveness as alternatives to fossil fuels.

•  Comparing nuclear fission and nuclear fusion reactions in the production of energy
•  Comparing energy production and waste output in generating nuclear energy
•  Differentiating between renewable and nonrenewable energy resources
•  Identifying local energy sources
Examples: landfill gas, wind, water, sun

•  Identifying ways the law of conservation of energy relates to fuel consumption
Examples: development of hybrid cars, construction of energy-efficient homes

4.) Identify the impact of pollutants on the atmosphere.

•  Identifying layers of the atmosphere and the composition of air
•  Describing the formation of primary, secondary, and indoor air pollutants
•  Relating pollutants to smog and thermal inversions
•  Investigating the impact of air quality on the environment
•  Interpreting social, political, and economic influences on air quality
5.) Describe properties of water that make it a universal solvent.

6.) Identify sources of local drinking water.

•  Determining the quality of fresh water using chemical testing and bioassessment
•  Describing the use of chemicals and microorganisms in water treatment
•  Describing water conservation methods
•  Describing the process of underground water accumulation, including the formation of aquifers
•  Identifying major residential, industrial, and agricultural water consumers
•  Identifying principal uses of water
7.) Identify reasons coastal waters serve as an important resource.

Examples: economic stability, biodiversity, recreation

•  Classifying biota of estuaries, marshes, tidal pools, wetlands, beaches, and inlets
•  Comparing components of marine water to components of inland bodies of water
8.) Identify major contaminants in water resulting from natural phenomena, homes, industry, and agriculture.

•  Describing the eutrophication of water by industrial effluents and agricultural runoffs
•  Classifying sources of water pollution as point and nonpoint
9.) Describe land-use practices that promote sustainability and economic growth.

Examples: no-till planting, crop rotation

•  Defining various types and sources of waste and their impact on the soil
Examples:

- types—biodegradeable, nonbiodegradeable, organic, radioactive, nonradioactive;

- sources—pesticides, herbicides

•  Identifying ways to manage waste, including composting, recycling, reusing, and reclaiming
10.) Describe the composition of soil profiles and soil samples of varying climates.

•  Identifying various processes and activities that promote soil formation
Examples: weathering, decomposition, deposition

•  Relating particle size to soil texture and type of sand, silt, or clay
11.) Describe agents of erosion, including moving water, gravity, glaciers, and wind.

•  Describing methods for preventing soil erosion
Examples: planting vegetation, constructing terraces, providing barriers

12.) Identify positive and negative effects of human activities on biodiversity.

•  Identifying endangered and extinct species locally, regionally, and worldwide
•  Identifying causes for species extinction locally, regionally, and worldwide
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