ALEX Classroom Resource

  

Spaceship Earth

  Classroom Resource Information  

Title:

Spaceship Earth

URL:

http://sciencenetlinks.com/lessons/spaceship-earth/

Content Source:

Science NetLinks
Type: Lesson/Unit Plan

Overview:

This lesson is entitled Spaceship Earth to reinforce the idea that our planet is–in reality–like a spaceship hurtling through space on a long-duration mission. There is no resupply from outside sources. Recycling is as much a part of the natural order of things as is the sunrise every day. Pollution occurs when there are outputs that cannot be used as inputs for something else. Pollution is harmful and can be downright dangerous. The connections between parts of the natural system are imperative to its normal operation. By actively thinking through what it takes to keep people alive on a spaceship, the students will come to understand more fully what it takes to keep people alive on this planet. 

Content Standard(s):
Science
SC2015 (2015)
Grade: 6
Earth and Space Science
15 ) Analyze evidence (e.g., databases on human populations, rates of consumption of food and other natural resources) to explain how changes in human population, per capita consumption of natural resources, and other human activities (e.g., land use, resource development, water and air pollution, urbanization) affect Earth's systems.

Insight Unpacked Content
Scientific And Engineering Practices:
Analyzing and Interpreting Data
Crosscutting Concepts: Cause and Effect
Disciplinary Core Idea: Earth and Human Activity
Evidence Of Student Attainment:
Students:
  • Analyze evidence regarding how changes in human population, per capita consumption of natural resources, and other human activities affect Earth's systems.
  • Explain how changes in human population, per capita consumption of natural resources, and other human activities affect Earth's systems.
Teacher Vocabulary:
  • Population
  • Per capita
  • Consumption
  • Natural resource
  • Environment
  • Earth's systems
  • Consequences
Knowledge:
Students know:
  • Increases in the size of the human population or in the per capita consumption of a given population cause increases in the consumption of natural resources.
  • Natural resources are any naturally occurring substances or features of the environment that, while not created by human effort, can be exploited by humans to satisfy their needs or wants.
  • Per capita consumption is the average use per person within a population.
  • Natural resource consumption causes changes in Earth systems.
  • Engineered solutions alter the effects of human populations on Earth systems by changing the rate of natural resource consumption or reducing the effects of changes in Earth systems.
  • All human activity draws on natural resources and has both short and long-term consequences, positive as well as negative, for the health of people and the natural environment.
  • The consequences of increases in human populations and consumption of natural resources are described by science, but science does not make the decisions for the actions society takes.
Skills:
Students are able to:
  • Organize given evidence regarding changes in human population, changes in per capita consumption of natural resources, human activities, and Earth's systems to allow for analysis and interpretation.
  • Analyze the data to identify possible causal relationships between changes in human population, changes in per capita consumption of natural resources, human activities, and Earth's systems.
  • Interpret patterns observed from the data to provide causal accounts for events and make predictions for events by constructing explanations.
Understanding:
Students understand that:
  • Human population growth affects natural resource consumption and natural resource consumption has an effect on Earth systems; therefore, changes in human populations have a causal role in changing Earth systems.
  • Typically as human populations and per-capita consumption of natural resources increase, so do the negative impacts on Earth unless the activities and technologies involved are engineered otherwise.
AMSTI Resources:
AMSTI Module:
Exploring Planetary Systems
Understanding Weather and Climate

NAEP Framework
NAEP Statement::
E8.15a: Human activities, such as reducing the amount of forest cover, increasing the amount and variety of chemicals released into the atmosphere, and intensive farming, have changed Earth's land, oceans, and atmosphere.

NAEP Statement::
E8.15b: Studies of plant and animal populations have shown that such activities can reduce the number and variety of wild plants and animals and sometimes result in the extinction of species.



Alabama Alternate Achievement Standards
AAS Standard:
SCI.AAS.6.15- Compare the relationship between human population and food consumption, water use, and land use.


Science
SC2015 (2015)
Grade: 6
Earth and Space Science
16 ) Implement scientific principles to design processes for monitoring and minimizing human impact on the environment (e.g., water usage, including withdrawal of water from streams and aquifers or construction of dams and levees; land usage, including urban development, agriculture, or removal of wetlands; pollution of air, water, and land).*

Insight Unpacked Content
Scientific And Engineering Practices:
Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions
Crosscutting Concepts: Cause and Effect
Disciplinary Core Idea: Earth and Human Activity
Evidence Of Student Attainment:
Students:
  • Design a process for monitoring human impact on the environment using scientific principles.
  • Design a process for minimizing human impact on the environment using scientific principles.
Teacher Vocabulary:
  • Habitat
  • Extinction
  • Species
  • Human Impact
  • Population
  • Per-capita consumption
  • Technology
  • Object
  • System
  • Process
  • Engineer
  • Engineering Design Process (EDP)
  • Monitor
  • Minimize
  • Solution
  • Causal and correlational relationships
  • Criteria
  • Constraints
  • Limitations
Knowledge:
Students know:
  • Human activities have significantly altered the environment, sometimes damaging or destroying natural habitats and causing the extinction of other species.
  • Changes to Earth's environments can have different positive and negative impacts for different living things.
  • Typically as human populations and per-capita consumption of natural resources increase, so do the negative impacts on Earth unless the activities and technologies involved are engineered otherwise.
  • Technology is anything man-made that solves a problem or fulfills a desire.
  • Technology can be an object, system, or process.
  • Engineering is a systematic and often iterative approach to designing objects, processes, and systems to meet human needs and wants.
  • The Engineering Design Process (EDP) is a series of steps engineers use to guide them as they solve problems.
  • The EDP may include the following cyclical steps: ask, imagine, plan, create, and improve.
  • Scientific information and principles regarding human impact on the environment must be used to design a process or solution that addresses the results of a particular human activity.
  • Scientific information and principles regarding human impact on the environment must be used to design a process or solution that incorporates technologies that can be used to monitor negative effects that human activities have on the environment.
  • Scientific information and principles regarding human impact on the environment must be used to design a process or solution that incorporates technologies that can be used to minimize negative effects that human activities have on the environment.
  • Causal and correlational relationships between the human activity and the negative environmental impact must be distinguished to facilitate the design of the process or solution.
  • Criteria and constraints for the solution must be defined and quantified to include individual or societal needs or desires and constraints imposed by economic conditions (e.g., costs of building and maintaining the solution).
  • Criteria are the principles or standards by which the process or solution is judged.
  • Constraints are the limitations or restrictions on the process or solution.
  • The process or solution must meet the criteria and constraints.
  • Limitations of the use of technologies exist.
Skills:
Students are able to:
  • Use scientific information and principles to generate a design solution for a problem related to human impact on the environment.
  • Identify relationships between the human activity and the negative environmental impact based on scientific principles.
  • Distinguish between causal and correlational relationships to facilitate the design of the solution.
  • Define and quantify, when appropriate, criteria and constraints for the solution.
  • Describe how well the solution meets the criteria and constraints, including monitoring or minimizing a human impact based on the causal relationships between relevant scientific principles about the processes that occur in, as well as among, Earth systems and the human impact on the environment.
  • Identify limitations of the use of technologies employed by the solution.
Understanding:
Students understand that:
  • A process or solution must meet criteria and constraints, including monitoring or minimizing a human impact based on the causal relationships between relevant scientific principles about the processes that occur in, as well as among, Earth systems and the human impact on the environment.
AMSTI Resources:
AMSTI Module:
Exploring Planetary Systems

NAEP Framework
NAEP Statement::
E8.15a: Human activities, such as reducing the amount of forest cover, increasing the amount and variety of chemicals released into the atmosphere, and intensive farming, have changed Earth's land, oceans, and atmosphere.

NAEP Statement::
E8.15b: Studies of plant and animal populations have shown that such activities can reduce the number and variety of wild plants and animals and sometimes result in the extinction of species.



Alabama Alternate Achievement Standards
AAS Standard:
SCI.AAS.6.16- Assess how human behaviors impact the environment (e.g., recycling, conservation, pollution); suggest processes to minimize human impact on the environment.


Tags: Earth, needs, pollution, survival, system
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Author: Stephanie Carver