An inquiry-based course covering topics in the earth sciences - geology, meteorology, and astronomy. Course content is designed to give students a thorough familiarity with concepts critical to teaching earth science at the K-6 level. The course emphasizes three skills: investigation, critical thinking, and organization. Learning is primarily through student inquiry and discovery of core concepts, with guidance and facilitation provided by the instructor. Two combined classroom/lab sessions per week.
Goals, Topics, and Objectives
- Plate Tectonics
- Geologic Time
- The Atmosphere
- Earth-Sun Relations
- Air Circulation
- Atmospheric Moisture
- Weather Patterns
- History of Astronomy
- Celestial Motion
- The Moon
- The Solar System
- The Sun
- The Universe
Students will be able to:
- Describe the Earth's surface.
- Explain how the Earth's features change over time.
- Analyze the effects of technology on the Earth's surface and resources.
- Describe the characteristics of water and where it is found on the Earth's surface.
- Describe how water moves.
- Analyze the interaction of human activities with the hydrosphere.
- Describe what makes up weather and how it changes over various time frames.
- Explain what causes different types of weather.
- Analyze the relationships between human activities and the atmosphere.
- Discuss similarities and differences between our planet and sun and other planets and star systems.
- Explain how solar system objects move.
- Explain scientific theories on the origin of the solar system.
- Explain how humans learn about the universe.
- Design questions that provide new information about the world.
- Critique reports and presentations of other students, providing a balanced assessment of positive and negative points.
- Design investigations using appropriate methods and techniques.
- Demonstrate appropriate use of technology in communicating findings of investigations.
- Analyze claims for scientific merit and explain how scientists decide what constitutes scientific knowledge.
Modifying MATH pre-req to reflect changes due to MI Reconnect; removing mention of SCI 210 as recommended pre-req due to changes in Pre-Education requirements; Effective W22 because it will actually be offered in Winter which has not been the case in the past.
Assessment and Requirements
Student mastery of course content will be assessed using the following tools:
- Oral presentations of findings from experiments and investigations.
- Periodic written reports summarizing and analyzing class discussions.
- Critique of discussion reports by other students in "working groups," semester-long cohorts of 3-5 students who will assess one another's work before it is turned in to the instructor.
- Periodic instructor review of student working group critiques to ensure students have grasped the purpose and technique of assessing another's work.
- Periodic instructor review of student notes and folders to ensure adequate awareness of class discussions and proper organization of course materials.
- Three exams, one at the end of each course unit, each involving an oral and a written component. The oral component will consist of a presentation on findings from the student's unit-long research into a particular topic that bridges the unit subject and some aspect of K-6 education. The written component will cover relevant fundamentals from the unit and application of education techniques and critical thinking skills to those fundamentals.
- Development by each student of an e-portfolio, which will contain three components:
- Scientific Literacy: A written documentation of growth of the student's personal knowledge in the earth sciences, and previous misconceptions about science that the student has corrected during the course.
- Science Standards: Design an activity that would be appropriate for teaching a particular earth science concept, chosen from the Michigan Curriculum Framework Science Benchmarks, to elementary school students.
- Science/Technology/Society, a description of a current scientific controversy and a defense of one side of this controversy using well-reasoned arguments supported by evidence from external sources.
- Natural Sciences
- Scientific Reasoning
- Category 6.1: Natural Sciences