Honors Course: Earth/Environmental Science
Honors Course: Earth/Environmental Science
Below, you will find specifics regarding Honors Earth/Environmental Science. This will include what to expect throughout the course and what extensions an honors student will receive in this class that is not taught in the general level class. If you have questions regarding the following, please contact the course teacher.
Honors Earth/Environmental Science is the first honors science classes that a student will take in the high school. Students learn about the interacting relationships in geology, astronomy, hydrology, and meteorology. Using this, students will see how everything around us is connected in a system and how humans interact and affect that system. Students are also introduced to lab procedures that are necessary for higher level sciences and college level classes. Throughout the course, students will have to think critically to come to conclusions, find solutions, and will make connections between pieces of knowledge they learned in pre-requisite science classes and the information learned in this class.
Honors Earth/Environmental Science is a pre-requisite for several upper level classes, so the vertical alignment may be applied to more than one course. The main class we try to vertically align Honors Earth/Environmental Science is AP Environmental Science. AP Environmental Science requires the entire Earth/Environmental curriculum as prerequisite knowledge. Earth/Environmental Science is also a pre-requisite for Honors Biology, AP Biology, and AP Chemistry.
Standards and Objectives
- Extensions to prepare for AP Environmental Science:
- Methods for analyzing and interpreting experimental data and mathematical calculations
- Critically examine various solutions for resolving or preventing environmental problems by evaluating the associated ecological risks and human health risks
- Identifying sources of pollution in air and water
- Comparing various types of alternative and traditional energy sources
- Demonstrate how earth systems work together as a whole, and how humans impact those relationships
- Identify potential sources of climate change, and the repercussions for the inhabitants of Earth
- The ecological ramifications of overpopulation in a system
Click here to access the Course Syllabus
Click here to access the Parent Curriculum Documents.
Instructional Materials and Methods
Students will receive additional instruction and modified assignments in reference to the extension topics. They will be responsible for the general earth/environmental science curriculum as well as mastery of the extension topics. Due to time constraints and resources available, extensions are subject to change.
Through Honors Earth/Environmental Science students will be performing (subject to change due to resources and time)
- Additional/ Modified Labs including labs on climate change and its ramifications for the future, analyzing water quality of nearby bodies of water, creating earthquake-proof structures and testing them on a shake table, comparing the heat created through traditional sources of energy and alternative sources of energy, and evaluating the effects of variables on creating asteroid impact craters.
- Additional/ Modified Performance Tasks including graphing temperatures changes and looking for trends, identifying earthquake locations in relation to tectonic plates, comparing and contrasting the pros and cons of alternative energy vs. fossil fuels, tracking the changes in acid rain over time, and creating books/skits/or board games teaching the layers of the atmosphere to fellow students.
- Modified Assignments including writing a research paper on alternative energies, creating posters identifying causes and effects of climate change, analyzing online simulations of climate change, tectonic motion, and the water cycle, reading and discussing scientific journal articles on water pollution, global warming, and overpopulaiton, creating travel brochures on biomes, and evaluating the tools and procedures necessary to survive on another planet.
Additional Resources for Honors Earth/Environmental Science:
- AP Environmental Science Syllabus The learning objectives begin on page 6.
In Honors Earth/Environmental, students will have various course/unit assessments. These include quizzes, labs, homework, performance tasks, and tests that will also assess the extension topics as well as the NC essential standard objectives. Earth/Environmental Science requires critical and creative thinking—many times, there is no real “right” answer. Students will be challenged to support their ideas with facts and concepts learned in class. Having an opinion is not enough; you must understand both the cause and effects of your answer.
All students will be required to complete the NC Final Exam of Earth/Environmental Science, worth 25% of the overall course grade. The Final Exam will not include honors extensions.