Earth and Space Science

Course Overview:

In this Earth and Space Science online course, students will learn about the scientific method and hone their understanding of using scientific measurements to Earth and Space Science. Also included are lessons on Earth maps and globes including detailed instruction on how to find specific locations using latitude and longitude.

Much of the first semester focuses on space science. Students will learn about Earth movements, seasons, the Moon, tides, solar and lunar eclipses, the Sun and its role as the main source of light and energy in the solar system. They will learn about planets, asteroids, meteors, comets and their orbits and how force gravity holds it all together. Outside the solar system there are lessons on stars, constellations, nebula, the Milky Way and galaxies beyond.

There have been many recent discoveries in space science. Accordingly, careful attention has been given to presenting the most updated information available in areas of discovery such as stars with planets and the latest methods of detecting them as well as a look at NASA’s most recent Curiosity landing on the Martian surface.

In the second semester, students will focus on Earth science. Starting with the Earth’s interior, students study rocks and minerals, volcanoes, earthquakes, undersea ridges, trenches and mountains and how the study of Earth’s geologic history helps explain these phenomena.On the Earth’s surface students study weathering, soil and erosion as well as water in all its forms: the water cycle, oceans and ocean currents. Above the Earth they will study the atmosphere: its composition, air pressure and air movement. This knowledge is then applied to lessons on how human populations are affected by natural resources, renewable and non-renewable, both on and inside the Earth.

These Earth and Space Science Grade 7 lessons are integrated with lessons that discuss how humans and living organisms are affected by air and water pollution, acid rain, changes in the ozone layer and how these conditions influence biodiversity, habitat loss and species survival.

The course is capped off by lessons that take an in-depth look at the process of technology design giving students a look at how scientists and technical designers work together to achieve common goals.

Lastly, students are taught about the kinds of professions that currently exist in the science and technology fields and learn about the necessary academic preparation needed to gain employment in these branches of study.

Semester 1:  

In Semester A, the course focuses on Earth and space studies using the scientific method and observation skills. Students learn to measure using time units and metric dimensions, as well as use longitude and latitude to locate coordinates on maps and globes. They explore the bodies in the Solar System, including their descriptions, names, orbital relationships, sizes, compositions, and distances. The concept of scale is introduced, comparing star systems, galactic systems, and intergalactic distances using metric scales, astronomical units, and light years. Students also learn about the methods and technologies scientists use to observe and study phenomena in distant locations.

Semester 2: 

In Semester B, the course shifts towards Earth’s geologic structure and dynamics. Students explore how internal and external forces such as gravity, pressure, heat convection, and Earth’s rotational force drive processes like volcanism, plate tectonics, mountain formation, ocean trenches, and earthquakes. The importance of water is emphasized, as it covers a significant portion of Earth’s surface and plays a crucial role in the water cycle, supporting life and affecting weather patterns and ocean currents. The composition of Earth’s atmosphere over long periods of time and the impact of human-induced changes, such as increasing levels of carbon dioxide, ozone, and nitrous oxide, are studied in relation to global warming and the depletion of the ozone layer. Natural resources, both renewable and non-renewable, are categorized and viewed in the context of human population growth, biodiversity, species survival, and the impact on ecosystems. Students also explore the processes of weathering and soil erosion caused by wind, freezing, ice, and water, which shape landscapes and contribute to the formation of ocean floors, riverbeds, and lake bottoms. Lastly, the course emphasizes the symbiotic relationship between scientific discoveries and technological advancements, with technology being the application of scientific principles and scientists utilizing technology to make new discoveries.

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