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Earth Systems, 2nd Quarter

00.0 Start Here - Introduction to this Class (Earth Systems)

Course Description

Life and physical science content are integrated in a curriculum with two primary goals:

  1. students will value and use science as a process of obtaining knowledge based on observable evidence, and
  2. students' curiosity will be sustained as they develop the abilities associated with scientific inquiry.

This course builds upon students' experience with integrated science in grades seven and eight and is the springboard course for success in biology, chemistry, geology, and physics.

The theme for Earth Science is systems and is the organizing concept to understand life on Earth, geological change, and the interaction of atmosphere, hydrosphere, and biosphere. Earth Science provides students with an understanding of how the parts of a system through the study of the Earth's cycles and spheres. Earth's place in the universe as well its internal structure, tectonic plates, atmospheric processes, and hydrosphere are explored to help understand how Earth science interacts with society.

Class Overview

Welcome to the Electronic High School's Earth Systems science course! Welcome to the Electronic High School's Earth Systems science course. Earth Systems is an exciting course that offers you the opportunity to study Earth, physical, space, and life sciences as they relate to each other. Earth has a myriad of complex, interacting, and, might I add, fascinating, systems that directly influence our lives. These interacting, fascinating systems are the focus of this course.

The course is a science course therefore you can expect to take field trips, design and conduct experiments, and do laboratory work in addition to the usual reading, writing, and research assignments, all from the comfort and convenience of your own home. There is NO official text for the class. All necessary information can be found online. All necessary supplies are easily accessible either at home or from your local store. As an Electronic High School Earth Systems student, you will be actively involved in your learning. Expect to experience many new things. Upon completion of the course, you will see the world in new ways. WHAAA-WHOO!


  • To view your grades for the course, click on the “Grades” link on the front page of the class.
  • When I correct your assignment, I will assign a grade and will write a comment. To see your grade and read my comments, click on the “Grades” icon, as directed above.
  • You may do the assignments in any order, as long as you save the last assignment for last.


  • The bulk of the course is in Module 3 on the front page of the class.  Read about the assignment, look at the suggested webs, and view any multimedia presentations that may be associated with the assignment.
  • Do the assignment on your computer. Use your programs (Word, WordPerfect, Excel, PowerPoint, Mac programs, etc…) to create your assignments.
  • Save your assignment on your computer’s hard drive or on a disk.
  • Go back to the Earth Systems web site.
  • Go to Module 3 and click the assignment's title.
  • At the end of each assignment is a “Edit my submission” icon. Click on this icon, even if you have no yet written anything. A box will appear. Cut and paste your assignment into that box if your assignment has only text.
  • OR, if your assignment has more than just writing (graphs, Powerpoint, illustrations, etc…) then you can upload a file. To do this, click “Edit my submission” and “Save changes” to submit what you have written in the box. Then click “Browse”. This will let you find your file on your computer. When you have found the file you want to submit, click “Upload this file”.
  • You may save the document to work on later or submit it.
  • When you are confident your assignment is ready to send to me, click “Save changes”.
  • Occasionally you may need to mail me assignments. To send assignments by mail, email me and ask for my address.
  • Always keep a copy of your assignments. Sometimes assignments are lost in cyber-space. For your protection, always save a copy of your assignments on your hard drive or on a disk.
  • If you have questions, you may e-mail me.


  • I correct e-mailed assignments within 48 hours of receiving them---unless you submit an assignment on the weekend. I do not work Saturday and never on Sunday. When I correct your assignment I will reply to it with a score and comments if needed. Mailed assignments take longer, up to two or three weeks. I also return mailed assignments with a comment and score.
  • I will NOT accept incomplete assignments. If you submit an incomplete or unacceptable assignment I will return it to you with instructions on what you need to do to earn credit for the assignment.
  • If you are not satisfied with your score, you may re-submit assignments. You can always correct and re-submit assignments for a better score.
  • I grade on a scale of 1 to 10.
    • Assignments that receive a "10/10, A" score have more than is required. You have written more than was necessary, added a graphic or illustration, or in some way "gone the extra mile".
    • Assignments that earn a "9/10, A" have completely filled all requirements; have answered every question correctly.
    • Assignments that have only a few things wrong earn an "8/10, B".
    • Mediocre assignments earn a "7/10, C".
    • Anything less than mediocre I will send back to you to re-do.
  • You will not earn credit for the quarter until you have done ALL the assignments.
  • When you have completed ALL the assignments you will be eligible to take the final exam for the quarter.
  • I will determine your quarter grade by averaging the scores of all the assignment grades and adding your final exam score.
  • You cannot earn more than one letter grade higher in the class than you earned on the final exam. For example, if you earn a “D” on the final exam, the highest grade you can earn in the class is a “C”.
  • You cannot re-take the final exam.
  • You MUST pass the final exam to earn credit for the course.
  • If you fail the final exam, you will have to re-take a modified version of the course before you can take the final exam again. The modified version of the course is generally more text-based and less activity oriented.

WHEW! That was a LOT of stuff!

Thank you for enrolling in Earth Systems. We are about to embark on an exciting adventure and I am looking forward to our journey together. I hope to read from you soon!

Now that you have finished reading this, please do to the first assignment, "About Me".

When you are ready to turn in assignments, please submit them in the Assignments, Quizzes, Tests section of the course.


00.00.01 About Me (Earth Systems)

teacher-scored 10 points possible 20 minutes

The About Me assignment is fun and unique.

As you complete the assignment I am looking for the following things in your introduction.

  1. Name
  2. Current high school and counselor name
  3. Parent e-mail
  4. 3 Interesting facts or hobbies about you
  5. Goal for completing this quarter
  6. An introduction to you through the eyes of your real or imaginary pet


Pacing: complete this by the end of Week 1 of your enrollment date for this class.

00.00.02 Charting the Course (Earth Systems)

computer-scored 10 points possible 30 minutes

Have you ever noticed that every teacher has different rules and expectations? It is so easy to get confused and “off course” when trying to navigate different classes in this “river” we call the Electronic High School. This assignment is designed to help you “stay on course” in Earth Systems.


  • Read (or re-read) the START HERE page.
  • Using the information there, answer the questions on the quiz (found under Topic 3 on the main class page). Choose the best answer for each question.

You may take the quiz as many times as you need to, but you MUST score 100%.

Pacing: complete this by the end of Week 1 of your enrollment date for this class.

00.01.01 Student Software Needs


Students need access to a robust internet connection and a modern web browser.

This class may also require the Apple QuickTime plug-in to view media.

For students using a school-issued Chromebook, ask your technical support folks to download the QuickTime plug-in and enable the plug-in for your Chromebook.


02.00 The Hydrosphere (Earth Systems)

There are fourteen (14) assignments in this quarter. You must do ALL fourteen assignments to earn .25 second quarter credit.

Ninth Grade Integrated Science focuses on the theme of "Earth Systems." Earth, physical, space, and life science content are integrated in a curriculum with two primary goals.

* Students will value and use science as a process of obtaining knowledge based on observable evidence.
* Students will develop an understanding of interactions and interdependence within and between Earth systems and changes in Earth systems over time.

02.01 Water Knowledge (Earth Systems)

Water Ya Know About That?


Welcome to the Hydrosphere.
Four systemsFour systems
The Hydrosphere is a sphere that flows cyclically (in cycles, that is!) from the lithosphere through the biosphere to the atmosphere. Often in a fluid form, it contains all the water on Earth. As groundwater, the hydrosphere penetrates the soil as far down as bedrock, mostly limestone, or other impermeable layers. It is found in aquifers as groundwater and also between soil particles. As surface water, it is found in wetlands, marshes, estuaries, lakes, streams, rivers, lakes, seas, and oceans. In the atmosphere, water is found as a gas throughout the different regions. Water appears to permeate all the other spheres.

The Hydrosphere extends upward to about 15 kilometers in the Earth's atmosphere and downward to depths on the order of five kilometers in its crust. Indeed, the abundance of water on Earth is a unique feature that clearly distinguishes our "Blue Planet" from others in the solar system. Not a drop of liquid water can be found anywhere else in the solar system.

Though it cannot be found on any other planet, water is the most abundant inorganic substance at the surface of the Earth. About 1.4 billion cubic kilometers (326 million cubic miles) of water in liquid and frozen form make up the oceans, lakes, rivers, streams, glaciers, and groundwater.

There you have it--water is a completely amazing molecule! The article that follows tells about some of water’s amazing characteristics. Next time you take a drink or a dip, I hope you appreciate just what a miraculous substance you are dealing with!

02.01 Water Knowledge (Earth Systems)

teacher-scored 10 points possible 60 minutes

This is probably the most classroom-like assignment you will do during this course. It is simple really. All you have to do is read the following article and answer the questions.


As Utah is the second-driest state in the nation, fresh water is a precious resource. Even though water is a familiar substance, it is a very peculiar compound. Water has some exceptional qualities that will be examined in the following paragraphs.

When electrons are not shared equally in a covalent bond, the molecule is described as polar. This means that while water molecules are neutral as a whole, one end of the water molecule tends to have a positive charge while the other has a negative charge. Each end of a water molecule is attracted to the opposite charged end of another water molecule. Consequently, water's polarity is responsible for the cohesion or "stickiness" between the molecules.

Cohesion of water causes capillary attraction which is the ability of water to move uphill in small spaces. Water will move up the fibers of a plant because of cohesion. This force helps plants get the water they need to survive. In addition, it moves water upwards in soil. Cohesion of water also causes surface tension, water's invisible skin which allows water striders to walk on water.

Polarity is also related to solubility. Polar substances can dissolve other polar substances. Non-polar substances dissolve other non-polar substances. Polar substances and non-polar substances, however, do not mix. Dirt sticks to clothes and skin because it is combined with a thin layer of oil. Because water is polar and oil is non-polar , washing clothes in water alone does not remove all the dirt. Soap weakens the surface tension of water and increases the solubility of oils. This is why soap is used to clean clothes.

While one end of a soap molecule dissolves in water, the other dissolves in oil. This special dual ability of soap permits it to break up dirt so it can be removed easily. The polar end of the soap molecule dissolves in the water while the non-polar end dissolves in the oil. In this way, the oil is broken into droplets, surrounded by soap molecules, and dispersed. The droplets of oil do not merge together because the polar ends of the soap molecules have similar charges and repel each other. Because soap does not work very well in hard water, phosphates are often added to laundry detergents. The addition of phosphates to lakes can initiate the process of eutrophication.

Phosphates and nitrates are nutrients that algae use for growth. When these nutrients are available in abundance, algae may undergo explosive growth: an algae bloom. Eventually the bloom will die off and sink. Bacteria will then break down the dead plant material. These bacteria use up most of the oxygen dissolved in the water, leaving fish and other animals that live near the lake bottom to suffocate. This process, called eutrophication, is set in motion when excessive amounts of phosphates and nitrates enter the natural ecosystem. Some sources of these dissolved nutrients include raw sewage, fertilizer run-off, detergents, and animal wastes.

When the algae bloom dies off, it will sink to the bottom of the lake because it is denser than water. In the same way, cold water and salty water tend to sink to the bottom of a body of water. Cold water and salt water are denser than fresh water of normal temperature; therefore, cold and salt water sink in a body of water. This is a major cause of deep ocean currents. When ice freezes near the poles, the salt concentrates in the liquid water of the ocean. The remaining water becomes more salty and therefore denser. The dense, salty water sinks deep into the ocean. As the salty, dense water sinks down and other, less salty water flows in on top of it, a current is created. The density of water increases with depth.

Some animals change their depth by changing their density. Recall that things that are denser than their surroundings sink, while those that are less dense than their surroundings float. Most fish have a swim bladder, a special sac that is filled with gases from their blood. When the fish's swim bladder is full, it is less dense than the surrounding water and the fish will rise towards the surface.

Another property of water that affects lakes is the unique changes in density during phase changes. The density of most substances increases when a liquid becomes a solid. This is not so for water: Solid water is actually less dense than liquid water. It is for this reason that ice floats. Can you imagine a world where ice sank? Lakes would freeze from the bottom up, killing many fish. Frozen water in the Polar Regions would sink and change the ocean levels. The fact that ice floats is essential for the survival of many aquatic ecosystems and ultimately life on Earth.

Besides the changes in density, there are other ways in which the phase changes of water have significant impacts. When water is trapped in small cracks in rocks, it will expand as it freezes and break up the rock causing weathering. The transpiration (evaporation) of water from a good-sized tree can move 1800 liters of water out of the ground in a single day. Sublimation, the phase change between solid and gas, is responsible for the formation of frost.

As you can see, water has many special properties that make its role in nature unique. It is considered the "universal solvent" because its bipolar molecule enables it to dissolve a wide variety of substances. Water is the only substance that occurs naturally in all three states; solid, liquid, and gas. Water is truly a miracle for life!


1. Explain polarity in your own words.

2. How is polarity related to surface tension?

3. What does soap do to the surface tension of water?

4. How is polarity related to capillary attraction?

5. Give two examples of places where water moves upward by capillary attraction in nature.

6. Why does water rise higher in thinner capillary tubes?

7. How does polarity affect solubility?

8. Give examples of nutrients that are dissolved in lakes, rivers, and the ocean.

9. Describe a soap molecule's ability to dissolve water and oil.

10. Describe the phase changes that occur in the water cycle

11. Define density.

12. What causes ocean currents?

13. How does a fish's swim bladder affect its ability to change depths?

14. Why does ice float?

15. In which phase is water the most dense? the least dense?

16.  Explain eutrophication.   What is is an algal bloom?  What causes algal blooms?  Why are algal blooms harmful to lakes?  

17. Why is water called the “universal solvent”?


Pacing: complete this by the end of Week 2 of your enrollment date for this class.

02.02 Water Demonstrations (Earth Systems)

Water Fun


Water is a miraculous compound. There is nothing else in the world like it. Not only does it taste good after a tough hike, look good when falling from cliffs, and feel good on a hot summer's day, it also makes the miracle of life (yours and mine!) possible. In this assignment you will see water in action and, no doubt, some of its actions will seem miraculous.

02.02 Water Demonstrations (Earth Systems)

teacher-scored 10 points possible 240 minutes


Do the following demonstrations, either to yourself or with your family. After each demonstration answer the analysis questions. If you are unsure of the answers to the questions, refer to the previous assignment (Assignment 02.01, “Water knowledge”) or to the notes at the end of this assignment.

1. Demonstration: BOAT DRIVE

· Materials: paper or transparency plastic, scissors, water, tray, eyedropper, dish detergent.

· Procedure: Cut a thick arrow out of paper or a plastic overhead sheet. Cut a circle out of the tail of the arrow. This is the "boat". Fill the tray with water and place the boat on the surface of the water in the tray. Using an eyedropper, place a single drop of detergent in the circle at the end of the arrow. Watch what happens to the boat.


a. What made the boat move?

b. Was the boat pulled or pushed across the surface? Explain.

c. What did the detergent do to the surface of the water?

2. Demonstration: QUICK PEPPER

· Materials: ground pepper, water, bowl, eyedropper, dish detergent, pepper corn, clear drinking glass

· Procedure: Sprinkle some ground pepper on the surface of the water in the bowl. Is the pepper truly floating or just sitting on the surface? To find out, drop the pepper corn in the glass. Next use the eyedropper to place a single drop of detergent in the center of the bowl. Observe what happens. Next, add a little more soap to the dish and watch what happens to the pepper.


a. Did the pepper corn float on the water? The pepper flakes?

b. What did the detergent do to the surface of the water.

c. Why did the pepper sink at the end?

3. Demonstration: PENNIES

· Materials: 2 drinking glasses, water, pennies, detergent

· Procedure: Fill each glass exactly to the brim with water. Pour a drop or two of detergent in one of the glasses. Add pennies to each glass, counting the number of pennies each glass will hold until water begins to overflow the glass. Observe what happens.


a. What is the shape of the surface of the water before it overflows? Describe what you see.

b. How many pennies were put in each glass?

c. Why did less pennies fit into one of the glasses?

d. What do you think the soap does to the molecules at the surface of the water?

4. Demonstration: COLORFUL CARNATION

· Materials: white carnation, red and blue food coloring, two small glasses or jars, scalpel or sharp knife

· Procedure: Cut the stem of a white carnation so that it is about 10 cm long. Carefully split the stem in half lengthwise, cutting up towards the flower. Place one half of the stem in red food coloring and the other half of the stem in blue food coloring. Leave it overnight. Note: Use caution when cutting with the knife or scalpel.


a. Why did the carnation change colors?

b. Would it be possible to make a carnation turn three or four colors? How?

c. If the water is not colored, does it move up the same way? How do you know?

5. Demonstration: TOWEL CLIMB

· Materials: two identical buckets, cloth towel, water

· Procedure: Fill one bucket with water and leave the other one empty. Put the two buckets side by side on a table or on the floor. Place a towel in the wet bucket and drape one corner of the towel in the dry bucket. Leave the set-up over night. Note: This set-up will work faster if a wet towel is used.


a. Explain what happened.

b. Is it possible for all the water to move to the second bucket? How?

c. Will the water stop transferring itself at any point?

d. What would happen if the empty bucket were higher? Lower?


* Materials: two jars, water, tape, cotton string (about 30 cm)

· Procedure: This is a good one to use on your parents, friends, or siblings. Use tape to divide the demonstration area into two sections. Place a jar on each side of the tape. Fill one jar with water and leave the other one empty. Challenge your parents, friends, or siblings to suggest ways to get the water from one jar to the other without letting either jar cross the line of tape. After listening to suggestions, hold a piece of wet cotton string inside the jar full of water, stretch it across the tape line and put the other end into the empty beaker. Hold the filled jar slightly higher than the empty jar and gently, slowly pour the water along the string to the empty jar.


a. Why did the water move along the string?

b. Why is it best to use a wet string?

c. What could be used to replace the string? the water?

7. Demonstration: LAYERING

· Materials: tall, clear vase or jar, water, oil, rubbing alcohol, food coloring

· Procedure: Pour blue colored water into the jar. Carefully and slowly pour oil down the inside of the jar so that it floats on top of the water. Next carefully and slowly pour red colored alcohol down the inside of the jar so that it floats on top of the oil. Observe the layers.


a. Why don't the three layers mix together?

b. Why factor determines the order in which the layers sit?

c. What would happen if you put the liquids into the jar in a different order?


· Materials: two jars, rubbing alcohol, water, two pieces of candle wax (one large and one small)

· Procedure: This is another great one for your friends, family, or siblings. Prepare two identical jars. Put water in one jar and alcohol in the other. Be sure to put an the same amount of liquid in each jar. (Do not tell your family that one beaker does not have water in it.) Prepare two pieces of candle wax: one small and one large. Put the small one in the water and the large one in the alcohol. Ask for explanations of what happens to the different pieces of wax. Next switch the pieces of wax, putting the small one in the alcohol and the large one in the water. Observe what happens.


a. Does the size of the candle piece make a difference?

b. What characteristic of the candle determined whether or not it would float?

c. Why did the wax float in one substance and not the other?

9. Demonstration: DISSOLVING SALT

· Materials: two small jars, water, mineral oil, salt

· Procedure: Fill one small jar about half full of water, the other about half full of oil. Put 5 grams (about 1 teaspoon) of salt in each jar.


a. What happens to the salt in water?

b. What happens to the salt in oil?

c. How do you explain the difference?

Send me the answers to the analysis questions for all 9 demonstrations.



SURFACE TENSION (Demonstrations 1, 2, and 3)

  • Cohesion ‑ Is the tendency for molecules of the same substance to stick together.
  • Water's Invisible Skin ‑ Below the surface all cohesive forces are balanced ‑ At the surface, molecules are only attracted by other water molecules beside and below ‑ This causes molecules at the surface to bunch together and form a "skin" on water.
  • Soap and Surface Tension ‑ Soap reduces surface tension by breaking the cohesive forces of water.

CAPILLARY ATTRACTION (Demonstrations 4, 5, and 6)

  • Adhesion ‑ Is the attraction between molecules of two different substances. ‑ Some forms are more obvious: tape + skin, glue + paper, but also: water + skin
  • Capillary attraction ‑ When the adhesive forces between the glass and the water are stronger than the cohesive forces between the individual water molecules, water will be more attracted to the glass ‑ Water will then rise up the glass sides.
  • In a smaller glass tube, there is more glass compared to the amount of water in the tube and so the water rises up the tube.
  • Capillary attraction is the rising of water up small openings ‑ This permits water to rise up the spaces between threads in a dish cloth and cells in a plant stem.

SOLUBILITY (Demonstration 9) Terms –

  • Solution = mixture combined on a molecular level
  • Suspension = mixture combined at a particulate level
  • Solvent = Substance in greater quantity that takes in the other ex water
  • Solute = Substance in lesser quantity that is taken in by the other substance ex sugar
  • Solubility = how readily a substance will dissolve in a solvent
  • Water is known as the "universal solvent"
  • Polarity ‑ Solubility depends on polarity ‑ Polarity means that one end of the molecule tends to be negative while the other is positive. ‑ Water, on the whole, is a neutral molecule. However, the charges are not evenly distributed.
    • Polar substances will dissolve in polar substances
    • Non‑polar substances will dissolve in non‑polar substances
    • They will not dissolve in the opposite ‑ ex of polar: water, alcohol ‑ ex. of non‑polar: oil, benzene

DENSITY (Demonstrations 7 and 8 )

  • What is Density? ‑ Measurement of the amount of matter contained in a given volume.
  • Density = Mass = grams Volume cubic centimeter ‑ Because one cubic centimeter = one gram of water, the density of one gram of water is: 1 gram = 1 cm3 ‑ Density of water is 1g/cm3. Materials with a density smaller than 1 will float.

Pacing: complete this by the end of Week 2 of your enrollment date for this class.

02.03 Water Experiment (Earth Systems)

Water World


Ours is a water world. And, thank heavens it is! Because if it were not a water world, we would not be able to survive here. The hydrosphere interacts with and influences all the other spheres in many, many ways.

You have just completed demonstrations that explored many of the unique characteristics of water. Now your task is to design and conduct an experiment that investigates the interaction between water and an aspect of any other sphere. WOW! How exciting is that! You get to choose. And the world is your laboratory.

The options are limitless. All you have to do is choose something from another sphere (biosphere, atmosphere, or geosphere) and design an experiment that explores how water interacts with something from that sphere.

I will give you an example of an experiment that explores the relationship between water and plants (a part of the biosphere). THIS IS ONLY AN EXAMPLE. You may NOT use this experiment for this assignment. [Most of you did this experiment in elementary school!]

The question might be “What is the effect of water on bean plants?”

The hypothesis might be “If I do not water bean plants, then they will die.”

The experimental plan could be:

1. Get six bean plants that are the same species and as close to the same size as possible.

2. Put all the bean plants on the windowsill in the sunlight.

3. Give three bean plants a cup of water every other day. Do give any water to the other three bean plants.

4. Visually inspect the plants every other day for 14 days.

5. Every two days, measure the height of the bean plants and count the number of green leaves each bean plant has. Record observations on a data sheet.
02.03 bean plants02.03 bean plants
For a more detailed explanation of how to design your own experiment, click on the EXPERIMENT GUIDELINES link in the attachments.

See how easy it is? Remember, you cannot do an experiment with water and plants for two reasons. One, you already know what the result will be. You probably did this already in second grade! Two, I have already outlined the experiment. Part of what you need to learn in this class is how to design your own experiment. You cannot learn that by doing an experiment that I have already designed! So, off you go. Be creative. Design your own experiment. But wait! Be sure to read the directions below before you do anything!


· Whatever you decide

02.03 Water Experiment (Earth Systems)

teacher-scored 10 points possible 180 minutes


Click on the EXPERIMENT RUBRIC link in the attachments. It will tell you what is expected and show how your experiment will be graded.

1. Determine what you want to find out when you do your experiment. Write down the QUESTION that you are trying to answer. If you are having trouble coming up with a question, think of the various characteristics of water that you read about it Assignment 2.3 or explored in Assignment 2.4.

  • Surface tension
  • Solubility
  • Density
  • Capillary attraction
  • Evaporation/transpiration
  • Condensation
  • Melting point
  • Boiling point

Once you have decided on which characteristic of water that you would like to investigate, start brainstorming about things that would influence that characteristic. For example, you could explore how adding various substances (from other spheres) to water affects solubility, evaporation rates, or boiling point. Or, ask if air temperatures affect transpiration rates, which types of soils hold the most water, or which types of fabric experience the greatest capillary attraction. Try to think of your own question. The possibilities are limitless.

2. Predict what you think the outcome of your experiment will be. Use the following format for writing your prediction:

IF I ________________(write what you will do in your experiment), THEN___________(Fill in the blank with what you think will happen.) This is your HYPOTHESIS.

3. Design an experiment to test your prediction. Remember to include a control. Be very specific. Tell me exactly what you plan to do. Tell me how much of everything you plan on using. Tell me how long you plan on running the experiment and how often you will check it. Tell me how you will measure and record your data. I want details!!!

4. STOP!!! SEND your question, hypothesis, and procedures to me. You MUST get your experiment design approved before you continue. Any work done before you receive my approval may not be counted.

StopStop Submit your experimental design to me via email before going any further. I promise to give you feedback on your design within three days. If the design is scientifically sound, you may go ahead and conduct your experiment. If it has flaws, we will work together until you have designed a valid, reliable experiment---then you may go ahead and conduct your experiment.

5. AFTER you have received my go-ahead, conduct your experiment. Be sure to keep detailed lab notes. Your lab notes should contain a record of everything you did as well as all the data you collected. Each entry should have a date on it (month/day/year).

6. Follow the directions below to submit your assignment.


1. Re-send me your original question, your hypothesis, and your procedures.

2. Submit your lab notes. I want to the observations that you recorded. Do not simply send me a summary of your results. I want to see a record of your observations.

3. Based on your observations, write a conclusion. What does your data tell you? What did you learn from your experimental results?

4. What kind of relationships did you find between water and the aspect of the sphere you studied?

5. Do your findings support your hypothesis? Why or why not?

6. If you were to do this again, what would you change? Why?

7. What additional experiments could be performed?

Please, submit the information requested in analysis questions 1-7.


Pacing: complete this by the end of Week 3 of your enrollment date for this class.

02.04 Graph World Water Supply (Earth Systems)


02.04 water02.04 water


Help! We’re surrounded! Water, water everywhere! You cannot get away from it. Fortunately there is no need to escape. As you know from the previous assignments and from your own experience, water is very user-friendly. In fact, water is very necessary for life.

Because water is so important for our existence, it important that we know where it is and how much there is. You may be surprised by what you find. For example, did you know that there is 100 times more water found in the atmosphere than there is in all the rivers of the world combined? WOW!

02.04 Graph World Water Supply (Earth Systems)

02.04 Graph World Water Supply (Earth Systems)

teacher-scored 10 points possible 60 minutes


  • Identify the major reservoirs of Earth’s water
  • You must identify at least 8 reservoirs.  [NOTE: A reservoir stores stuff. The Earth’s largest water reservoir is the ocean. Other of Earth’s water reservoirs include the atmosphere, ice caps, rivers, and so forth.]
  • Make a chart, a bar graph, or a pie graph showing how much of Earth’s water is stored in the ocean, and how much is fresh water.
  • Make another chart, bar graph, or pie graph showing how much water is stored in each of the different types of fresh water reservoirs
  • Do NOT copy the graphs directly off the web site given.

The web sites in the URL's should help. There you go!

That is it. Simply make TWO charts or graphs and you are done with the assignment. Upload your work to me.


Pacing: complete this by the end of Week 3 of your enrollment date for this class.

02.05 Water Cycle Story (Earth Systems)



As you learned in the first quarter, matter cycles. That is, matter is continually re-used or recycled. Water is matter. It has been used over and over again. And it will be used over and over again as long as the sun shines……which should be a very, very long time!
02.05 water cycle02.05 water cycle

Water moves through different holding places (reservoirs) in the hydrosphere. The energy from the sun moves water from one reservoir to another, resulting in the water cycle.

The water we use has been cycled and recycled thousands, maybe millions of times. Take a glass of water. Inside that glass are more that ten-million water molecules that once passed through the body of bison on the mid-western plains of the U.S. Also in that glass are more than ten million water molecules that passed once or twice through a dinosaur. Chances are good that you are drinking water used by Martin Luther King, George Washington, Napoleon, or Socrates. Imagine!

02.05 water molecule02.05 water moleculeAnd, for this assignment, imagination is what you need, coupled with facts, of course! Imagine you are a water molecule traveling through the water cycle. Write about your adventures.

02.05 Water Cycle Story (Earth Systems)

02.05 Water Cycle Story (Earth Systems)

teacher-scored 10 points possible 60 minutes


Pretend you are a water molecule. Write about your adventures as you move through the water cycle.

Your story MUST:

* Describe how your movement is influenced by energy from the sun. For example, energy from the sun may cause you to evaporate from a lake, to be transpired from the leaf of a plant, turned from snow to liquid water as you melt, and/or cause the wind to blow which would move the cloud you are in. IDENTIFY how the SUN’S ENERGY influences each event in your water cycle story.

* Include at least SIX events. Each change of place or form is considered an event. For example, being evaporated would be an event. Falling from the sky as precipitation (snow, rain, hail) would be an event. Being absorbed by the root of a plant would be considered an event. Each event should have its OWN PARAGRAPH which means that your assignment must be at least six paragraphs long. Remember to identify how the sun’s energy influences each event.

* Start and finish in the same place in the water cycle. If, for example, you start out as a gas in a cloud, you should end up in a cloud also. * Use good grammar, punctuation, and spelling. With spell check on most computers, there is no excuse for sloppy work. Grammar, punctuation, and spelling count as part of the grade. It is very wise to have someone else proof-read your work.

* If you need to review the water cycle, the web sites in the URLs may be useful. Use your imagination!

Upload the finished product. I look forward to reading about your adventures.


Pacing: complete this by the end of Week 4 of your enrollment date for this class.

02.06 Water Quality (Earth Systems)



Sometime in your life, someone (probably your mother) told you not to eat yellow snow. If you have ever hiked in Utah’s mountains, you should have been warned not drink out of the streams unless the water has been filtered, boiled, or treated in some way. If you have traveled out of our country, you were probably advised to drink only bottled water. So, why all these warnings about water? Because many, maybe even most, of our water sources are polluted in some way or another. In this assignment, you are going to examine and analyze data about water pollution.

02.06 Water Quality (Earth Systems)

02.06 Water Quality (Earth Systems)

teacher-scored 10 points possible 60 minutes



* Go to What’s Up with Our Nation's Waters? (See URL's.   When you click on the FIRST URL you will need find what looks like a photo copy of the pamphlet.  Click on the list of numbers across the top of the pamphlet to advance from page to page.  OR go to the SECOND URL.   There you will find the same pamphlet, in color this time.   Scroll down to advance from page to page on this Google pamphlet.) Read the introduction and then scroll down to the section titled "What Do Scientists Measure??"

* Use COMPLETE SENTENCES to answer the following questions.

1. How do scientists measure the quality of our waters?

2. Give two reasons why scientists measure water’s temperature.

3. What is D.O.?

4. Why is D.O. important in measuring water quality?

5. What affects the D.O. of a stream?

6. What is the pH range of “healthy” water?

7. Why is the pH of a stream important?

8. Identify four things that can happen if there are too many nutrients in the water.

9. Identify three toxic substances that scientists test for.

10. What is turbidity?

11. Why do scientists test water’s turbidity?

12. Why are scientists concerned about the presence of fecal coli forms in a stream or lake?

13. How does a visual survey help a scientist determine water quality?

14. What is biological sampling?

15. How does biological sampling help a scientist to determine water quality?

Go the to sub heading  “Three Big Pollutants” for the next question.

16. Write a paragraph describing each of the three big pollutants. Explain why each is a pollution problem.


Now read the information under “Where Are These Pollutants Coming From?” and use the information to answer the next three questions.

17. Where are the majority of our pollutants coming from?

18. How does pavement increase water pollution problems?

19. How do straightened streams and cement-lined canals increase water pollution problems?


The first part of this assignment was a simple “read-and-write” exercise. The answers to the questions were all found in the reading material. The next part of this assignment requires you to think and analyze. Use the information you learned above to answer the following questions.

Be sure to use COMPLETE SENTENCES to answer the questions.

1. Water released from a dam comes from the bottom of the reservoir, which means that it is VERY cold. Why would colder-than-normal water be considered a water pollution problem?

2. To build a housing development, engineers changed the path of a local stream. As a result the stream flowed more slowly than usual, so the sun had more time to warm the stream waters. As a consequence the water temperature in the stream increased ten degrees Celsius. Why would warm water be considered a water pollution problem?

3. You test the D.O. in a local stream and find that it is much lower than normal. What conclusions can you draw from this data?

4. You test the pH of a local stream and find that it is 5.5. What does this data tell you?

5. You want your lawn to be extra green for an upcoming party so you double the recommended amount of fertilizer you apply to your lawn. What water pollution problem could occur as a result of your action? [Fertilizer is a plant nutrient. Think what would happen to local streams, rivers, and lakes if extra plant nutrients were added.]

6. Lead is found in your water supply. Why is this a problem?

7. A lake you love to visit is usually very clear. Road construction upstream has caused the lake to be very turbid. Give two reasons why this is a water pollution problem.

8. Cattle are grazed on the mountain side. Give two reasons why this might be a water pollution problem for the streams in the area.

9. You love to fish and have found that, by turning over rocks in the streams where you fish, you can find “rock rollers” (little worm-like insect larvae) that work well as bait. This year, when you go to fish, you find that, where there once were hundreds of “rock rollers”, now there are very few. Why does this indicate a water pollution problem?

10. How are water temperature and D.O. related? Good job! Send me the answers to ALL these questions, both parts one and two. If you have read and thought well and have used complete sentences to answer the questions, you will receive a good grade.


Pacing: complete this by the end of Week 4 of your enrollment date for this class.

02.07 Where Does Water Come From? (Earth Systems)

Where Does Your Water Come From?

02.07 water faucet02.07 water faucet
Ask some children where milk comes from and they will tell you “the store.” However, being the bright, intelligent, educated person that you are, you know that milk comes from a cow before it arrives in the dairy section of the local grocery store.

Where does your water come from? Some would say, “from the tap”, however, being the bright, intelligent, educated person that you are, you know that water does not originate at your faucet. But where, exactly, does your water come from? Finding out is the task of this assignment.
02.07 water treatment plant02.07 water treatment plant

02.07 Where Does Water Come From? (Earth Systems)

02.07 Where Does Water Come From? (Earth Systems)

teacher-scored 10 points possible 60 minutes


Utah Water Supply

Utah has an average annual precipitation of 13 inches which makes it the second driest state in the United States. Precipitation varies from 5 inches in the semi-arid desert areas to 60 inches in some high mountain regions. In the mountains most of the precipitation occurs in the form of snow which, during spring runoff, feeds the state's natural and manmade storage systems.

Annually, Utah's watersheds yield an average of about 8.5 million acre feet of water, and each year about 1 million acre feet of water is recharged to the groundwater basins. [An acre foot of water is the amount of water it would take to cover a football field with one foot of water—-326,000 gallons, about the amount required by an average family of five for a year.] In all but one of the groundwater basins, recharge equals withdrawal; withdrawal exceeds recharge in the Cedar-Beaver by a total of about 23,000 acre feet annually.

An additional source of groundwater exists in Utah's West where an estimated 72 million acre feet in water-bearing aquifers lie within about 500 feet of the Earth's surface. However, because the West is so remote, there has been no economical way to develop this precious resource.

Condensed from the "Utah Water Plan, Section 5: Water Supply and Use."

This assignment has TWO parts. Part One is a “read-and-regurgitate” assignment. You will read the information from the specified websites and will answer the designated questions. Part Two is an investigative assignment. You will makes a phone call or two and find out exactly where in Utah your water comes from. You must do BOTH parts to receive credit for the assignment.

Part One:

Go to the Water Supply website in the URL's and use the information you read there to answer the questions below. Use complete sentences to answer the questions.

1. In Northern Utah, when does the majority of the precipitation occur?

2. In Northern Utah, what is the fall precipitation mostly used for?

3. In Southern Utah, in which month does the most snowfall occur?

4. From which month to which month is considered a water year?

5. Where does the majority of Utah’s precipitation come in the winter?

6. Where does the majority of Utah’s precipitation come from in the summer?


Go to the Drought Reports website in the URL's and use the information you read there to answer the questions below. Look up a reservoir in your area. You can click on the name of the reservior (on the left hand side of the page) for more information.

7. What is the name of a reservoir that is relatively close to where you live?

8. What is the total capacity of that reservoir?

9. What is the average amount of water in that reservior on Sept 30 of any year?

10. What is the current amount of water in reservoir?

Part Two:

02.07 artesian well02.07 artesian well Go to the Utah Conservation Districts website in the URLs and look up the water district that services your home. Use complete sentences to answer the questions below.

A. What is the name of the water district that services your home?

B. What is the phone number of your local water district? Call the phone number and ask the person who answers if you can interview them about water usage in your water district. You may have to make several phone calls. Do NOT give up until you have the required information. I know the information is available and will not accept excuses for not getting it. It may require some extensive effort, but it can be done. Do it!

C. What is the name of the person with whom you spoke?

D. Where does culinary (the water that comes to the tap in your home) come from in your local district? Find out the specific name of the river, reservoir, or well that your water comes from. Do NOT just give the name of a water district.

E. Where does secondary (irrigation) water come from in your area? Find out the specific name of the river, reservoir, or well. Do NOT just give the name of a water district.

F. How does your water district deal with water shortages and drought?

G. How does your water district ensure that water is safe to drink?

H. What is the greatest water pollution issue locally?


Now you are bright, intelligent, AND educated about where your local water comes from. Congratulations!

Upload your assignment. Be sure to include BOTH Part One and Part Two.

If you do not submit Part One and Two at the same time, I will score the assignment with a zero.

If you do send Parts One and Two, and if you satisfactorily respond to all of the questions, then you will earn a great grade.


Pacing: complete this by the end of Week 5 of your enrollment date for this class.

02.08 Water Use (Earth Systems)

How Much Water Do You Use?


What is with this “Don’t waste water!” stuff? Everyone always says, “Don’t waste water! Don’t waste water! Don’t waste water!”—-especially in times of reduced rain and snowfall. If water is matter, which it is, and if matter cycles, which it does, then why do we have to save water? Water will continue to cycle and cycle and cycle so we will never run out. What is the big deal? HUH?

The big deal is that USABLE water may run out. It is true that water is matter. It is also true that water cycles and that it will never run out. The amount of water on the earth today is exactly the same as it was billions of years ago. Also true is the fact that water covers more than two-thirds of the earth. So, why not waste water? It is critical that we use water sparingly because less than one percent of Earth’s water is usable for drinking, agriculture, manufacturing, food processing, recreation, sanitation, and similar needs. The other 99 percent is in oceans and polar ice caps, generally inaccessible and/or unsuitable for human and animal needs. We should not waste water because the amount of usable water on Earth may run out.

So, how much water do you use? Find out!

02.08 Water Use (Earth Systems)

02.08 Water Use (Earth Systems)

teacher-scored 10 points possible 120 minutes


Water Use in Utah. Utah is the nation's second-driest state with 13 inches of average annual precipitation. This assignment also has TWO parts. You must do BOTH parts of the assignment in order to earn credit for the assignment.


Use the websites listed in the URL's to answer the questions below. Use complete sentences to answer all the questions.

1. What is an irrigation system?

2. How do mid-western and eastern states get enough water for their crops?

3. Why do we need irrigation systems in Utah?

4. What percentage of Utah’s developed water supply is used for irrigation?

5. How efficient is surface flooding?

6. How efficient is sprinkler irrigation?

7. Name five things that most dams supply.

8. Why do we need dams in Utah? [This is a you-think question. The answer is not found in the reading.]

9. What three things are needed to provide an adequate drinking water supply for a community?

10. Why is ground water generally cleaner than surface water?

11. Why should we be careful with water sources when we are fishing, camping, and/or boating in the mountains?

12. In water treatments plants, why is water filtered?

13. Why do they add alum and lime to water?

14. Why do they add chlorine to water?

15. What does forcing tiny bubbles of air (aeration) do for water?

16. When is most water used in cities?

17. How do cities ensure that they do not run out of water during times of day when people are using a lot of it?

18. What percentage of Utah’s water is used by industries?

19. How many gallons of water is used daily by industries?

20. How much water runs through the Lake Powell dam every day?


Use the charts found below to calculate how much water you use in a typical day. For 24 hours keep a log of the activities you do and the water each activity requires. Send me the log of your activities and the total amount of water you used for one day.


Gallons per Day

Taking a bath or shower (per 5 minutes) 15-30

Washing dishes 15-60

Washing clothes 30

Cooking 10

Drinking 1/2

Toilets (per flush) 4-7

Washing the car 100

Water lawn and yard 180

Dripping faucet (1 drop per second) 4

02.08 How much water does it take?02.08 How much water does it take?

Pacing: complete this by the end of Week 5 of your enrollment date for this class.

02.09 El Nino (Earth Systems)

02.09 El Nino water temperatures02.09 El Nino water temperatures

Consider the physical dynamics of the oceans. WOW! That sounds like trouble! What do “physical dynamics” mean? It sounds hard and boring. Not to fear. Though it may be boring to some of you, it should not be too hard.

What is meant by “physical dynamics”? Physical refers to something that is observable and measurable. Dynamics are the way things work. So, the physical dynamics of the ocean refer to the measurable, observable ways that the ocean works. Not so bad, right? The physical dynamics of the ocean include things like tides, temperature, wave action, ocean currents, salinity (concentration of salt), and ocean depth.

The physical dynamics of the ocean are all abiotic factors. It should not be surprising to you that the abiotic ocean factors (the physical dynamics) affect the ocean’s biotic factors, i.e. the organisms that live in and around the ocean.

We often hear the term "El Nino" but few of us really understand what it means or how it affects us. El Nino is a physical phenomenon of the ocean that has a significant impact on both ocean life and human life. In this assignment you will describe El Nino and its impact on the Earth’s biosphere.

02.09 severe weather02.09 severe weather

02.09 El Nino (Earth Systems)

teacher-scored 10 points possible 120 minutes


Using the Internet, find information related to El Nino. There are a multitude of Internet sources; you will probably find more information than you can possibly use.

Using the information from at least THREE different Internet sources, write a THREE page, type-written, double-spaced essay that answers the following FOUR questions:

1. What are ocean currents? What are tides? Describe the ocean currents and tides, what they are; what causes them, where they normally flow, etc… [NOTE: You should only write 1-2 paragraphs about currents and tides. Most of your paper should be about El Nino.]

2. What is El Nino? Describe what it is and what causes it. How does it affect ocean currents and tides? Water temperature? Other abiotic factors?

3. How does El Nino affect ocean life in general?

4. How does El Nino affect us in Utah?

Write the essay using your own words and identify the Internet sites you used. Believe me, I will recognize the difference between your writing and the writing used by those who publish on the Internet. Also, since you are going to identify the sites you used, I can easily check and see if you used your own words or merely copied theirs!

Use good grammar, punctuation, and spelling. With spell-check on most computers, there is no excuse for sloppy work. Grammar, punctuation, and spelling will count as part of the grade. It is very wise to have someone else proof-read your work.


Upload your assignment to me. If your essay is written in your own words, if you have identified your Internet sites, and if your essay is at least three pages and adequately answers the four questions posed, you will receive a good grade.


Pacing: complete this by the end of Week 6 of your enrollment date for this class.

02.10 Sea Level and Climate (Earth Systems)


Submerged cities?Submerged cities?These days one hears a lot about rising sea levels. Alarmists predict that New York City and Los Angeles will soon be under water as warming temperatures melt the polar ice caps and cause the ocean levels to rise.

This may happen and it may not. Who knows what the future will bring?

While we cannot be certain about what will happen in the future, we are relatively certain about what happened in the past. Geologic records and fossil remnants offer strong evidence that shows how sea levels have changed over the history of the Earth. So, what happened? In this assignment, you will be asking the questions.

02.10 Sea Level and Climate (Earth Systems)

teacher-scored 10 points possible 60 minutes


Go to the Sea Level and Climate web site (see URLs) and read the information. Based on what you have read, write questions for the answers below. That is right! You are to WRITE QUESTIONS. I have written answers below. Write questions for each answer.

The answers I wrote are in complete sentences. I expect you to write complete questions. Remember to include the question mark!

It is possible to write questions that match my answers that have nothing to do with changing sea levels. Do not expect to get credit for questions not relating to changing sea levels.

  1. They are closely related.
  2. A recent cold period in the 19th century.
  3. All of the glaciers will be gone from Glacier National Park in Montana.
  4. It is currently located in Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets.
  5. It could lead to a sea-level rise of about one-half meter.
  6. They are very minor when compared to the Earth’s sea level changes in the natural cycle of long-term climate change.
  7. Water is evaporated from the oceans and stored on the continents in the form of ice.
  8. It was about 125 meters below today’s sea level.
  9. They were from 3 to 20 meters higher than current sea levels.
  10. Wave-cut terraces, beach deposits, and chemical and fossil and chemical indicators found in sediment cores provide evidence.
  11. It would result in a sea level rise of about 8 meters. HINT: The remaining answers are answers to analysis-type questions. The answers are not found in the reading. You will need to read the answers and figure out what type of analysis questions would result in the answers given. In other words, you will have to THINK! What QUESTIONS could have the following answers?
  12. The amount of water is on the Earth is the same. It is simply stored in different places.

    NOTE: The next two questions relate to global climate, i.e. whether the Earth is in a warming trend or an ice age.

  13. A larger amount of Earth’s water is stored in the form of ice on the continents.
  14. A larger amount of Earth’s water is stored in liquid form in the oceans.

There you have it! You are done with this assignment. Submit your questions. If you have written complete questions that relate to changing sea levels over geologic time, you will receive a good grade.


Pacing: complete this by the end of Week 6 of your enrollment date for this class.

02.11 Sea Creature (Earth Systems)


02.11 Sea creatures02.11 Sea creatures

Even for us land-locked Utahns, the ocean holds a mysterious fascination. There are thousands of incredible creatures in our oceans—some of them seem too fantastic to be true. If you have always wondered about an ocean critter—and even if you haven’t—-now is your chance to make an in-depth (pun intended--in depth--bottom of the ocean--deep--get it?) exploration of an ocean animal and the physical factors of the ocean that affect it.

02.11 Sea Creature (Earth Systems)

teacher-scored 10 points possible 120 minutes


  • Choose an ocean creature--any ocean creature. It must be real and it must live in the ocean. Those are the only requirements. It can be a plant, animal, microbe, or fungus. It can live in the ocean’s depths or in the tidal zone. It can be bigger than a school bus or smaller than a pin head. You choose!
  • Use the Internet to find out about your chosen creature. Find out how your critter is affected by the physical dynamics (abiotic factors) of the ocean such as: Salinity Depth Wave action Ocean currents Tides Water temperature
  • Use the Internet to find out how your organism is affected by other organisms (biotic factors) such as:
    • Predators—What eats it?
    • Energy source—How does it get the energy required to live?
    • Relationships with other organisms—Does it help other species? Do other species help it?
    • Description—How big is it? What does it look like? What unique and interesting features does it have?

BE CREATIVE! Use your creativity to convey your information to me.

You may:

  • Write a paper. (BORING!!!) You must include an illustration of the organism.
  • Do a slideshow/PowerPoint Presentation.
  • Create a video
  • Make a diorama and upload pictures of it.
  • Make a poster and upload pictures of it.
  • Make a model and include the information on the model somehow.
  • Create a pamphlet as if you were trying to get someone to buy the creature.
  • Create an sign that would be posted near the animal’s tank if it lived in an aquarium.
  • Any other idea that creatively displays the required information.

Upload the required information to me.


Pacing: complete this by the end of Week 7 of your enrollment date for this class.

02.12 The End (Earth Systems)

The End

You have done it!! Congratulations! You are done with all of the assignments. (If you are not done with all of the assignments, please go back and finish them BEFORE you do this assignment.) You have nearly earned your .25 second quarter credit.

02.12 The End (Earth Systems)

teacher-scored 10 points possible 60 minutes

All that remains is a final course evaluation, a practice exam, and the final itself. Please complete the final course evaluation and then the practice exam.



1. If you were to give this course a grade, what grade would you give it?

2. List the three assignments which were the most educational for you. Explain why you liked them.

3. List the three assignments which were the biggest waste of time for you. Explain why they were a waste of time.

4. What things (if any) did you like about the course?

5. What things (if any) need to be changed?

6. Do you want to enroll in third quarter? If so, when you have passed your proctored final test and your grade has been sent to your local school, you can submit a class request for Q3 using the Class Request form.


Please complete the practice exam below. I will correct it and send you the results. This practice exam will be very helpful for you in taking the final.

Practice Exam

1. What is the purpose of including a variable in a scientific investigation? To provide: a. to find out what effect changing something will have b. a correction for experimental errors c. a preliminary trial of the methods d. an opportunity for repetition of the experiment.

2. In a lake organisms die and decompose. Decomposition uses large amounts of oxygen that was dissolved in the lake’s water. The reduced level of oxygen in the lake would determine which of the following? a. the number of trees living around the lake b. the amount of rain water reaching the lake c. the amount of clouds covering the lake d. the kinds of water beetles living in the lake In an investigation on salamander habitat sites, Juan’s hypothesis was “There will be more salamanders found under rocks than on the bottom of the pond in the water.” Juan lifted up all the rocks in a pond and found 13 salamanders. In the water, on the bottom of the pond, he found 33 salamanders.

3. What variable was Juan testing? a. The location salamanders prefer. b. the relative water temperature of the pond. c. Salamander eating preferences. d. The relationship between light levels and rock types at the bottom of a pond.

4. Juan’s conclusion, based on his data, was that more salamanders are found at the bottom of the pond than under rocks. Which of the following statements about his conclusion is right? a. The conclusion is invalid because it disagrees with the hypothesis. b. The conclusion is invalid because salamanders prefer hiding under rocks. c. The conclusion is valid because there were significantly more salamanders found on the pond bottom than found under rocks. d. The conclusion is valid because amphibians prefer hidden areas. e. The experiment is a failure because the hypothesis was wrong. \


A farmer wants to know how to get more ears of corn from his land. You are going to conduct an experiment to help him. You decide to plant 10 corn seeds in 10 different pots. You fertilize 5 plants with a 100 ml of a 5% fertilizer solution once weekly and 5 plants with 100 ml of a 25% fertilizer solution once weekly.

5. Which of the following is a research question about the farmer’s problem? a. How do you keep the deer from eating the corn? b. How tall can a corn stalk grow? c. How can you get more ears of corn? d. How can you get more plants on his land?

6. Which of the following hypothesis are you testing with your experiment? a. If you water the plant more, you will get more corn. b. If you fertilize the plant more, you will get more corn. c. If you spread out the plants more, you will get more corn. d. If you give the plant more light, you will get more corn.

7. Where is the majority of the Earth's fresh water found? a. In clouds b. In oceans c. Locked in ice d. In wetlands

8. Water is a bipolar molecule. What does this enable it to do? a. it can solve any problem b. it can dissolve many substances c. it is found many places in the universe d. it is part of most living things

9. Which of the following aspects of ocean water would NOT affect the types of life that could live in the stream? a. temperature b. salinity c. dissolved oxygen content d. molecular composition of water

10. What property of water allows ice to float in ponds? a. Liquid water is more dense than ice. b. Large pieces of ice float better than small ones. c. Water is a polar molecule. d. Water changes temperature when it changes from solid to liquid. e. Ice at low latitudes is more dense than ice at higher latitudes.

11. If you fill a glass with water, the top of the water will not be even with the top of the glass. There will be a small mound of water on the top of the glass. What property of water allows this to happen? a. density b. solubility c. color d. surface tension e. taste

12. What happens to water when it freezes? a. It expands. b. It contracts. c. It becomes liquid. d. It is no longer a polar molecule.

13. What is upwelling? a. when water, instead of oil, comes out of an oil well. b. when currents bring nutrients from the ocean floor to the ocean’s surface c. the exchange of currents at the mouth of a river. d. currents created by undersea volcanoes

14. What is the main cause of ocean currents? a. tides b. temperature differences c. waves d. wind

15. Ocean organisms have adapted to live in different temperatures. Lee is curious about what range of temperature differences ocean organisms can tolerate. Which of the following field studies could he conduct to satisfy his curiosity? a. Expose crab eggs to saline solutions of varying temperatures and collect data on egg survival rates. b. Expose crab eggs to salt water of varying salt levels and collect data on egg survival rates. c. Expose fresh-water trout eggs to saline of varying temperatures and collect data on egg survival rates. d. Expose crab and fresh-water trout eggs to fresh and salt water and collect data on egg survival rates.

16. Temperature changes in the surface waters of the Pacific Ocean that create world weather-pattern changes are caused by a phenomenon called: a. El Nino b. Global warming c. The Greenhouse Effect d. Ozone depletion

17. Which of the following is the most direct effect of El Nino?
a. Increased amounts of skin cancer
b. The greenhouse effect
c. Ozone depletion
d. Changes in ocean currents

18-28 Match the following properties of water with their corresponding role in Earth’s Systems. Properties may be used more than once.

b. evaporation
d. expands when frozen
e. surface tension
f. universal solvent
g. capillary attraction
h. density 

_____18. Aquatic plants can breathe under water because water carries dissolved carbon dioxide  

_____19. The change of water from liquid to gas is what happens when plants lose water through their leaves  

_____20. Water removes carbonates from rocks as it flows over and through them. 

_____21. Water moves up small tubes. 

_____22 Some spiders can “walk” on the surface of water 

_____23. Ice floats on the top of ponds.

_____24. Wood floats on top of water 

_____25. Wax floats in water but not in alcohol.

_____26. Salt dissolves in water but not it oil. 

_____27. Liquid water quickly disappears from rock cavities in the Sahara desert. 

_____28. Water forms “piles up” when poured into a glass.

29. Where are the most nutrient-rich water that are best suited for fish to find food?
a. In deep sea trenches
b. Where the tides are at their lowest
c. In areas of upwelling
d. Where currents collide and form whirlpools

Once I have received the above information, I will correct your practice exam and will give you feedback.


It is very similar to this practice exam.

IF you do NOT pass the final exam, you will NOT get credit for the course. PERIOD.

You MUST pass the final exam with 60% or better to earn credit for the course. PERIOD.

The good news is that the final is very similar to the practice exam. If you have done the assignments and studied the practice exam, the final should be easy for you.

IMPORTANT NOTE:    When you take the final exam, the computer will give you a score.  This is NOT your real score.  The score the computer gives you will be lower than your real score because there is at least one essay question on the final exam that I have to grade before your real score can be calculated.    Do not panic when you see a low score.   If your essay question is correct, it could add up to 10 points to the score the computer gives you.


Pacing: complete this by the end of Week 8 of your enrollment date for this class.