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Earth Systems, 3rd 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!

TAKING THE COURSE

  • 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.

SUBMITTING ASSIGNMENTS

  • 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.

GRADES

  • 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.

Assignment:

  • 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.

$0.00

03.00 The Atmosphere (Earth Systems)

There are thirteen (13) assignments in this quarter. To earn .25 third quarter credit you must do ALL thirteen assignments (and pass the final test).
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.

03.01 Carbon Cycle (Earth Systems)

The Carbon Cycle

Welcome to THIRD QUARTER! In this quarter we will examine the atmosphere and its interactions with the other spheres.
Four systemsFour systems
Earth’s atmosphere interacts with, and is changed by the geosphere, hydrosphere, and the biosphere. The atmosphere changes rapidly compared to the other spheres. Atmospheric changes affect climate and life over short and long periods of time.

In your first assignments, you will describe how matter in the atmosphere cycles through the other Earth systems.

What is matter? We reviewed matter in the first quarter of this course. What did you learn? Hopefully, you recall that matter is anything that occupies volume and has mass, i.e. anything that has weight and takes up space.

Does the atmosphere take up space and have weight? Is air matter? The answer is YES to both questions. Think about a tire. When the tire is flat is weighs much less than when it is filled. It also takes up less space when it is empty. It is air that makes tires bigger and weigh more. Air is matter.

Introduction:

Carbon is a vital element in your life. Every cell in your body contains carbon. Carbon is in the air you breathe and the food you eat. It is everywhere‑‑you are surrounded!

In eighth grade you learned about chemical and physical change. To review: In a physical change molecules change phase (liquid, solid, or gas), but they do not change their molecular composition. The water cycle is a good example of physical change. In the water cycle, water changes form from liquid (lake) to gas (evaporates to clouds) to solid (falls as snow).

Chemical change occurs when bonds between atoms are either made or broken, or both, and molecules change composition. The carbon cycle is a good example of chemical change. For example, when plants take carbon dioxide out of the air, the bonds between the carbon and oxygen in carbon dioxide are broken and the carbon forms new bonds with hydrogen and oxygen to form sugar. Carbon undergoes many chemical changes as it moves through the carbon cycle.
03.01 carbon atom03.01 carbon atom

03.01 Carbon Cycle (Earth Systems)

03.01 Carbon Cycle (Earth Systems)

teacher-scored 10 points possible 90 minutes

Assignment:

Your task is to trace the movement of a carbon atom

  1. from the atmosphere,
  2. through a plant,
  3. animal, and
  4. a decomposer, and
  5. back into the atmosphere.

You may write a story, compose a poem, make a power point presentation, or construct a diagram.

Whatever form you chose to use, you MUST trace a carbon atom through the above five steps.   Describe where the carbon atom is at each step.

You also MUST correctly use the following words in your presentation:

  • carbon dioxide
  • photosynthesis
  • sugar
  • respiration
  • decomposition

The web sites in the URLs may be useful to you. When you have completed the assignment, upload it.

GOOD LUCK AND HAVE FUN!

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


03.02 Nitrogen Cycle (Earth Systems)

Nitrogen: Running in Cycles

Introduction:

In the previous assignment, you studied the carbon cycle. In a previous unit, you described the water cycle. Carbon and water are matter. As you learned in the first unit, matter cycles. Nitrogen is another form of matter that cycles. Like water and carbon, nitrogen is essential to life. Also, like water and carbon, its cycles affect you; Therefore, it is important that you learn about the nitrogen cycle, how it affects you, and how you affect it.
03.02 Nitrogen atom03.02 Nitrogen atom

03.02 Nitrogen Cycle (Earth Systems)

teacher-scored 10 points possible 60 minutes

Assignment:

There are three parts to this assignment. You must complete all three parts to receive credit for the assignment. Be sure to turn in all three parts at the same time. I will not correct partial assignments. THANKS!

PART ONE:

1. Describe the nitrogen cycle. Describe how nitrogen goes from the atmosphere to a form usable to plants, how it is used and excreted by animals, and how it returns to the atmosphere. In your description be sure to explain the words:

  • nitrogen fixation
  • decay
  • nitrification
  • denitrification
     

PART TWO:

Write a short paragraph describing at least two ways the nitrogen cycle affects your body.

How is it used in your body?

 

BE SPECIFIC. At least one of the ways you identify must be a way that nitrogen is used in your body.

PART THREE:

Identify and describe at least two ways that you and other humans affect the nitrogen cycle. Provide examples of how human activities affect the nitrogen cycle. The web sites in the URLs may be helpful to you.

When you have complete all three parts of the assignment,  submit it to me.

GOOD LUCK AND HAVE FUN!

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


03.03 Making Inferences (Earth Systems)

Evidence, Inference, and the Carbon Cycle

Introduction:

Evidence. What is it? The dictionary defines evidence as the means of proving or disproving something. In other words, evidence is used as proof. In science, evidence is something that has been observed and measured. If you looked at a thermometer placed on a tree outside and observed that it read 7 degrees Celsius, then you could say "The outside temperature is 7 degrees Celsius." Such an observation would be considered evidence.

Inferences. What are they? The dictionary says that an inference is a statement that is derived from evidence. It is a product of reasoning. It is not a result of direct observation or measurement. From the fact that the temperature is 7 degrees Celsius outside, you could infer that it is winter. Or, you could infer that the person making the observation lives in Alaska. Both of these possible inferences would be based on the evidence (7 degrees Celsius outside) and would be a result of your using your reasoning skills to make a conclusion.

The cyclic movement of carbon atoms in the biosphere has a tremendous impact on your life, whether you are aware of it or not. Were it not for the carbon cycle, you would have no food to eat, no gasoline for your car, and no paper to write on. In fact, you would not exist. The carbon cycle impacts your life in a "big way".

Just as the carbon cycle impacts your life, you also have an impact on it. The fuels you use, the products you buy, and the legislation you support, all influence the carbon cycle. In the assignment that follows, you will learn how people in general and you, in particular, affect the carbon cycle. You will do so by identifying evidence and stating inferences.

Learning the difference between evidence and inference is difficult at first, so let’s practice. Read the paragraph below:

The carbon dioxide content of the atmosphere is gradually increasing. The increase in CO2 probably began with the start of the industrial revolution. Samples of air trapped over the centuries in the glacial ice of Greenland show no change in CO2 content until 300 years ago. The concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere continues to increase. The CO2 concentration at the summit of Mauna Loa in Hawaii from 1958 was about 318 part per million (ppm). In 1999 it was approximately 371 ppm. Since measurements of atmospheric CO2 began late in the nineteenth century, its concentration has risen over 20%. This increase is surely "anthropogenic," that is, caused by human activities.

Look at the first sentence. Is it evidence or inference? Measurements of the Earth’s atmosphere indicate that the carbon dioxide content of the atmosphere is indeed increasing. Because the statement is based on measurements, it is considered EVIDENCE.

Look at the second sentence now. Is it evidence or inference? The sentence seeks to explain the increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide content. It is not based on measurement. It is INFERENCE.

Take a little quiz. Identify the remaining sentences as either EVIDENCE or INFERENCE.

1. Samples of air trapped over the centuries in the glacial ice of Greenland show no change in CO2 content until 300 years ago.”
2. The concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere continues to increase. The CO2 concentration at the summit of Mauna Loa in Hawaii from was about 318 part per million (ppm)in 1958. In 1999 it was approximately 371 (ppm).
3. Since measurements of atmospheric CO2 began late in the nineteenth century, its concentration has risen over 20%.
4. This increase is surely "anthropogenic"; that is, caused by human activities.

The answers are:

1. Evidence
2. Evidence
3. Evidence
4. Inference

How did you do? The first three statements are based on measurements. They are considered evidence. The last sentence uses reasoning to explain the evidence therefore it is inference.

SO, let’s do a little review. A statement of evidence is a statement of a measurement or direct observation. An inference explains or extrapolates conclusions from the evidence; it often tries to explain WHY the evidence is what it is or what a probable result of the evidence may be. Inferences are often accompanied by words such as:

* . . .is thought

* . . .seem

* . . .estimate

* . . .surely

* . . .probably

* . . .maybe.

03.03 Making Inferences (Earth Systems)

03.03 Making Inferences (Earth Systems)

teacher-scored 10 points possible 60 minutes

Now, it is time for the part of the assignment that you will turn in to me.

Assignment:

Your task is to find and correctly identify evidence and inference statements in the following article. You need to write the entire sentence AND label it as “evidence” or “inference”. Go to the first URL (The Carbon Cycle) and read the article on the carbon cycle.

1. Under the heading “The Carbon Cycle”, identify FIVE evidence statements.

2. Under the heading “The Uptake and Return of CO2 Are Not in Balance”, identify FIVE evidence statements and ONE INFERENCE.

3. Under the heading “Where Is the Missing Carbon?”, identify ONE evidence statement.

4. Under the heading “The Greenhouse Effect and Global Warming” identify FIVE evidence statements and ONE inference statement.

5. Under the heading “Other Greenhouse Gases”, identify FIVE evidence statements and ONE inference statements.

 

Click on the attachment that says "3.03Diagram". Use the diagram to answer the questions below .

6. Write TWO evidence statements based on information from the graph. A sample evidence statement could be “67 watts per square meter of the incoming solar radiation is absorbed by the atmosphere.” [Do NOT use my sample as one or your answers!]

7. Write TWO inference statements about the evidence statements you wrote in #6. A sample inference statement could be “An increase in the amount of solar radiation absorbed by the atmosphere would probably cause more evaporation.” [Do NOT use my sample as one or your answers!]

Submit your written assignment to me.

GOOD LUCK AND HAVE FUN!!!

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


03.04 Ozone (Earth Systems)

What’s Up with Ozone?

03.04 Ozone molecule03.04 Ozone molecule

Introduction:

Earth’s atmosphere interacts with, and is changed by, the geosphere, hydrosphere, and the biosphere. The atmosphere changes rapidly compared to the other spheres. Atmospheric changes affect climate and life over short and long periods of time.

Ozone is an atmospheric gas. It is an excellent example of how the atmosphere interacts with, and is changed by, the biosphere, how the atmosphere changes rapidly compared to the other spheres, and how atmospheric changes affect climate and life over short and long periods of time.

So, what’s up with ozone? You have probably heard many conflicting things about ozone. Sometimes the local news refers to ozone levels as dangerous and warns people with breathing problems to stay inside. At other times the news talks about ozone depletion and tells us that destroying ozone is a bad thing. So,is ozone bad or good? The answer to this question is “YES”. Ozone is both bad and good for us. In this assignment, you will write an essay that describes both the beneficial and harmful aspects of ozone.

03.04 Ozone (Earth Systems)

03.04 Ozone (Earth Systems)

teacher-scored 10 points possible 150 minutes

Assignment:

Using the Internet sites below, find information related to ozone.

Write a 500-750 word, type-written, double-spaced essay that includes the following information:

  • Describe the ozone molecule.
     
  • Describe the role of living organisms in producing the ozone layer and tell how the ozone layer affected the development of life on Earth.
     
  • Describe the effects of ozone in the lower atmosphere. What causes ozone pollution and why is it harmful?
     
  • Describe the effects of ozone in the upper atmosphere. Why is the ozone layer essential to life? What destroys the ozone layer?
     
  • Describe international efforts to protect the ozone layer.

Write the essay using your own words and identify the Internet sites you used. Believe me, I recognize the difference between your writing and the writing used by those who publish on the Internet. Use good grammar, punctuation, and spelling. Write this and any other writing assignment in paragraphs.

With spellcheck 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.

Suggested sites are in the URLs.

When you have completed your essay, submit the assignment to me.

GOOD LUCK AND HAVE FUN!

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


03.05 Utah's Atmosphere (Earth Systems)

Utah’s Atmosphere and You

Introduction:

There are many different climates in Utah, and each locale has its own unique geographic features. The geographic features in your area affect your local weather in very specific ways.
03.05 the Great Salt Lake03.05 the Great Salt Lake
Large bodies of water are slower to warm and slower to cool than land masses; thus, they have a moderating effect on weather. Large bodies of water may also provide a source of water for evaporation, thus increasing precipitation (lake effect). People along the Wasatch Front experience weather inversions because they live in a bowl between two mountain ranges.
03.05 Inversion03.05 Inversion
Large land areas, especially those that are not vegetation-covered, may be subject to rapid, significant temperature fluctuations. Mountains may either significantly increase your precipitation or significantly decrease it, depending on which side of the mountain you live. As part of this assignment, you will assess your local geography and determine how it affects your local weather.

03.05 Utah's Atmosphere (Earth Systems)

teacher-scored 10 points possible 60 minutes

Assignment:

Look at your area.

What influences your weather locally? Describe the mountains, lakes, large areas of desert, or other geographic features that influence your weather.

Write a 200-word, double-spaced, typed paper, describing the geographic features of your local area and explaining how they affect your local weather. Spelling, grammar and paragraphing count towards your grade.

When you have completed the assignment, submit it to me.

GOOD LUCK AND HAVE FUN!

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


03.06 Wormology (Earth Systems)

Wormology

03.06 earthworm03.06 earthworm
Introduction:

The atmosphere surrounds us all and, consequently, affects all of us. Atmospheric conditions affect you, your family, your friends, and the maniac down the street. They also affect all the plants and animals in the area. As part of this assignment, you will design and conduct an experiment that investigates the effects of a specific atmospheric condition on worms.

For a more detailed explanation of how to design your own experiment, click on the EXPERIMENT GUIDELINES attachment.

03.06 Wormology (Earth Systems)

teacher-scored 10 points possible 120 minutes

Assignment:

You will design and conduct an experiment that answers the following question:

How does a specific atmospheric condition affect worms (life)? In designing and conduction your experiment, please keep the following guidelines in mind:

· Worms should not be harmed maliciously

· Be careful when handling the acid rain solution, should you decide to use it.

Materials, facilities, and resources:

Materials can be added or subtracted as needed.

The following are a few ideas of things you may or may not want to use. You will certainly not need to use all of them. You may want to use some items that are not listed. You should be able to borrow these materials from your local high school teacher or purchase them for a minimal amount at local stores.

  • Heat source (warm water, hot plate etc.)
  • Acid rain mixture (20 ml of 0.1 M HCl to 2 liters of water or 20 ml lemon juice to 2 liters water)
  • Basic glassware (graduated cylinders, beakers, canning jars)
  • Worms (Planarias, Earthworms, and/or Mealworms, available in a local pet store, local fishing store, or in your yard.)
  • Small paint brushes
  • Droppers (Available at a local pharmacy if you do not have a spare medicine dropper hanging around.)
  • Straws
  • String
  • Colored light sources
  • Thermometers
  • Dissecting trays or something similar (like a pie tin)
  • UV light source
  • Wind source (fan)
  • Ice
  • Scales
  • Alka Seltzer tablets (source of carbon dioxide)

The experiment rubric (see the attachment) outlines what is expected in your experiment. It also shows how your experiment will be scored.

Click on the "Experiment Rubric" link and review what is expected.

1. Determine exactly which changed atmospheric condition you would like to simulate in your experiment. For example, you may want to test the effect of acid rain on worms or global warming or increased carbon dioxide levels, etc. Decide on the specific question that you would like to test and write it down.

2. Predict what you think the outcome of your experiment will be. This is your HYPOTHESIS. 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.) For example, IF I increase the temperature 10 degrees Celsius, THEN the worms will become sluggish and move more slowly.

3. Write a set of procedures that will test your hypothesis. Be sure to include a timeline. Your experiment may last a little as 60 minutes or as long as a week. You do not need to plan an experiment that lasts longer than a week. 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! Submit your experimental design to me via email before going any further. Send me your question, hypothesis, and your procedures. 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. If you fail to submit your plan before you do your experiment you may not receive credit for the assignment.

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. Every entry on your lab notes should be dated (month/day/year)

6. Follow the directions below to submit your assignment.

ANALYSIS

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

2. Send me 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 everything you did as well as the data you collected.

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 worms and your selected atmospheric condition?

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?

GOOD LUCK AND HAVE FUN!!!

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


03.07 Atmosphere Experiment (Earth Systems)

Cool! Warm! Hot! Frigid! Or. . .
03.0703.07

Introduction:

We would not survive long without air--only about six minutes in fact. Fortunately, air is all around us so we do not have to try to survive without it. Air has a huge effect on the biosphere. It also has significant effects on the other spheres. Cool--or warm--or frigid--or muggy--or super hot--depending on the air temperature at the time.

You have just completed an experiment that investigated the relationship between worms and some aspect of the atmosphere. Now your task is to design and conduct an experiment that investigates the interaction between the atmosphere 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 the atmosphere interacts with something from that sphere.

I will give you an example of an experiment that explores the relationship between air and water (a part of the hydrosphere). 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 air temperature on water evaporation rates?”

The hypothesis might be “If the air temperature is warm, then water will evaporate more quickly than it will in cooler air temperatures.”

The experimental plan could be:

1. Get two different containers, and put 1 liter of water in each container.

2. Put one container in the closet of a warm room. Label the container and record the temperature of the room.

3. Put the second container in a closet in the cooler, un-insulated garage. Label the container and record the temperature of the garage.

4. After seven days, measure the water level in each container.

5. Subtract the amount of water left in each container from 1 liter to find out how much water evaporated from each container.

6. Record observations on a data sheet.

See how easy it is? Remember, you cannot do an experiment with water and air for two reasons. One, you already know what the result will be. You probably did this already in elementary school. 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!

If you need a review on how to design an experiment, click on "Experiment Guidelines" in the attachments below.

Materials:

• Whatever you decide

03.07 Atmosphere Experiment (Earth Systems)

teacher-scored 10 points possible 120 minutes

Assignment:

Click on the "Rubric Experiment" link in the attachments to see how your experiment will be scored.

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 many things associated with the atmosphere.

Some examples include:

• Weather (wind, dew point, humidity, evaporation, transpiration)

• Pollution (car exhaust, acid rain, ozone pollution in the lower atmosphere, smoke)

• Erosion

• Oxidation (rusting or other changes that happen when things are exposed to air)

Once you have decided on which aspect of the amosphere that you would like to investigate, then start brainstorming about things that would influence that aspect. For example, you could explore how air speed (wind) affects evaporation rates, or how car exhaust affects plants or how exposure to air affects sugar. Try to think of your own question. The possibilities are limitless.

2. Predict what you think the outcome of your experiment will be. (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 record your data. I want details!!!

4. STOP!! Submit your experimental design to me 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.

ANALYSIS

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

2. Send me 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. Be sure to include dates and measurements.

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, send me the information requested in analysis questions 1-7.

GOOD LUCK AND HAVE FUN! !

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


03.08 Prove It: Global Warming, Nature of Science (Earth Systems)

03.1003.10
Introduction:

Republicans and Democrats, business people and environmentalists, scientists and scientists--all of them have something in common. They all disagree about the Earth’s changing climate. Who is telling the truth? Where is the proof that will tell us what is really happening to the Earth’s climate? In the assignment that follows you will read an article that describes scientists’ efforts to discover what is happening to our climate.

03.08 Prove It: Global Warning, Nature of Science (Earth Systems)

03.08 Prove It: Global Warming, Nature of Science (Earth Systems)

teacher-scored 10 points possible 90 minutes

Assignment:

03.08 Earth03.08 Earth Read the article found at the web site in the URL's and answer the questions below. Use complete sentences to answer the questions.

Climate Change

The website takes you to a NASA produced article on Climate Change.    As you read the materials, look for evidence.   Scientists are overwhelming convinced that climate change is occurring and the vast majority of them agree that climate changes are human caused.   

Science is based on evidence.    What is the evidence that is convincing scientists that climate change is occurring?   Your task is to find out.

EVIDENCE

1. List NINE pieces of evidence that climate change is occurring AND write 1-2 sentences for EACH piece of evidence that explains how the evidence indicates the climate is changing.

CAUSE:   Scroll back to the top of the site and click on “Causes”.   (It is next under FACTS and next to “Evidence” along the top.   It is blue and will turn white when you click on it.)

2. Make a diagram showing how the greenhouse effect works.  Do NOT copy and paste a diagram from the Internet.  You need to make your OWN diagram.   You may use the computer to design it or you may draw it by hand and send me a photo.   

3. Identify five greenhouse gases.

4. What are some consequences of changing the natural atmospheric greenhouse?   List four.

5. What is the role of human activity in changing the natural atmospheric greenhouse effect?

6. What is the influence of solar irradiation in changing the natural atmospheric greenhouse effect?   Explain three lines of evidence.

EFFECTS:  Scroll back to the top of the site and click on “Effects”.  

7. According to the Third National Climate Assessment Report, what are the likely effects of global climate change?    List EIGHT probable effect AND write 1-2 sentences for EACH effect that explains the consequences.

CONSENSUS:  Scroll back to the top of the site and click on “Scientific Consensus”.  

8.List 10 agencies that agree that the climate is changing.

9.What percentage of actively publishing climate scientists agree that climate warming trends over the past century are extremely likely due to human activities? 

 

Submit your answers to me. Make sure your answers are written in complete sentences.

GOOD LUCK AND HAVE FUN!

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


03.09 Greenhouse Effect Model (Earth Systems)

Modeling the Greenhouse Effect

Introduction:

The sun is the major source of Earth’s energy. Some of the solar radiation that reaches Earth is reflected, but most is absorbed. Gases in the atmosphere trap some of the heat energy that is absorbed and delay its radiation into space. This greenhouse effect retains energy longer in the Earth system.

Refer to the two web sites in the URL's to understand what the greenhouse effect is, how it works, and why it is vital to life on Earth.

Your task is to design a model that demonstrates the reduction of heat loss (which is another way of saying that the heat is trapped) due to a greenhouse effect. Your model may be as creative or as boring as you wish. The important thing is that your model must demonstrate the reduction of heat loss due to a greenhouse effect. In other words, your model must show that a barrier of some sort traps the sun’s energy and keeps the heat on Earth. For examples, a car is a classic example of the greenhouse effect in action. The sun’s energy enters the car through the windows. The sun’s radiant energy hits the car’s seats and is converted to heat energy. The heat energy is trapped by the car’s windows and roof and so the car’s interior warms up. Heat loss is reduced by the greenhouse effect that takes place in the car.

You cannot use a car as your model---that would be too easy. Use your creativity to create a MODEL that shows how heat loss is reduced by a greenhouse effect. Remember that a model is not a diagram. You will not be drawing a picture. You will make something and take temperature measurements. See the assignment that follows for more details.

03.09 Greenhouse Effect Model (Earth Systems)

03.09 Greenhouse Effect Model (Earth Systems)

teacher-scored 10 points possible 120 minutes

Assignment:

Materials:

* thermometer * whatever else you need

1. Decide what type of model you will make. When you design your model, you must have a way to measure the temperature inside the model BEFORE placing it in the sun, and AFTER it has been in the sun for several hours. Ideally, you will be able to take the temperature inside the model at regular intervals during the day. However, at the least, you must be able to take an initial and final temperature.

2. Write a brief description of what you intend to do. Your description should include: · A description of what your model will look like, and how you will make it · A plan for how you will measure the temperature inside and outside your model.

3. STOP! Submit your description to me. I promise to respond quickly. If the design is scientifically sound, you may go ahead. If it has flaws, we will work together until you have designed a valid, reliable model---then you may go ahead.

4. AFTER you have received my go-ahead, make your model.

5. Be sure to measure the temperature before you put the model in the sun, and after the model has set in the sun for several hours. Also measure the temperature of the air outside the model. At the very least, you should have a starting and ending temperature measurement for the temperature inside and outside the model.

6. Make a graph and/or table of the data that you collect.

7. Answer the following questions. [Use complete sentences to answer the questions.]

8. Follow the directions below to submit your assignment.

ANALYSIS

1. Re-submit me a description of the model that you built.

2. Send me a graph of your data (temperatures inside and outside the model, before and after the investigation. 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. Did your model demonstrate a reduction of heat loss due to a greenhouse effect? If so, how did it demonstrate a reduction of heat loss? Give evidence to support your answer. If not, explain why it did not demonstrate a reduction of heat loss.

5. How is your model like the Earth’s greenhouse effect?

6. How is your model unlike the Earth’s greenhouse effect? (Hint: Consider air currents when answering this question.)

7. In your own words, explain what a greenhouse effect is.

8. What causes the Earth’s greenhouse effect?

9. What is a greenhouse gas?

10. Name three greenhouse gases.

11. Why is the greenhouse effect vital for life on Earth? 

Please send me the information requested in analysis questions.

GOOD LUCK AND HAVE FUN!!!

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


03.10 More Interactions (Earth Systems)

More Interactions!
03.10 cycles03.10 cycles
Introduction:

Interactions, interactions, and more interactions! Are you sensing a theme here? Earth systems interact with each other. In this almost-final assignment of third quarter, you will again describe interactions. This time you will describe interactions between the atmosphere and each of the other spheres. By now you should be an expert on interactions. This will be a quick and easy assignment for you.

03.10 More Interactions (Earth Systems)

teacher-scored 10 points possible 60 minutes

Assignment:

Each description should be written in COMPLETE SENTENCES. Do NOT write one or two word answers.

In each description, tell me how the two spheres interact, and write one or two sentences telling about how the interaction changes the atmosphere.

For example, for my description of an interaction between the atmosphere and the biosphere, I could write the following: Animals need oxygen to live. Oxygen is found in the atmosphere. Animals change the atmosphere when they breathe. They breathe in oxygen which removes some oxygen from the atmosphere and they exhale carbon dioxide, which puts some carbon dioxide back into the atmosphere.

Here is the assignment:

1. Describe a way the atmosphere interacts with the hydrosphere.

2. Describe a way the atmosphere interacts with the biosphere. (Do NOT use my animal example.)

3. Describe a way the atmosphere interacts with the geosphere.

NOTE: There are no specific correct answers for this assignment. There is not a place where you can go to find the answers. This assignment requires you to think. Use what you know about the various spheres to answer the questions. When you have completed the assignment, submit it to me.

GOOD LUCK AND HAVE FUN!

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


03.11 The End (Earth Systems)

The End

Third Quarter

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 third quarter credit.

03.11 The End (Earth Systems)

teacher-scored 10 points possible 30 minutes

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

DO NOT DO THIS UNTIL YOU HAVE COMPLETED ALL OF THE PREVIOUS ASSIGNMENTS.

PART ONE:

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 fourth quarter? If so, as soon as you have passed the proctored final exam and your grade has been sent to your local school, you can request the next quarter of this class.

PART TWO: 

1. Which of the following removes CO2 from the atmosphere?
a. algae
b. diesel trains
c. burning gasoline
d. spraying aerosol cans

2. In the carbon cycle, what does photosynthesis do?
a. release carbon into the atmosphere
b. removes carbon from the atmosphere
c. cause coal to burn
d. causes respiration in animals.

3. Tana designed an experiment to measure how insulation affects the absorption of solar energy. She covered one Styrofoam cup with a nylon sock and a paper cup with a cotton sock. She left a third glass cup uncovered. She filled all three cups with 100 ml of room temperature water and set them in the sun. After 60 minutes, she measured the temperature of each of the cups.

Which of the following statements accurately describes Tana’s experimental design?
a. The design was valid because Tana measured the absorption of solar energy.
b. The design is valid, because she used two variables; different materials as well as different types of cups.
c. The design is flawed, because she used two variables; different materials as well as different types of cups.
d. The design is flawed, because water temperature cannot be used as an indicator of the absorption of solar energy.
e. The design is flawed, because 60 minutes is not long enough to measure the absorption of solar energy

4. Fertilizer run-off into streams adds nitrogen to the hydrosphere. If we continue to add nitrogen to the hydrosphere at the current rate, how will this affect the nitrogen cycle?
a. The number of nitrogen atoms on Earth will increase.
b. The number of nitrogen atoms on Earth will decrease.
c. The number of nitrogen atoms in the hydrosphere will increase.
d. The number of nitrogen atoms in the hydrosphere will decrease.
e. the nitrogen cycle will be unaffected.

Use the graph to answer questions 5-11. 

5. According to the graph, which of the following statements is correct?
a. The amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere was less in 1850 than in 1990.
b. The amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere was more in 1850 than in 1990.
c. The amount of carbon dioxide has remained the same since the Industrial Revolution.
d. There is no carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

Based on the graph above, label each of the statements below A if it is an EVIDENCE statement or B if it is an INFERENCE statement.

6. The concentration of carbon dioxide in 1850 was about 290 ppm.

7. There was less carbon dioxide added to the atmosphere in 1910 than in 1950.

8. CO2 levels have increased since the Industrial Revolution because people cut down more forests now than they did before the Industrial Revolution

9. The concentration of carbon dioxide is measured in ppm.

10. The burning of fossil fuels has contributed to the rise in carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere.

11. What is the cause of increased atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide in terms of the carbon cycle?
a. More carbon is being stored in sedimentary rock.
b. Carbon is being added to the atmosphere faster than it is being removed.
c. The number of carbon atoms on Earth remains the same so the carbon cycle is not affected.
d. Trees will have to remove more carbon from the atmosphere in order to keep the cycle in balance.

12. In an experiment, what is used as a basis for comparison?
a. control
b. variable
c. procedure
d. hypothesis

13. 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.

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.

14. 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.

15. Ozone in the lower atmosphere has what effect?
a. It causes global warming.
b. It allows harmful UV rays to enter the atmosphere.
c. It is a pollutant that is especially harmful to people with respiratory problems.
d. It blocks harmful UV rays from entering the atmosphere.

16. Which of the following is the most prevalent environmental cause of skin cancer?
a. a hole in the ozone layer
b. the greenhouse effect
c. global warming
d. plate tectonics

17. Which atmospheric problem is caused by chlorofluorocarbons (CFC’s)?
a. carbon dioxide
b. ozone hole
c. global warming
d. El Nino

18. Hans designed an experiment to measure the effect of color on the absorption of solar energy. He put a 3m x 3m black plastic tarp and a 3m x 3m clear plastic tarp over a snow back that was 1m deep. At 4:00 pm each day for a week, he measured the amount of snow remaining under the tarps.

Which of the following statements accurately describes Hans’s experimental design?
a. The design was valid because Hans measured the effect of color on the absorption of solar energy.
b. The design is flawed, because the results cannot be quantified.
c. The design is valid, because it tests two variables.
d. The design is flawed, because it has two controls.
e. The design is valid, because it has no control.

19. Which of the following is considered a “greenhouse” gas?
a. acid rain
b. phosphorous
c. nitrogen
d. methane

20. The “greenhouse effect” could cause a number of problems. Of the following, which is the most common problem associated with it?
a. eutrophication
b. cataracts
c. skin cancer
d. rising sea level.

21. The nitrogen cycle is vitally important for which of the molecules found in your body?
a. lipids
b. sugars
c. DNA
d. starches 

22. Which of the following processes is done by soil microbes and/or lightening?
a. nitrogen fixation
b. eutrophication.
c. nitrification.
d. denitrification

23. In the Antarctic Ocean, there is a significant amount of phytoplankton (phytoplankton are microscopic organisms that do a lot of photosynthesis) that live near the surface.
(A) Predict an effect of severe ozone depletion on the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
(B) Justify your prediction by describing one or more cause/effect relationship.

Once you have completed this practice exam, send it to me and I will give you feedback.

STUDY WELL FOR THE FINAL EXAM. 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 will 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.

Good luck and have fun!

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


The Nitrogen Cycle