Course Description

Course Description:

  • A hands-on, inquiry-based study of interdependence in Earth’s systems and cycles.
  • Topics of study include: Ecology, Chemistry, Scientific Method, Astronomy, Weather, and Water

Student Expectations:  As a result of completing this course, students will be able to:

  • Describe how abiotic factors such as temperature, water, and sunlight affect plants’ ability to create their own food through photosynthesis.
  • Explain how populations are affected by predator-prey relationships.
  • Describe common food webs in different Connecticut ecosystems.
  • Describe why/how species become endangered/extinct.
  • Utilize the Periodic Table of Elements to find information about specific elements.
  • Explain the difference between mixtures and solutions.
  • Use the scientific method to define a problem, conduct an experiment, analyze data to form a conclusion.
  • Explain the effect of gravity on the orbital movement of planets in the solar system.
  • Explain how the regular motion of the Sun, Earth, and Moon explains the seasons, phases of the moon, and eclipses.
  • Describe the effect of heating on the movement of molecules in solids, liquids, and gases.
  • Explain how local weather conditions are related to the temperature, pressure, and water content of the atmosphere and the proximity to a large body of water.
  • Explain how the uneven heating of the Earth’s surface causes winds and affects the seasons.
  • Explain the role of septic and sewage systems on the quality of surface and groundwater sources.
  • Explain how human activity may impact water resources in Connecticut such as local ponds, rivers, and the Long Island Sound ecosystems.
  • Locate and utilize relevant sources of information.
  • Summarize, analyze, and synthesize information.

Multiple Forms of Assessment:

  • Class Participation
  • Homework Completion and Quality
  • Quizzes and Tests
  • Reflections and Writing Assignments
  • Projects and Presentations

Learning Activities:

  • Inquiry-Based Laboratory Activities
  • Class Discussions
  • Guided Research Investigations
  • Independent Research Projects
  • Field Studies of Local Environments
  • CAPT Practice Lab

Integration of Technology:

  • Technology will be integrated throughout the year in a variety of ways and will include the use of: electronic media, desktop and laptop computers (Internet, Word, PowerPoint) and videos/DVDs.


  • Prentice Hall Science Textbook series (Simon & Schuster Education Group)
  • Aries Inquiry-Based Astronomy Kit
  • Periodicals
  • Electronic & Print Reference Materials


Standards for Assessment:

  • Grades reflect student achievement on class work, tests, quizzes, and projects.

In addition, positive attitude, effort, and class participation are all expected.