Honors Earth Science Course Description

Prerequisite:  Students should have successfully completed or be currently taking Algebra IB.

The honors Earth science course is designed to introduce the Earth sciences to the self-motivated student who is college bound.  The Earth science course is designed to interpret and understand the world around you.  In order to do so, students will investigate and study the interactions between the four major Earth’s spheres including the geosphere, atmosphere, hydrosphere and biosphere in order to explain Earth’s formation, processes, history, landscapes, how and why Earth changes over time.  The course will also explore how current actions of man interact and affect Earth’s spheres leading to local and global changes.  Topics to be addressed include, but are not limited to, the scientific method, mapping Earth’s surface, minerals, rocks, plate tectonics, earthquakes, volcanoes, geologic time, and meteorology. 


Students in the honors Earth science course should expect a higher level of rigor, cognition and quality of work than the standard course.  They will become actively involved in classroom and laboratory learning experiences.  They will also be involved in exploratory, experimental, and open-ended learning experiences with a faster paced, more in-depth study of material.


Honors Earth science students should expect to use and develop the following skills:  1) problem-seeking and problem-solving, 2) independent inquiry based learning, 3) participation in scholarly and creative processes, 4) reading and understanding scientific material, 5) use of imagination,

6) critical analysis and application, 7) learning to express/defend ideas, 8) becoming a reflective thinker, and 9)  becoming an initiator of learning.


To meet, use, and develop the skills required in the Honors Earth science course, students will participate in laboratory exercises, small group activities, web based investigations, class discussions, and both in class and independent projects and research involving reading and writing requiring a greater depth of understanding of Earth Science concepts that require students to proficiently communicate their ideas.