Fort Collins High School Earth Systems Science, 6809 Instructor: Matt Foster 488-8225, e-mail:

Fort Collins High School
Earth Systems Science, 6809
Instructor: Matt Foster
488-8225, e-mail:
Earth System Science: Earth Systems Science (ESS) is an entry level physical science course that explores
the interactions of the various “spheres” of Earth (atmosphere, hydrosphere, geosphere, exosphere) as a
dynamic, evolving system. This course illustrates the relevance and impact of science in society, while
engaging students in the mastery of basic physics and chemistry concepts that will prepare them for higher
level physical science courses.
Instruction in this course will focus on the following teaching and learning objectives:
1. Scientific Method
2. Metric System
3. Significant Digits
4. Atomic Structure
5. Elements and Periodic Table
6. Bonding
7. Chemical Formulas
8. Acids and Bases
9. Earth’s Interior
10. Earth’s Exterior
11. Atmosphere an Weather
12. Water and Oceanography
13. Astronomy
14. Density
15. Motion
16. Energy
At the conclusion of this course the student will be able to describe, define, and analyze:
1. Stars emit energy across the full range of the electromagnetic spectrum.
2. Common Scientific Laws govern motion on earth
3. The universe is vast and relatively unexplored.
4. The composition and structure of the atmosphere have evolved over time.
5. Unequal solar heating of the earth causes weather and climate.
6. Water is a unique molecule with properties that make it essential to life on Earth.
7. The earth’s layers reflect differences in composition and density.
This course is open to freshman, sophomores, juniors and seniors. Algebra I may be taken concurrently.
This course will include various aspects of chemistry, physics and earth science. There will be a
combination of lecture, labs, student experiments and student driven lessons. Resources for the course will
include the textbook, scientific documents and periodicals.
This course will address the following State Standards
Standard 1: Students apply the processes of scientific investigation and design, conduct, communicate
about, and evaluate such investigations
Standard 2: Physical Science: Students know and understand common properties, forms, and changes in
matter and energy. (Focus: Physics and Chemistry)
Standard 3: Students know and understand the characteristics and structure of living things, the processes
of life, and how living things interact with each other and their environment.
Standard 4: Earth and Space Science: Students know and understand the processes and interactions of
Earth's systems and the structure and dynamics of Earth and other objects in space. (Focus: Geology,
Meteorology, Astronomy, Oceanography)
Standard 5: Students understand that the nature of science involves a particular way of building
knowledge and making meaning of the natural world
Letter grades are earned by the student based upon the following percentage of possible points: 100%-90%
= A, 89%-80%=B, 79%-70%=C, 69%-60%=D, >60%=Failure. Total points possible include numerical
evaluations for homework, quizzes, projects, unit test, semester exam and final examinations.
FOLLOWING (See Contract)
1. Attendance – Students must attend class to receive the greatest benefit from
instruction and class interaction. Students who miss class are never be able to completely make up
for missed learning. Nevertheless, students with excused absences will be allowed to make up
work according to Poudre School District policy. It is the student’s responsibility to contact the
instructor – outside class – to complete missed assignments. Unless prior approval is granted by
the instructor, late work will only be give 50% credit. All late work must be turned in prior to the
unit exam in order to receive credit. Work turned in after the exam will remain a zero.
Participation – Each student is responsible for participating in class discussion, making
presentations when assigned to do so, and contributing to the learning environment of the class. In
order to fulfill his/her responsibility, it is necessary to be in class, on time with all materials,
including paper and a writing instrument.
Assignments – Students are responsible for coming to class prepared. All assignments are due at
the start of the class on the date the assignment is due. Please check blackboard/website for
assignments and note guides. Extra credit will be available for those students who have completed
all assignments.
Food or Drink – No food or drink will be accepted in the classroom at any time, except for water.
Electronic Devices – No electronic device of any kind may be used in class without permission.
The presence of an electronic device during a test or quiz will be considered a disruption of the
learning environment.
Safety – Safety in class is imperative for the well being of all students. Refer to the safety
guidelines and contract.
Labs - We will be doing several hands on labs in this course. These labs require a lot of time to
prepare and set up and will therefore NOT always be made up. If you have missed a lab due to an
absence, you will take a scheduled lab make up exam. The % score on this exam will replace any
labs that you were absent for.
Examinations - An exam will be given at the end of each unit. The exams will consist of
multiple-choice, matching and short answer/math problems. If you miss an exam due to an
absence you should make it up promptly. Make up exams will be parallel to, but different from
the original exam taken by the other students. There will be a final exam at the end of each
semester that will be worth approximately twice the point value of the unit exams.
Each student is required to his/her own work. Plagiarism and/or cheating will not be tolerated, and if
detected, will result in disciplinary referral and action. The Fort Collins Student Handbook outlines the
consequences for cheating and plagiarism, and the instructor will, with the assistance of an administrator,
implement the policy. A first incident of plagiarism and/or cheating will result in a zero. Additional
incidents may result in expulsion from school. Please consult the Handbook for the full text of the
consequences for academic dishonesty.