Why Take This Course?
Ecology is the focus of this Middle School STEM semester’s studies. Through projects, in-class experiments and discussions we explore the interaction of life on Earth with various earth systems. We begin by tracing the flow of energy from the sun to the planet earth through investigating food chains, habitats, ecosystems and biomes. Through projects and activities students will examine the water, carbon and nitrogen cycles and understand how environmental chain reactions can affect the overall health of our planet.
Expedition: Biomes and Bees
This expedition kicks-off the semester with a discussion of energy systems, starting with the sun. We learn about the three types of energy through an experiment with popcorn. Next, we build our own habitats and share them with each other through a discussion board. Throughout the expedition, we explore creative ways to be responsible in Earth stewardship, including making natural household cleaners, and culminating in a meaningful Summit Project where we learn about and get involved in The Bee Cause Project, a significant project with local connections and worldwide implications and impact.
|Unit 1||Unit 2||Unit 3|
|What systems and webs exist that keep our planet working in a healthy and interconnected way?||How can a study of Earth cycles help me be responsible in my stewardship of the Earth?||In what ways have I gained understanding and appreciation for the Earth and been a part of creative solutions this semester?|
|From where does every living thing receive its energy?||What can bees and butterflies teach us about our changing world?||What are some of the basic principles of engineering?|
|What is ecology all about?||How does the water cycle work?||How can I apply principles of engineering in our class competition?|
|In what ways are the living systems on Earth connected and intertwined?||How can we help make sure everyone has water?||How will I act differently because of the things I learned this semester?|
|Why are healthy ecosystems so important to us and our planet?||What are the steps in the rock cycle?||Am I caught up on all my projects, assignments and readings from the semester?|
|What happens when biomes and ecosystems fall out of balance?||What are the fossil types and how can I identify them?|
|What are the major types of habitats and how do they differ?||What are the steps in the nitrogen cycle?|
|What do we need to understand about symbiosis, niches to understand the animal kingdom?||What are the solutions to the issues associated with the nitrogen cycle?|
|How do populations of a particular species expand and decrease?||Why is the carbon cycle critical to life on Earth?|
Texts and Materials Students Must Purchase
|Madeleine L'Engle||A Wrinkle in Time||0312367546|
|Jules Verne||20,000 Leagues Under the Sea||1853260312|
- Recommended Grade: 6th, 7th
- Prerequisites: None
- Versions & Estimated Weekly Hours: *Classic: 5 Hours / Honors: 7 Hours
- Format: Live
- Credits: 0.5
*Help from parents will be necessary to complete some of these projects. All classes will include supplemental projects and optional readings.