Experimental Design: Earth Science

Teacher: Katharine Hinkle
Extra Help: Tuesdays, 3-4 pm, Room 235, or by appointment.

Students take on the role of scientists by developing inquiry skills.  They will design and conduct their own experiments, analyze data, and present results to their peers. Students will develop experimental design and documentation skills that are common to all scientific disciplines. The course will follow the structure of the scientific design method.  We will begin with observations, followed by question forming, and data collection and analysis.

In this course we will use the lens of Earth Science to understand the scientific method.  We will focus on the cycles and systems of the natural world (carbon, water, nitrogen, and the lithosphere).  Throughout the year the students will participate in citizen science projects (collecting data and contributing to large data sets on the local environment).  We will also study topics in climate change. We will model systems in the lab and collect data from the natural lab of our campus.  Throughout the year students will write formal lab reports, read from a variety of texts, and conduct and present original research.

Essential Questions

What does it mean to approach a problem scientifically?

What does the job of a scientist actually involve?

How do scientists decide what to study?

What are different types of data you can collect?

What are different ways of interpreting data?

How is data reported and communicated