Blueprint: Earth and Space Science - Texas Edition
In Texas, Earth and Space Science (ESS) is a high school science elective that was designed as a capstone course that would build on students' prior scientific and academic knowledge and skills to develop an understanding of Earth's system in space and time. The course follows an Earth systems approach to address three themes: (A) Earth in space and time, (B) solid Earth, and (C) fluid Earth.
A) Earth in Space and Time. Earth has a long, complex, and dynamic history. Advances in technologies continue to further our understanding of the origin, evolution, and properties of Earth and planetary systems within a chronological framework. The origin and distribution of resources that sustain life on Earth are the result of interactions among Earth's subsystems over billions of years.
(B) Solid Earth. The geosphere is a collection of complex, interacting, dynamic subsystems linking Earth's interior to its surface. The geosphere is composed of materials that move between subsystems at various rates driven by the uneven distribution of thermal energy. These dynamic processes are responsible for the origin and distribution of resources as well as geologic hazards that impact society.
(C) Fluid Earth. The fluid Earth consists of the hydrosphere, cryosphere, and atmosphere subsystems. These subsystems interact with the biosphere and geosphere resulting in complex biogeochemical and geochemical cycles. The global ocean is the thermal energy reservoir for surface processes and, through interactions with the atmosphere, influences climate. Understanding these interactions and cycles over time has implications for life on Earth.
ESS has three strands used throughout each of the three themes: (A) systems, (B) energy, and (C) relevance.
(A) Systems. A system is a collection of interacting physical, chemical, and biological processes that involves the flow of matter and energy on different temporal and spatial scales. Earth's system is composed of interdependent and interacting subsystems of the geosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere, cryosphere, and biosphere within a larger planetary and stellar system. Change and constancy occur in Earth's system and can be observed, measured as patterns and cycles, and described or presented in models used to predict how Earth's system changes over time.
(B) Energy. The uneven distribution of Earth's internal and external thermal energy is the driving force for complex, dynamic, and continuous interactions and cycles in Earth's subsystems. These interactions are responsible for the movement of matter within and between the subsystems resulting in, for example, plate motions and ocean-atmosphere circulation.
(C) Relevance. The interacting components of Earth's system change by both natural and human-influenced processes. Natural processes include hazards such as flooding, earthquakes, volcanoes, hurricanes, meteorite impacts, and climate change. Some human-influenced processes such as pollution and nonsustainable use of Earth's natural resources may damage Earth's system. Examples include climate change, soil erosion, air and water pollution, and biodiversity loss. The time scale of these changes and their impact on human society must be understood to make wise decisions concerning the use of the land, water, air, and natural resources. Proper stewardship of Earth will prevent unnecessary degradation and destruction of Earth's subsystems and diminish detrimental impacts to individuals and society.
DIG Texas Blueprint (Scope and Sequence/Curriculum Roadmap): We recommend completing at least 60% of each unit for optimal learning. This allows time for differentiated instruction, addressing individual learning styles and misconceptions, conducting assessments, and unforeseen scheduling changes and conflicts.
Texas Edition A (10 3-week units)
Texas Edition A is organized according to the three themes: Earth in Space and Time, Solid Earth and Fluid Earth. We recommend completing at least 60% of each unit for optimal learning. This allows time for differentiated instruction, addressing individual learning styles and misconceptions, conducting assessments, and unforeseen scheduling changes and conflicts.
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3. Earth is a Habitable Planet
4. Fossil Record and Evolution
5. Journey to the Center of the Earth
6. The Dynamic Earth: Plate Tectonic Processes
7. Plate Tectonics: Earth in Motion
8. Freshwater on Earth IN DEVELOPMENT
Texas Edition B (10 3-week units)
Texas Edition B is organized according to the three strands: Systems, Energy and Relevance. This approach addresses all the content in the themes, but the order is different from the way in which Earth science content is typically organized in traditional textbooks. We recommend completing at least 60% of each unit for optimal learning. This allows time for differentiated instruction, addressing individual learning styles and misconceptions, conducting assessments, and unforeseen scheduling changes and conflicts.
2. Earth is a Habitable Planet
3. Crossing the Shoreline: The Gulf of Mexico
4. Journey to the Center of the Earth
5. The Dynamic Earth: Plate Tectonic Processes
6. Earth's Atmosphere, Ocean, and Climate
7. Carbon, Climate, and Energy Resources IN DEVELOPMENT
9. Natural Hazards: Never Turn Your Back on Mother Earth