Science - Earth Systems [2003]

Course Description


 Science is a way of knowing, a process for gaining knowledge and understanding of the natural world. The Science Core Curriculum places emphasis on understanding and using skills. Students should be active learners. It is not enough for students to read about science; they must do science. They should observe, inquire, question, formulate and test hypotheses, analyze data, report, and evaluate findings. The students, as scientists, should have hands-on, active experiences throughout the instruction of the science curriculum.

The Science Core describes what students should know and be able to do at the end of each course. It was developed, critiqued, piloted, and revised by a community of Utah science teachers, university science educators, State Office of Education specialists, scientists, expert national consultants, and an advisory committee representing a wide diversity of people from the community. The Core reflects the current philosophy of science education that is expressed in national documents developed by the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the National Academies of Science. This Science Core has the endorsement of the Utah Science Teachers Association. The Core reflects high standards of achievement in science for all students.

Organization of the Science Core

 The Core is designed to help teachers organize and deliver instruction. Elements of the Core include the following:

´ Each grade level begins with a brief course description.

´ The INTENDED LEARNING OUTCOMES (ILOs) describe the goals for science skills and attitudes. They are found at the beginning of each grade, and are an integral part of the Core that should be included as part of instruction.

´  The SCIENCE BENCHMARKS describe the science content students should know. Each grade level has three to five Science Benchmarks. The ILOs and Benchmarks intersect in the Standards, Objectives and Indicators.

´  A STANDARD is a broad statement of what students are expected to understand. Several Objectives are listed under each Standard.

´  An OBJECTIVE is a more focused description of what students need to know and be able to do at the completion of instruction. If students have mastered the Objectives associated with a given Standard, they are judged to have mastered that Standard at that grade level. Several Indicators are described for each Objective.

´  An INDICATOR is a measurable or observable student action that enables one to judge whether a student has mastered a particular Objective. Indicators are not meant to be classroom activities, but they can help guide classroom instruction.

´  SCIENCE LANGUAGE STUDENTS SHOULD USE is a list of terms that students and teachers should integrate into their normal daily conversations around science topics. These are not vocabulary lists for students to memorize.

 Seven Guidelines Were Used in Developing the Science Core

Reflects the Nature of Science: Science is a way of knowing, a process for gaining knowledge and understanding of the natural world. The Core is designed to produce an integrated set of Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs) for students.

 As described in these ILOs, students will:

´  Use science process and thinking skills.

´  Manifest science interests and attitudes.

´  Understand important science concepts and principles.

´  Communicate effectively using science language and reasoning.

´  Demonstrate awareness of the social and historical aspects of science.

´  Understand the nature of science.

Coherent: The Core has been designed so that, wherever possible, the science ideas taught within a particular grade level have a logical and natural connection with each other and with those of earlier grades. Efforts have also been made to select topics and skills that integrate well with one another and with other subject areas appropriate to grade level. In addition, there is an upward articulation of science concepts, skills, and content. This spiraling is intended to prepare students to understand and use more complex science concepts and skills as they advance through their science learning.

Developmentally Appropriate: The Core takes into account the psychological and social readiness of students. It builds from concrete experiences to more abstract understandings. The Core describes science language students should use that is appropriate to their grade level. A more extensive vocabulary should not be emphasized. In the past, many educators may have mistakenly thought that students understood abstract concepts (such as the nature of the atom) because they repeated appropriate names and vocabulary (such as "electronî and "neutronî). The Core resists the temptation to describe abstract concepts at inappropriate grade levels; rather, it focuses on providing experiences with concepts that students can explore and understand in depth to build a foundation for future science learning.

Encourages Good Teaching Practices: It is impossible to accomplish the full intent of the Core by lecturing and having students read from textbooks. The Science Core emphasizes student inquiry. Science process skills are central in each standard. Good science encourages students to gain knowledge by doing science: observing, questioning, exploring, making and testing hypotheses, comparing predictions, evaluating data, and communicating conclusions. The Core is designed to encourage instruction with students working in cooperative groups. Instruction should connect lessons with students' daily lives. The Core directs experiential science instruction for all students, not just those who have traditionally succeeded in science classes. The vignettes listed on the Utah Science Home Page for each of the Core standards provide examples, based on actual practice, that demonstrate that excellent teaching of the Science Core is possible.

Comprehensive: The Science Core does not cover all topics that have traditionally been in the science curriculum; however, it does provide a comprehensive background in science. By emphasizing depth rather than breadth, the Core seeks to empower students rather than intimidate them with a collection of isolated and forgettable facts. Teachers are free to add related concepts and skills, but they are expected to teach all the standards and objectives specified in the Core for their grade level.

Useful and Relevant: This curriculum relates directly to student needs and interests. It is grounded in the natural world in which we live. Relevance of science to other endeavors enables students to transfer skills gained from science instruction into their other school subjects and into their lives outside the classroom.

Encourages Good Assessment Practices: Student achievement of the standards and objectives in this Core is best assessed using a variety of assessment instruments. The purpose of an assessment should be clear to the teacher as it is planned, implemented, and evaluated. Performance tests are particularly appropriate to evaluate student mastery of science processes and problem-solving skills. Teachers should use a variety of classroom assessment approaches in conjunction with standard assessment instruments to inform their instruction. Sample test items, keyed to each Core Standard, may be located on the Utah Science Home Page. Observation of students engaged in science activities is highly recommended as a way to assess students' skills as well as attitudes in science. The nature of the questions posed by students provides important evidence of students' understanding of and interest in science.

Intended Learning Outcomes for Earth Systems Science

 The Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs) describe the skills and attitudes students should learn as a result of science instruction. They are an essential part of the Science Core Curriculum and provide teachers with a standard for evaluation of student learning in science. Instruction should include significant science experiences that lead to student understanding using the ILOs.

 The main intent of science instruction in Utah is that students will value and use science as a process of obtaining knowledge based upon observable evidence.

By the end of science instruction in high school, students will be able to:

1.      Use Science Process and Thinking Skills

a.       Observe objects, events and patterns and record both qualitative and quantitative information.

b.       Use comparisons to help understand observations and phenomena.

c.       Evaluate, sort, and sequence data according to given criteria.

d.       Select and use appropriate technological instruments to collect and analyze data.

e.       Plan and conduct experiments in which students may:

◦  Identify a problem.

◦  Formulate research questions and hypotheses.

◦  Predict results of investigations based upon prior data.

◦  Identify variables and describe the relationships between them.

◦  Plan procedures to control independent variables.

◦  Collect data on the dependent variable(s).

◦ Select the appropriate format (e.g., graph, chart, diagram) and use it to summarize the data obtained.

◦  Analyze data, check it for accuracy and construct reasonable conclusions.

◦  Prepare written and oral reports of investigations.

f.        Distinguish between factual statements and inferences.

g.      Develop and use classification systems.

h.       Construct models, simulations and metaphors to describe and explain natural phenomena.

i.        Use mathematics as a precise method for showing relationships.

j.        Form alternative hypotheses to explain a problem.

2.      Manifest Scientific Attitudes and Interests

a.       Voluntarily read and study books and other materials about science.

b.       Raise questions about objects, events and processes that can be answered through scientific investigation.

c.       Maintain an open and questioning mind toward ideas and alternative points of view.

d.       Accept responsibility for actively helping to resolve social, ethical and ecological problems related to science and technology.

e.       Evaluate scientifically related claims against available evidence.

f.        Reject pseudoscience as a source of scientific knowledge.

3.      Demonstrate Understanding of Science Concepts, Principles and Systems

a.       Know and explain science information specified for the subject being studied.

b.       Distinguish between examples and non examples of concepts that have been taught.

c.       Apply principles and concepts of science to explain various phenomena.

d.       Solve problems by applying science principles and procedures.

4.      Communicate Effectively Using Science Language and Reasoning

a.       Provide relevant data to support their inferences and conclusions.

b.       Use precise scientific language in oral and written communication.

c.       Use proper English in oral and written reports.

d.       Use reference sources to obtain information and cite the sources.

e.       Use mathematical language and reasoning to communicate information.

5.      Demonstrate Awareness of Social and Historical Aspects of Science

a.       Cite examples of how science affects human life.

b.       Give instances of how technological advances have influenced the progress of science and how science has influenced advances in technology.

c.       Understand the cumulative nature of scientific knowledge.

d.       Recognize contributions to science knowledge that have been made by both women and men.

6.      Demonstrate Understanding of the Nature of Science

a.       Science is a way of knowing that is used by many people, not just scientists.

b.       Understand that science investigations use a variety of methods and do not always use the same set of procedures; understand that there is not just one "scientific method."

c.       Science findings are based upon evidence.

d.       Understand that science conclusions are tentative and therefore never final. Understandings based upon these conclusions are subject to revision in light of new evidence.

e.       Understand that scientific conclusions are based on the assumption that natural laws operate today as they did in the past and that they will continue to do so in the future.

f.        Understand the use of the term "theory" in science, and that the scientific community validates each theory before it is accepted. If new evidence is discovered that the theory does not accommodate, the theory is generally modified in light of this new evidence.

g.       Understand that various disciplines of science are interrelated and share common rules of evidence to explain phenomena in the natural world.

h.       Understand that scientific inquiry is characterized by a common set of values that include logical thinking, precision, open-mindedness, objectivity, skepticism, replicability of results and honest and ethical reporting of findings. These values function as criteria in distinguishing between science and non-science.

i.       Understand that science and technology may raise ethical issues for which science, by itself, does not provide solutions.

Science language students should use:

generalize, conclude, hypothesis, theory, variable, measure, evidence, data, inference, infer, compare, predict, interpret, analyze, relate, calculate, observe, describe, classify, technology, experiment, investigation, tentative, assumption, ethical, replicability, precision, skeptical, methods of science

 Earth Systems Science Core Curriculum

Life and physical science content are integrated in a curriculum with two primary goals: (1) students will value and use science as a process of obtaining knowledge based on observable evidence, and (2) students' curiosity will be sustained as they develop the abilities associated with scientific inquiry. This course builds upon students' experience with integrated science in grades seven and eight and is the springboard course for success in biology, chemistry, geology, and physics.


 The theme for Earth Systems Science is systems. The "Benchmarks" in the Earth Systems Science Core emphasize "systemsî as an organizing concept to understand life on Earth, geological change, and the interaction of atmosphere, hydrosphere, and biosphere. Earth Systems Science provides students with an understanding of how the parts of a system interact. The concept of matter cycling and energy flowing is used to help understand how systems on planet Earth are interrelated.


 Throughout this course students experience science as a way of knowing based on making observations, gathering data, designing experiments, making inferences, drawing conclusions, and communicating results. Students see that the science concepts apply to their lives and their society. This course will provide students with science skills to make informed and responsible decisions. Students will learn how to explain cosmic and global phenomena in terms of interactions of energy, matter, and life. These explorations range from the realization that all elements heavier than helium were made in stars to an understanding of how rain influences a desert ecosystem.

Good science instruction requires hands-on science investigations in which student inquiry is an important goal. Teachers should provide opportunities for all students to experience many things. Students in Earth Systems Science should design and perform experiments and value inquiry as the fundamental scientific process. They should be encouraged to maintain an open and questioning mind to pose their own questions about objects, events, processes, and results. They should have the opportunity to plan and conduct their own experiments, and come to their own conclusions as they read, observe, compare, describe, infer, and draw conclusions. The results of their experiments need to be compared for reasonableness to multiple sources of information. It is important for students at this age to begin to formalize the processes of science and be able to identify the variables in an experiment.


 Earth Systems Science Core concepts should be integrated with concepts and skills from other curriculum areas. Reading, writing, and mathematics skills should be emphasized as integral to the instruction of science. Personal relevance of science in students' lives is an important part of helping students to value science and should be emphasized at this grade level. Developing students' writing skills in science should be an important part of science instruction in the ninth grade. Students should regularly write descriptions of their observations and experiments. Lab journals are an effective way to emphasize the importance of writing in science.

 Providing opportunities for students to gain insights into science related careers adds to the relevance of science learning. The topics in Earth Systems Science introduce students to fundamental concepts related to careers in geology, hydrology, meteorology, and ecology. This is an excellent opportunity for students to broaden their understanding of careers in these areas. Resources related to careers in science may be found at the Utah Science Home Page.


 Value for honesty, integrity, self-discipline, respect, responsibility, punctuality, dependability, courtesy, cooperation, consideration, and teamwork should be emphasized as an integral part of science learning. These relate to the care of living things, safety and concern for self and others, and environmental stewardship. Honesty in all aspects of research, experimentation, data collection, and reporting is an essential component of science.

Resources for Instruction

 This Core was designed using the American Association for the Advancement of Science's Project 2061: Benchmarks For Science Literacy and the National Academy of Science's National Science Education Standards as guides to determine appropriate content and skills.

The Earth Systems Science Core has three online resources designed to help with classroom instruction. These resources include the Sci-ber Text, an electronic science textbook; web resources listed by Core objective; and the science test item pool. This pool includes multiple-choice questions, performance tasks, and interpretive items aligned to the standards and objectives of the Core. These resources are all aligned to the Core and available on the Utah Science Home Page.

Safety Precautions

 The hands-on nature of science learning increases the need for teachers to use appropriate precautions in the classroom and field. Proper handling and disposal of chemicals is crucial for a safe classroom.

Appropriate Use of Living Things in the Science Classroom

 It is important to maintain a safe, humane environment for animals in the classroom. Field activities should be well thought out and use appropriate and safe practices. Student collections should be done under the guidance of the teacher with attention to the impact on the environment. The number and size of the samples taken for the collections should be considered in light of the educational benefit. Some organisms should not be taken from the environment, but rather observed and described using photographs, drawings, or written descriptions to be included in the student's collection. Teachers must adhere to the published guidelines for the proper use of animals, equipment, and chemicals in the classroom. These guidelines are available on the Utah Science Home Page.

The Most Important Goal

 Science instruction should cultivate and build on students' curiosity and sense of wonder. Effective science instruction engages students in enjoyable learning experiences. Science instruction should be as thrilling an experience for a student as opening a rock and seeing a fossil, determining the quality of a water sample by watching the colors change in a chemical reaction, or observing the consistent sequence of color in a rainbow. Science is not just for those who have traditionally succeeded in the subject, and it is not just for those who will choose science-related careers. In a world of rapidly expanding knowledge and technology, all students must gain the skills they will need to understand and function responsibly and successfully in the world. The Core encourages instruction that provides skills in a context that enables students to experience the joy of doing science.

Core Standards of the Course

Science Benchmark

 Science provides evidence that the universe is more than 10 billion years old. The most accepted science theory states that the universe expanded explosively from a hot, dense chaotic mass. Gravity causes clouds of the lightest elements to condense into massive bodies. The mass and density of these bodies may become great enough for nuclear fusion to occur, creating stars. Nuclear fusion releases energy and fuses light elements into heavier elements. Some stars explode, producing clouds of heavy elements from which other stars, planets, and celestial bodies may form.

 Standard I:

 Students will understand the scientific evidence that supports theories that explain how the universe and solar system developed.

Objective 1:  Describe the big bang theory and evidence supporting it.

a.       Determine the motion of a star relative to Earth based on a red or blue shift in the wavelength of light from the star.

b.       Explain how evidence of red and blue shifts is used to determine whether the universe is expanding or contracting.

c.       Describe the big bang theory and the red shift evidence that supports this theory.

d.       Investigate and report how science has changed the accepted ideas regarding the nature of the universe throughout history.

e.       Provide an example of how technology has helped scientists investigate the universe.

Objective 2:  Relate the structure and composition of the solar system to the processes that exist in the universe.

a.       Compare the elements formed in the big bang (hydrogen, helium) with elements formed through nuclear fusion in stars.

b.       Relate the life cycle of stars of various masses to the relative mass of elements produced.

c.       Explain the origin of the heavy elements on Earth (i.e., heavy elements were formed by fusion in ancient stars).

d.       Present evidence that the process that formed Earth's heavy elements continues in stars today.

e.       Compare the life cycle of the sun to the life cycle of other stars.

f.        Relate the structure of the solar system to the forces acting upon it.

Science language students should use:

big bang theory, blue shift, heavy element, mass, nuclear fusion, red shift, theory, universe, astronomy

 Science Benchmark

 Earth supports an interconnected system of living organisms. This system is unique in the solar system. Biodiversity on Earth is determined by biotic and abiotic factors. Throughout Earth's history, the number and distribution of species have changed over time in response to environmental changes.

 Standard II:

 Students will understand that the features of Earth's evolving environment affect living systems, and that life on Earth is unique in the solar system.

Objective 1:  Describe the unique physical features of Earth's environment that make life on Earth possible.

a.       Compare Earth's atmosphere, solar energy, and water to those of other planets and moons in the solar system.

b.       Compare the conditions that currently support life on Earth to the conditions that exist on other planets in the solar system.

c.       Evaluate evidence for existence of life in other star systems, planets, or moons, either now or in the past.

 Objective 2:  Analyze how ecosystems differ from each other due to abiotic and biotic factors.

a.       Observe and list abiotic factors (e.g., temperature, water, nutrients, sunlight, pH, topography) in specific ecosystems.

b.       Observe and list biotic factors (e.g., plants, animals, organic matter) that affect a specific ecosystem (e.g., wetlands, deserts, aquatic).

c.       Predict how an ecosystem will change as a result of major changes in an abiotic and/or biotic factor.

d.       Explain that energy enters the vast majority of Earth's ecosystems through photosynthesis, and compare the path of energy through two different ecosystems.

e.       Analyze interactions within an ecosystem (e.g., water temperature and fish species, weathering and water pH).

f.        Plan and conduct an experiment to investigate how abiotic factors influence organisms and how organisms influence the physical environment.

Objective 3:  Examine Earth's diversity of life as it changes over time.

a.       Observe and chart the diversity in a specific area.

b.       Compare the diversity of life in various biomes specific to number of species, biomass, and type of organisms.

c.       Explain factors that contribute to the extinction of a species.

d.       Compare evidence supporting various theories that explain the causes of large-scale extinctions in the past with factors causing the loss of species today.

e.       Evaluate the biological, esthetic, ethical, social, or economic arguments with regard to maintaining biodiversity.

Science language students should use:

abiotic, atmosphere, biodiversity, biome, biotic, ecosystem, extinction, system, aesthetic, ethical, social, economic, stellar, photosynthesis, biomass, species

 Science Benchmark

 The theory of plate tectonics explains the features of Earth's surface, Earthquakes and volcanoes. Plates move very slowly, pressing against one another, sliding past one another, and pulling apart. The internal energy of the Earth drives the movement of the plates. The slow movement of materials within Earth results from heat flowing out from the deep interior and the action of gravity on regions of different density. Evidence for plate tectonics includes the spreading of the seafloor, the fossil record, and patterns and distribution of Earthquakes and volcanoes.

Processes in Earth affect the atmosphere, biosphere, and hydrosphere. Processes occurring in these spheres affect the geosphere.

 Standard III:

 Students will understand that gravity, density, and convection move Earth's plates and this movement causes the plates to impact other Earth systems.

Objective 1:  Explain the evidence that supports the theory of plate tectonics.

a.       Define and describe the location of the major plates and plate boundaries.

b.       Compare the movement and results of movement along convergent, divergent, and transform plate boundaries.

c.       Relate the location of Earthquakes and volcanoes to plate boundaries.

d.       Explain Alfred Wegener's continental drift hypothesis, his evidence, and why it was not accepted in his time.

e.       Evaluate the evidence for the current theory of plate tectonics.

Objective 2:  Describe the processes within Earth that result in plate motion and relate it to changes in other Earth systems.

a.       Identify the energy sources that cause material to move within Earth.

b.       Model the movement of materials within Earth.

c.       Model the movement and interaction of plates.

d.       Relate the movement and interaction of plates to volcanic eruptions, mountain building, and climate changes.

e.       Predict the effects of plate movement on other Earth systems (e.g., volcanic eruptions affect weather, mountain building diverts waterways, uplift changes elevation that alters plant and animal diversity, upwelling from ocean vents results in changes in biomass).

 Science language students should use:

plate tectonics, convergent, divergent, transform, plate, convection current, hypothesis, theory, seafloor spreading, biomes, climate, weather, geosphere, biosphere, hydrosphere, volcanic eruption, hot spot, fault

Science Benchmark

 Water moves through different holding places in the hydrosphere, with the ocean being the largest reservoir for water. The energy from the sun moves water from one reservoir to another, resulting in the water cycle. Freshwater, though limited in supply, is essential for life. Freshwater may become depleted or polluted.

 Standard IV:

 Students will understand that water cycles through and between reservoirs in the hydrosphere and affects the other spheres of the Earth system.

Objective 1:  Explain the water cycle in terms of its reservoirs, the movement between reservoirs, and the energy to move water. Evaluate the importance of freshwater to the biosphere.

a.       Identify the reservoirs of Earth's water cycle (e.g., ocean, ice caps/glaciers, atmosphere, lakes, rivers, biosphere, groundwater) locally and globally, and graph or chart relative amounts in global reservoirs.

b.       Illustrate the movement of water on Earth and describe how the processes that move water (e.g., evaporation of water, melting of ice/snow, ocean currents, movement of water vapor by wind) use energy from the sun.

c.       Relate the physical and chemical properties of water to a water pollution issue.

d.       Make inferences about the quality and/or quantity of freshwater, using data collected from local water systems.

e.       Analyze how communities deal with water shortages, distribution, and quality in designing a long-term water use plan.

Objective 2:  Analyze the physical and biological dynamics of the oceans.

a.       Describe the physical dynamics of the oceans (e.g., wave action, ocean currents, El Nino, tides).

b.       Determine how physical properties of oceans affect organisms (e.g., salinity, depth, tides, temperature).

c.       Model energy flow in ocean ecosystems.

d.       Research and report on changing ocean levels over geologic time, and relate changes in ocean level to changes in the water cycle.

e.       Describe how changing sea levels could affect life on Earth.

Science language students should use:

groundwater, reservoir, salinity, glacier, biological dynamics, tide, geologic time

Science Benchmark

 Earth's atmosphere interacts with and is changed by the lithosphere, hydrosphere, and biosphere. The atmosphere changes rapidly compared to the other spheres. Atmospheric changes affect climate and life over short and long periods of time.

 Standard V:

 Students will understand that Earth's atmosphere interacts with and is altered by the lithosphere, hydrosphere, and biosphere.

Objective 1:  Describe how matter in the atmosphere cycles through other Earth systems.

a.       Trace movement of a carbon atom from the atmosphere through a plant, animal, and decomposer, and back into the atmosphere.

b.       Diagram the nitrogen cycle and provide examples of human actions that affect this cycle (e.g., fertilizers, crop rotation, fossil fuel combustion).

c.       Interpret evidence suggesting that humans are influencing the carbon cycle.

d.       Research ways the biosphere, hydrosphere, and lithosphere interact with the atmosphere (e.g., volcanic eruptions putting ash and gases into the atmosphere, hurricanes, changes in vegetation).

Objective 2:  Trace ways in which the atmosphere has been altered by living systems and has itself strongly affected living systems over the course of Earth's history.

a.      Define ozone and compare its effects in the lower and upper atmosphere.

b.       Describe the role of living organisms in producing the ozone layer and how the ozone layer affected the development of life on Earth.

c.       Compare the rate at which CO2 is put into the atmosphere to the rate at which it is removed through the carbon cycle.

d.       Analyze data relating to the concentration of atmospheric CO2 over the past 100 years.

e.       Research, evaluate, and report on international efforts to protect the atmosphere.

Science language students should use:

carbon cycle, climate, decomposer, matter, nitrogen cycle, ozone layer, depletion, fossil fuel, lithosphere

Science Benchmark

 The sun is the major source of Earth's energy. Some of the solar radiation that reaches Earth is reflected, but most is absorbed. Gases in the atmosphere trap some of the heat energy and delay its radiation into space. This greenhouse effect retains energy longer in the Earth system. Currents in the atmosphere and hydrosphere distribute solar heat energy. These currents help determine global and local weather and climate patterns.

Photosynthesis uses a small but vital part of the total solar energy for the biosphere. This energy is stored in the chemical bonds of sugars formed in plants.

 Standard VI:

 Students will understand the source and distribution of energy on Earth and its effects on Earth systems.

Objective 1:  Describe the transformation of solar energy into heat and chemical energy on Earth and eventually the radiation of energy to space.

a.       Illustrate the distribution of energy coming from the sun that is reflected, changed into heat, or stored by plants.

b.       Describe the pathways for converting and storing light energy as chemical energy (e.g., light energy converted to chemical energy stored in plants, plants become fossil fuel).

c.       Investigate the conversion of light energy from the sun into heat energy by various Earth materials.

d.       Demonstrate how absorbed solar energy eventually leaves the Earth system as heat radiating to space.

e.       Construct a model that demonstrates the reduction of heat loss due to a greenhouse effect.

f.        Research global changes and relate them to Earth systems (e.g., global warming, solar fluctuations).

Objective 2:  Relate energy sources and transformation to the effects on Earth systems.

a.       Describe the difference between climate and weather, and how technology is used to monitor changes in each.

b.       Describe the effect of solar energy on the determination of climate and weather (e.g., El Nino, solar intensity).

c.       Explain how uneven heating at the equator and polar regions creates atmospheric and oceanic convection currents that move heat energy around Earth.

d.       Describe the Coriolis effect and its role in global wind and ocean current patterns.

e.       Relate how weather patterns are the result of interactions among ocean currents, air currents, and topography.

Science language students should use:

absorbed, Coriolis effect, energy, greenhouse gas, meteorology, radiation, reflected, topography

Send questions or comments to USOE Specialist -  Ken O'Brien  and  see the  Science Home Page. For general questions  about Utah's Core Curriculum contact the Director -  Brett Moulding    email:

 These materials  have been produced by and for the teachers of the State of Utah. Copies  of these materials may be freely reproduced for teacher and classroom use.  When distributing these materials, credit should be given to Utah State  Office of Education. These materials may not be published, in whole or part,  or in any other format, without the written permission of the Utah State  Office of Education, 250 East 500 South, PO Box 144200, Salt Lake City,  Utah 84114-4200.