Introduction: The Environmental Science Course is a year-long course which includes instruction that is equivalent to a one semester College level introductory course in Environmental Science. This course is very challenging and includes topics from a wide variety of disciplines including geology, biology, chemistry, meteorology, sociology, physics, mathematics and geography. Students taking this course are required to have successfully completed biology and should possess a strong background in mathematics. The AP Environmental Science course stresses scientific principles that connect the activities of the humans to their impact on the past, present, and future world in which we live. This course is a laboratory science and all students are required to complete several complex laboratory exercises throughout the year.
The goal of this course is to help students grasp the scientific principles necessary to understand the interrelationships of the natural world, to help them identify and analyze current and future environmental problems, both natural and human made, and to evaluate the risks and potential solutions associated with these issues.
The following themes provide the foundation of the Environmental Science Curriculum.
- Science is a process
- Energy conversions underlie all ecological processes
- The Earth is one interconnected system of reactions
- Humans impact Earth’s natural systems
- Environmental issues have both social and cultural context
- Human survival depends on developing sustainable practices
Instructional Materials: The textbook Environmental Science by Enger and Smith 13th Edition, will be the primary reference for this course. Other instructional materials will include journal articles, excerpts from other texts, audio visual materials, Internet websites, and guest speakers. Optional field trips will be planned to connect the students to community environmental professionals and sites.
Homework Policy: Homework will be assigned daily. Students are expected to study lecture notes, read assigned materials, complete laboratory reports, and prepare for all quizzes and tests. A successful student may expect to work a minimum of thirty minutes four nights per week in order to stay current with the curriculum. Project assignments and research for reports may require more time out of class.
Tests: Tests will be administered at the close of each chapter of the textbook and a final exam at the close of each semester. ALL TESTS MUST BE TAKEN BY STUDENTS ON THE DAY IT IS GIVEN TO THE CLASS. THERE WILL BE NO MAKE-UP TESTS GIVEN. In the event that a student is absent on the day of a test being given, that student will be given NO GRADE for the test in question. At the end of the semester they will be given their semester test score average for any missing test scores. Quizzes will be administered on a regular basis to ensure students are keeping up with the course information. These quizzes may or may not be announced prior to being given.
Notebooks: All students must purchase or provide a five subject notebook to be used as an Interactive Journal throughout the year. All classwork, homework, and laboratory work will be included in this notebook.
Projects: Individual and/or group projects will be assigned regularly. Completion of these projects in a timely manner is expected and presentation of results to the class will often be considered in the grading of the project.
Student Evaluation: Grades are based on points earned from exams, laboratory write-ups in data books, homework, and special projects. The REVHS Science Department standard grade percentages will be used as follows: A = 100 – 90 percent; B = 89 – 80 percent; C = 79 – 70 percent; D = 69 – 60 percent; F = below 60 percent. Final grades will be calculated on a weighted basis with semester test scores making up 50%, work in your Interactive Notebook including labs and projects 25%, Classwork 10% and the Final exam will be worth 15% of the grade.
Class Rules: The class will follow rules established by the REVHS Attendance and Discipline Policy. Tardies and absences may affect a student’s grade due to missed class participation or information.
Teacher Communication: Parents are encouraged to communicate immediately when questions arise regarding your student. The most effective communication pathway is via email and I can be contacted at email@example.com. Parents are also encourages to establish a parent portal at REVHS in order to view teacher grade books in real time from your home or office. I can also be reached by phone at (909) 389-2500 extension 33608.