Environmental Science is the study of the environment with an emphasis of our impact on it. The first important concept of environmental science is recognizing our planet as a closed circuit. We study cycles such as the water, carbon and the nitrogen cycle. During this time, we learn about what happens when these cycles get out of balance to create problems such as global warming, water shortages, and algae blooms. We learn about food webs, cornerstone species, and the biomes they inhabit. The main idea of these subjects is to teach students that if you affect one part of a cycle or a food web, you inevitably affect many other parts. We also study topics such as food and agriculture, human health and toxins, earth resources and energy. This class makes students aware of continuous problems in our environment, but also offers solutions and ways we are trying to improve the impact we have on the world around us.
Biology is the study of life from its simplest forms to the most majestic creatures among us. It asks questions such as “What does it mean to be alive?” Starting at the basics, we study both plant and animal cells. We then study simple life forms such as bacteria and viruses. Many other topics follow including plants, photosynthesis, animals, cellular respiration, classification, genetics, ecology, human body systems, and human health. The approach to teaching these subjects is as hands-on as possible. If there is any form of presentation, it involves a lot of pictures, video clips, and animation. The idea is to bring things alive to the students and make learning tangible and applicable.
Integrated Science touches on many different branches of science. It’s a middle school course that starts at the basics of science. It includes mass and matter, elements and compounds, and the basic laws of physics. We then move into the earth around us to include studies of geography and biomes. The course then takes a turn into studying what lives in these environments including simple life forms, plants, and animals. The aim or goal of this course is to encompass what it means to study science. The course is very hands-on and includes many experiments and physical examples. Learning is done through actually doing science. It is important that students have a curiosity for the world around them and this course intends to encourage that.