To have students, as responsible citizens, understand enough about the earth to appreciate the opportunities and constraints placed upon people and society by earth resources and hazards, and to make informed decisions about earth-related environmental issues. To have students understand the nature of scientific inquiry in general and geologic investigation in particular and to consider the applicability of these methodologies to other arenas of belief-formation.
Students will be able to recognize problems, pose useful hypotheses, propose and carry out tests of the hypotheses, assess and compare hypotheses. Students will be able to understand scientific methodology by applying it to seek solutions to selected problems in the earth sciences. Students will be able to understand the nature of earth materials, processes and history through in-depth consideration of a small number of selected earth science investigations. Students will understand aspects of NYC geology and their relevance to local urban challenges and opportunities.
To achieve the goals and objectives of the course, students will perform five 'linked' investigations. Upon successful completion of these investigations, students can do the following:
THE WORLD OF MINERALS:
Determine properties of minerals and, by referring to classification charts, identify six unknown minerals.
Identify and properly describe the major landforms of the NYC region.
THE FOURTH DIMENSION:
Come to conclusions about Earth History. This is accomplished by: Drawing conclusions about how rocks form. Determining how many years ago rock-forming processes and other past events took place. Acomplished by examining contour maps and comparing the actual landforms of the NYC region to an array of described landforms. Determine the distribution of geologic materials in the NYC region. This is accomplished by comparing the actual distribution of materials to a series of proposed distributions presented in the form of 'geologic maps'.
Learn about the application of the scientific method by using a the hypothesis of Continental Drift. Learn about the interactions of different plates and how those plates create volcanoes and earthquakes. Study how scientists determine plate movements and the epicenter of an earthquake.