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Chemistry in the Earth System - High School Three Course Model


High School Chemistry in Earth Systems Course Storyline

Instructional Segment Description
1
Combustion
In this brief introductory unit, students investigate the amount of stored chemical potential energy in food. They make observations of material properties at the bulk scale that they will later explain in the atomic scale.  The themes of combustion and CO2 tie together several of the Instructional Segments.
2
Heat and Energy in the Earth System
Students develop models of energy conservation within systems and the mechanisms of heat flow. They relate macroscopic heat transport to atomic scale interactions of particles, which they will apply in later units to construct models of interactions between atoms. They use evidence from Earth’s surface to infer the heat transport processes at work in the planet’s interior.
3
Atoms, Elements, and Molecules
Students recognize patterns in the properties and behavior of elements, as illustrated on the periodic table. They use these patterns to develop a model of the interior structure of atoms and to predict how different atoms will interact based on their electron configurations. They use chemical equations to represent these interactions and begin to make simple stoichiometric calculations.
4
Chemical Reactions
Students refine their models of chemical bonds and chemical reactions. They compare the strength of different types of bonds and attractions and develop models of how energy is stored and released in chemical reactions.
5
Chemistry of Climate Change
Students develop models of energy flow in Earth’s climate. They revisit combustion reactions from IS1 to focus on emissions from fossil fuel energy sources. They apply models of the structures of molecules to explain how different molecules trap heat in the atmosphere. Students evaluate different chemical engineering solutions that can reduce the impacts of climate change.
6
Dynamics of Chemical Reactions and Ocean Acidification
Students investigate the effects of fossil fuel combustion on ocean chemistry. They develop models of equilibrium in chemical reactions and design systems that can shift the equilibrium. Students conduct original research on the interaction between ocean water and shell-building organisms.

 



Instructional Segment 1: Combustion

In this brief introductory unit, students investigate the amount of stored chemical potential energy in food. They make observations of material properties at the bulk scale that they will later explain in the atomic scale.  The themes of combustion and CO2 tie together several of the Instructional Segments.

Overview from CA Science Framework

Bundled NGSS Standards for this Segment

Individual Performance Expectations included in this Segment:
HS-PS1-3, HS-PS1-4, HS-PS1-7, HS-PS3-1

Disciplinary Core Ideas in this Segment:
PS1.A: Structure and Properties of Matter
PS1.B: Chemical Reactions
PS3.A: Definitions of Energy
PS3.B: Conservation of Energy and Energy Transfer

Guiding Questions:

  • What is energy, how is it measured, and how does it flow within a system?
  • What mechanisms allow us to utilize the energy of our foods and fuels?

 


Instructional Segment 2: Heat and Energy in the Earth System

Students develop models of energy conservation within systems and the mechanisms of heat flow. They relate macroscopic heat transport to atomic scale interactions of particles, which they will apply in later units to construct models of interactions between atoms. They use evidence from Earth’s surface to infer the heat transport processes at work in the planet’s interior.

Overview from CA Science Framework

Bundled NGSS Standards for this Segment

Individual Performance Expectations included in this Segment:
HS-PS3-1, HS-PS3-2, HS-PS3-4, HS-ESS2-3, HS-ETS1-4

Disciplinary Core Ideas in this Segment:
PS3.A: Definitions of Energy
PS3.B: Conservation of Energy and Energy Transfer
PS3.D: Energy in Chemical Processes
PS4.A: Wave Properties
ESS2.A: Earth Materials and Systems
ESS2.B: Plate Tectonics and Large-Scale System Interactions
ETS1.B: Developing Possible Solutions

Guiding Questions:

  • How is energy transferred and conserved?
  • How can energy be harnessed to perform useful tasks?



Instructional Segment 3: Atoms, Elements, and Molecules

Students recognize patterns in the properties and behavior of elements, as illustrated on the periodic table. They use these patterns to develop a model of the interior structure of atoms and to predict how different atoms will interact based on their electron configurations. They use chemical equations to represent these interactions and begin to make simple stoichiometric calculations.

Overview from CA Science Framework

Bundled NGSS Standards for this Segment

Individual Performance Expectations included in this Segment:
HS-PS1-1, HS-PS1-2, HS-PS1-7

Disciplinary Core Ideas in this Segment:
PS1.A: Structure and Properties of Matter
PS1.B: Chemical Reactions

Guiding Questions:

  • What is inside atoms and how does this affect how they interact?
  • What models can we use to predict the outcomes of chemical reactions?

 


Instructional Segment 4: Chemical Reactions

Students refine their models of chemical bonds and chemical reactions. They compare the strength of different types of bonds and attractions and develop models of how energy is stored and released in chemical reactions.

Overview from CA Science Framework

Bundled NGSS Standards for this Segment

Individual Performance Expectations included in this Segment:
HS-PS1-3, HS-PS1-4, HS-PS3-5, HS-PS2-4, HS-PS1-5, HS-PS1-7

Disciplinary Core Ideas in this Segment:
PS1.A: Structure and Properties of Matter
PS1.B: Chemical Reactions
PS2.B: Types of Interactions
PS3.C: Relationship Between Energy and Forces

Guiding Questions:

  • What holds atoms together in molecules?
  • How do chemical reactions absorb and release energy?


Instructional Segment 5: Chemistry of Climate Change

Students develop models of energy flow in Earth’s climate. They revisit combustion reactions from IS1 to focus on emissions from fossil fuel energy sources. They apply models of the structures of molecules to explain how different molecules trap heat in the atmosphere. Students evaluate different chemical engineering solutions that can reduce the impacts of climate change.

Overview from CA Science Framework

Bundled NGSS Standards for this Segment

Individual Performance Expectations included in this Segment:
HS-ESS2-2, HS-ESS2-4, HS-ESS2-6, HS-ESS3-2, HS-ESS3-5, HS-ESS3-6

Disciplinary Core Ideas in this Segment:
ESS1.B: Earth and the Solar System
ESS2.A: Earth Materials and Systems
ESS2.D: Weather and Climate
ESS3.A: Natural Resources
ESS3.D: Global Climate Change 
ETS1.B: Developing Possible Solutions

Guiding Questions:

  • What regulates weather and climate?
  • What effects are humans having on the climate?

 


Instructional Segment 6: The Dynamics of Chemical Reactions and Ocean Acidification

Students investigate the effects of fossil fuel combustion on ocean chemistry. They develop models of equilibrium in chemical reactions and design systems that can shift the equilibrium. Students conduct original research on the interaction between ocean water and shell-building organisms.

Overview from CA Science Framework

Bundled NGSS Standards for this Segment

Individual Performance Expectations included in this Segment:
HS-PS1-5, HS-PS1-6, HS-PS1-7, HS-ESS2-2, HS-ESS2-6

Disciplinary Core Ideas in this Segment:
PS1.B: Chemical Reactions
ESS2.A: Earth Materials and Systems
ESS2.D: Weather and Climate
ETS1.C: Optimizing the Design Solution

Guiding Questions:

  • How can you alter chemical equilibrium and reaction rates?
  • How can you predict the relative quantities of products in a chemical reaction?
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