We begin at the largest spatial scales of the universe and move toward increasingly smaller scales and a more anthropocentric focus. The first core idea describes the universe as a whole and addresses its grand scale in both space and time. This idea includes the overall structure, composition, and history of the universe, the forces and processes by which the solar system operates, and Earth's planetary history. The second core idea encompasses the processes that drive Earth's conditions and its continual evolution (i.e., change over time). It addresses the planet's large-scale structure and composition, describes its individual systems, and explains how they are interrelated. It also focuses on the mechanisms driving Earth's internal motions and on the vital role that water plays in all of the planet's systems and surface processes. The third core idea addresses society's interactions with the planet. This idea explains how Earth's processes affect people through natural resources and natural hazards, and it describes as well some of the ways in which humanity in turn affects Earth's processes. (NRC Framework 2012, p. 170)
ESS1: Earth's Place in the Universe
What is the universe, and what is Earth's place in it?
ESS2: Earth's Systems
How and why is Earth constantly changing?
ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
How do Earth's surface processes and human activities affect each other?