Our place in the universe

Course Overview

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This is a new multi-level year-long science course for 2020, and the exact content will be decided based on the numbers, levels and interests of the students that sign up. There are strong links with Outdoor Education, Education for Sustainability and Geography.

The NCEA Level 3 standards in this course are approved for University Entrance, and many count towards UE literacy requirements.

We will be looking at our planet, how it works and how humans (and other organisms) interact with and affect their environment. We will be working towards a range of internal and external assessments during the year.

In term 1 we will start by negotiating a detailed plan for topics for the year and which standards will be covered (in other words, the exact plan for the course will not be finalised until students have had an opportunity for input)

NCEA level 1 standards will all be internally assessed.
NCEA level 2 and 3 students will need to be able to work reasonably independently, as the majority of teaching time will be directed towards lower-level students.

Potential Level 1 standards:
91840 - Demonstrate understanding of a psychological debate (3 credits)
90925 - Carry out a practical investigation in a biological context, with direction (4 credits)
90926 - Report on a biological issue (3 credits)
90955 - Investigate an astronomical or Earth science event (4 credits)
90943 - Investigate implications of heat for everyday life (4 credits)
90953 - Demonstrate understanding of carbon cycling (4 credits)
90945 - Investigate implications of the use of carbon compounds as fuels (4 credits)
90951 - Investigate the biological impact of an event on a New Zealand ecosystem (4 credits)
90949 - Investigate life processes and environmental factors that affect them (4 credits)

Level 2 and 3 standards will be taken from the Earth and Space Science area:
Level 2
Level 3

Course Structure....
Term 1
Starts on the largest and smallest scales - the history and development of the whole universe, and how humans are limited in our ability to investigate and understand it. How are stars and planets born, live and die? How did biological life get started. Is there anything special about us or our planet?

Term 2
What are the geological processes that drive the development of our planet and how do they affect humans and other animals. How can we estimate the ages of stars, planets and geological events?

Term 3
How are energy and matter transferred around our planet, the oceans and the atmosphere. How does this affected by, and impact on, life on Earth.

Term 4
Bringing it all together, given the available data what has happened in the past, is happening now and is likely to happen in the future.

Courses offered per block.

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