Environmental Science Benchmarks
[Constructing and Reflecting] [Environmental Science]
UNIT BENCHMARKS
What do you want students to:
know, do, be like?
SUGGESTED ASSESSMENTS
How will you know if benchmarks have been achieved?
POSSIBLE RESOURCES
What possible instructional resources
could be used?
What topics should be taught?

The MiCLimb links (on the left side of this document) clarify the benchmark, and list key concepts and vocabulary.

Teacher Resources
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    Units of Practice:
    Each UOP, located on the Utica Learning Interchange (ULI), is developed by one of your colleagues, an experienced teacher, and exemplifies an approach to integrating technology into the teaching and learning process. Search the UOPs by Subject and Level or by Keyword.


    Web Links

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    SCI.III.4.HS.2 Explain how a new species or variety may originate through evolutionary process of natural selection

    Students will:

    • Describe how changes within the environment select for survival and reproduction of certain individuals
    • Predict how the selection for specific traits might result in the development of a new species
    • Relate natural selection to the development of new populations (e.g., a strain of bacteria becoming resistant)
    • Identify the differences between inherited and non-inherited traits
    SCI.III.5.HS.1 Describe common ecological relationships between and among species and their environments

    Students will:

    • List biotic and abiotic factors in a given environment
    • Identify and describe the biotic and abiotic factors that impact and influence a specific population’s size
      • Describe possible interactions between two biotic and abiotic factors
    SCI.III.5.HS.2 Explain how energy flows through familiar ecosystems

    Students will:

    • Construct the energy relationships in an ecosystem’s food web
    • Describe how only a fraction of the available energy is used for growth and incorporated in the plant or animal itself at each stage of the food web
    • Analyze how energy transformation and the cycling of matter in ecosystems are related
    SCI.III.5.HS.3 Describe general factors regulating population size in ecosystems

    Students will:

    • Predict how specific changes within the environment may increase/decrease a population’s size
    • Analyze how specific human activities may affect population sizes
    • Identify the environmental (biotic or abiotic) factors that may affect the carrying capacity of a population
    SCI.III.5.HS.4 Describe responses of an ecosystem to events that cause it to change

    Students will:

    • Diagram the process of slow changes over time in the environment (ecological succession)
    • Predict how an external force affects ecological succession
    • Explain the relationship between the stability of an ecosystem and its biodiversity (organisms can adapt, migrate, or die
    SCI.III.5.HS.5 Describe how carbon and soil nutrients cycle through selected ecosystems

    Students will:

    • Analyze the process of how plants take common nutrients and build organic compounds
    • Describe how plants and animals use organic compounds for growth, maintenance, and reproduction (include respiration and photosynthesis)
    • Illustrate how these compounds are broken down (decomposers) and cycled through the living and non-living parts of the environment
    SCI.III.5.HS.6 Explain the effects of agriculture and urban development on selected ecosystems

    Students will:

    • Identify the specific impacts of agriculture, manufacturing, recreation, and urban development on ecosystems
    • Research how decisions that impact the environment are made by governments and businesses
    • Debate the value of protecting the environment vs. the economic impact of those decisions
    • Discuss how natural resources can be protected and at the same time used
    SCI.V.1.HS.3 Explain how common objects are made from Earth materials and why Earth materials are conserved and recycled

    Students will:

    • Investigate Earth’s natural resources, how they are used, and how they are limited
    • Deduce the impacts when resources are depleted
    • Explain how an individual’s decisions involving consumption can have both a local and global impact
    SCI.V.1.HS.4 Evaluate alternative long-range plans for resource use and by-product disposal in terms of environmental and economic impact

    Students will:

    • Research a natural resource:
      • the use of the natural resource
      • the disposal of by-products/wastes
    • Assess the options involving the natural resource -their effect on the environment
      • their economic impact in the present
      • their economic impact in the future
    SCI.V.2.HS.2 Describe how human activities affect the quality of water in the hydrosphere

    Students will identify the activities (waste disposal, use of pesticides, herbicides, thermal pollution that often negatively affect groundwater, lakes, and streams. Using their awareness of water movement, students will:

    • Predict how human activities at one location often have adverse affects on other locations
    • Compare, contrast, and evaluate various methods of purifying water
    SCI.V.3.HS.1 Explain how interactions of the atmosphere, hydrosphere, and geosphere create climates and how climates change over time

    Students will:

    • Explain how each of the following contributes to the creation of distinct regional climates:
      • the angle of the Sun’s rays (which varies with latitude)
      • the uneven heating of the geosphere, hydrosphere, and atmosphere
      • differences in global circulation of air and ocean currents
      • altitude and position of landforms
    SCI.V.3.HS.2 Describe patterns of air movement in the atmosphere and how they affect weather conditions

    Students will:

    • Explain how changes in the weather result from the movement of air masses
    SCI.V.3.HS.4 Explain the impact of human activities on the atmosphere and explain ways that individuals and society can reduce pollution

    Air pollution comes from a variety of sources. Industrial emissions are a major factor.

    Students will:

    • Identify those industries that are major contributors to air pollution
    • Analyze the general impact that corrective measures would have on the polluting industry and the cost of their products
    • Give examples of how their daily activities can both positively and negatively affect air quality
    • Identify how their decisions impact air quality
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    Last Modification :5/10/04