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Rainshadow CCHS – Spring 2011 ID Science 4B Syllabus

This course is a synthesis of the role of the sciences in interdisciplinary inquiry with
an emphasis on the relationships between Science, Technology, and Society.
Joe Ferguson: joe@rainshadowcchs.org * www.joerainshadow.weebly.com
Course Description: This culminating RS Science course provides synthesis of the role of the sciences in
interdisciplinary inquiry with an emphasis on the relationships of science, technology, and society. It
presents a historical overview of science and provides discussion of overarching science concepts such as
systems, models, risk, prediction, and applications of science. This course delivers Rainshadow and
State of NV Standards for grade 12 and prepares students to use science as a tool in careers, higher
education, and life.
Course Aims and Objectives for this Semester:
Upon completion of this Semester unit, students will;
- Take an interdisciplinary perspective in studying the role of sciences in the physical world.
- Analyze such issues as biodiversity, ecosystems, and Nevada ecology.
- Use science as a tool for prediction to explore global issues and problems.
- Form a sense of their personal uses of science and technology in everyday life.
- Connect science inquiry to inquiry and values in the arts, humanities, and social sciences.
Requirements:
- participation in classroom activities every day
- record of daily activities, science proficiency practice problems, and notes
- completed portfolio of labs and assignments (see requirements below)
- completed projects, presentations, quizzes, and exams
- completed competition in the GREENevada’s High School Sustainability Plan Competition

Week / Dates Monday - Thursday


1) Jan 24 - 27 Course intro and expectations. Intro to sustainability & GREENevada’s High School
Sustainability Plan Competition. No School Thursday (Professional Development)
2) Jan 31 - Feb 3 Envisioning our future. Rainshadow’s future. Sustainability Team Registration.
3) Feb 8 - 11 Setting Project Goals; Sierra Nevada Journeys.
4) Feb 14 - 17 Envirolution & the spheres of sustainability: Economic, Social, Environmental.
5) Feb 21 - 24 Local food production and Urban Roots Garden Classrooms. Greening our school and
eating well! No School Monday (President’s Day)
6) Feb 28 - Mar 3 Envisioning a low carbon future. Black Rock Solar and our solar array.
7) Mar 7 - 10 The three R’s: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. School implementation.
8) Mar 14 - 17 Permaculture and Ecodesign. Edible landscapes. Ideas and suggestions.
9) Mar 21 - 24 Plan proposal: Statement of Need, Goals & Objectives, Project Activities, Budget, &
Impact Analysis No School Thursday (Professional Development)
10) Mar 28 - Mar 31 Putting the finishing touches on the proposal. Sustainability plan proposal due!
11) Apr 4 - 7 Climate change & sustainability. Alliance for Climate Education.
12) Apr 11 - 14 The global impact of our lifestyles. The Story of Stuff. Ecological Footprints.
13) Apr 18 - 21 Preparing for our presentation. Sustainability plan presentation (Friday)
14) May 2 - 5 Alternatives to the combustion engine. Electric vehicles. Solar racecar competition.
15) May 9 - 12 Fuel cell cars and the transportation of the future.
16) May 16 - 19 Drawing power from the wind. Wind turbine competition. Other sources of renewable
energy. No School Thursday (Professional Development)
17) May 23 - 26 Wrapping up. Rainshadow’s sustianable future & our individual futures.
18) May 30 - Jun 2 Course review. Final Exam. No School Monday (Memorial Day)
19) Jun 6 - 9 Last week. Course reflection. Updating the science section of your Rainshadow Portfolio.
Grading Policy and Assessment: This class will be based on an approximately 2,500 point system for
the 19 week period.
Point Breakdown:
Attendance and Participation – 500 points
Complete Folder of Work – 500 points
- includes classwork, projects, and lab exercises.
Major Projects, Presentations, Quizzes, & Exams – 500 points
High School Sustainability Competition Plan & Presentation – 500 points
Literacy Course – 500
Portfolio Contents: You will maintain a folder to be kept in-class with all of the assignments that you
complete for this class. You will also be required to maintain an online portfolio for each of your
Rainshadow classes where many of your assignments will be saved. At the end of the semester you will
complete your modified online school portfolio that will showcase all of your best work from this course.
Work done in this class should be included in the science section of your comprehensive Rainshadow
Portfolio.
Interdisciplinary Science 4A & B:
Synthesis of the role of the sciences in interdisciplinary inquiry with an
emphasis on the relationships of science, technology, and society.
This culminating Rainshadow science course provides synthesis of the role of the sciences in
interdisciplinary inquiry with an emphasis on the relationships of science, technology, and
society. It presents a historical overview of science and provides discussion of overarching
science concepts such as systems, models, risk, prediction, and applications of science.
Delivers Rainshadow & State of Nevada standards for grade twelve and prepares students to
use science as a tool in careers, higher education, and life.
Objectives & Portfolio Contents:
 Take an interdisciplinary perspective in studying the role of sciences in the physical world.
S1 Forces and Motion: laws of motion, gravity, machines, pressure, density, buoyancy, electricity, and
magnetism.
S2 Structure of Matter: physical properties, chemical bonding, atomic theory, systems of particles,
molecular theory.
S3 Energy and Matter: energy forms, changes of state, heat and temperature, waves, circuits, changes in
systems.
S4 Chemical Reaction: conservation of matter, rates of reaction, transformation of matter, chemical
properties.
S5 Nuclear and Electromagnetic Energy: behavior of light, nuclear applications, nuclear waste disposal,
electromagnetic energies.
 Analyze such issues as biodiversity, ecosystems, and Nevada ecology.
S6 Structure and Function: life cycles and disruption, equilibrium, cellular organization, environment,
plant structures
S15 Ecosystems: biodiversity and ecosystems, cycles of matter and energy, food webs, Nevada bioregions
 Use science as a tool for prediction to explore global issues and problems.
S16 Natural Resources: consequences of resource use, recycling processes, careers, use of natural
resources, depletion, environmental degradation.
S17 Conservation: analyze and evaluate consumption patterns, conservation efforts, equilibriums,
environmental issues, global concerns, trade-offs, responsible behavior.
 Form a sense of their personal uses of science and technology in everyday life.
S19 Reasoning and Critical Response Skills: evaluate data, credibility of sources, cost/benefits analysis,
system analysis, hypotheses, laws, theories, rules, generalization, assumption, analogy models.
 Connect science inquiry to inquiry and values in the arts, humanities, and social sciences.
S20 Systems, Models, Risk, Prediction: mathematical models, predictions, systems, statistical modeling,
risk analysis
S21 Values and Attitudes: curiosity, honesty, skepticism, reproducing results, multiple explanations
S22 Communication: follow experimental procedures, use tables and charts, participate in group
discussions, making arguments and claims