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Earth Science


ES.1 The student will plan and conduct investigations in which * volume, area, mass, elapsed time, direction, temperature, pressure, distance, density, and changes in elevation/depth are calculated utilizing the most appropriate tools; * technologies, including computers, are used to collect, analyze, and report data and to demonstrate concepts and simulate experimental conditions; * scales, diagrams, maps, charts, graphs, tables, and profiles are constructed and interpreted; * variables are manipulated with repeated trials; and * a scientific viewpoint is constructed and defended.
This SOL does not have a web site.

ES.2 The student will demonstrate scientific reasoning and logic by * analyzing how science explains and predicts the interactions and dynamics of complex Earth systems; * recognizing that evidence is required to evaluate hypotheses and explanations; * comparing different scientific explanations for the same observations about the Earth; * explaining that observation and logic are essential for reaching a conclusion; * evaluating evidence for scientific theories related to plate tectonics, the structure of the Earth, and its ancient age and origin; and * making informed judgments related to resource use and its effects on Earth systems.
This SOL does not have a web site



ES.3 The student will investigate and understand how to read and interpret maps, globes, models, charts, and imagery. Key concepts include * maps (bathymetric, geologic, topographic, and weather) and star charts; * imagery (aerial photography and satellite images); * direction and distance measurements on any map or globe; and * location by latitude and longitude and topographic profiles.

Blue Skies Java

Allows students to learn about maps and weather at once. Clickable maps allow you to get weather forecasts from all over the country. Students can choose the type of weather map they wish to view. Weather is current.

Atlas of the World
An index of all of the countries in the world. Allows the student to select a map of a continent or a country.



ES.4 The student will investigate and understand the characteristics of the Earth including * plate tectonics; * water in all three states; * position of the Earth in the solar system; and * effects of density differences and energy transfer on the activities of the atmosphere, oceans, and Earth's interior.

EarthWaves- Our Changing Planet

This site contains information about every aspect of our earth. Many of the links are dedicated to earthquakes and seismology. Themes on this page are changed from time to time.



ES.5 The student will investigate and understand how to identify major rock-forming and ore minerals based on physical and chemical properties. Key concepts include * properties including hardness, color and streak, luster, cleavage, fracture, and unique properties; and * uses of minerals.

The Mineral and Gemstone Kingdom

A wonderful site full of pictures and tons of information for each mineral. The excellent organization allows students to view mineral lists according to various characteristics.



ES.6 The student will investigate and understand how to identify common rock types based on mineral composition and textures and the rock cycle as it relates to the transformation of rock types. Key concepts include * igneous (intrusive and extrusive); * sedimentary (clastic and chemical); and * metamorphic (foliated and unfoliated) rocks.

Atlas of Rocks, Minerals, and Textures A wonderful page sponsored by the University of North Carolina. A very well organized site that shows pictures as well as descriptive tex.



ES.7 The student will investigate and understand the differences between renewable and nonrenewable resources. Key concepts include * fossil fuels, minerals, rocks, water, and vegetation; * advantages and disadvantages of various energy sources; * resources found in Virginia; * use of resources and their effects on standards of living; and * environmental costs and benefits.

Wind Energy

A Danish based site that contains everything you ever wanted to know about wind enerfy. A guided tour allows you to pick and choose from a variety of nodes.



ES.8 The student will investigate and understand geologic processes including plate tectonics. Key concepts include * how geologic processes are evidenced in the physiographic provinces of Virginia including the Coastal Plain, Piedmont, Blue Ridge, Valley and Ridge, and Appalachian Plateau; * processes (faulting, folding, volcanism, metamorphism, weathering, erosion, deposition, and sedimentation) and their resulting features; and * tectonic processes (subduction, rifting and sea floor spreading, and continental collision).

Plate Tectonics

A starting point for tectonics. Links include movement of the Earth's crust, volcanoes, earthquakes, and more. (Links are the purple buttons- not the words.)



ES.9 The student will investigate and understand how freshwater resources are influenced by geologic processes and the activities of humans. Key concepts include * processes of soil development; * development of karst topography; * identification of groundwater zones including water table, zone of saturation, and zone of aeration; * identification of other sources of fresh water including aquifers with reference to the hydrologic cycle; and * dependence on freshwater resources and the affects of human usage on water quality.

American Water Works Association

This project is devoted to raising public awareness of drinking water issues. Site inclues activities for students and ways for them to get involved.



ES.10 The student will investigate and understand that many aspects of the history and evolution of the Earth and life can be inferred by studying rocks and fossils. Key concepts include * traces or remains of ancient, often extinct, life are preserved by various means in many sedimentary rocks; * superposition, cross-cutting relationships, and radioactive decay are methods of dating bodies of rock; * absolute and relative dating have different applications but can be used together to determine the age of rocks and structures; and * rocks and fossils from many different geologic periods and epochs are found in Virginia.

Fossils, Rocks, and Time

An on-line article about fossils, rocks, and time. Written in terms that are easy to understand. Contains a clickable table of contens for easy use. Includes many pictures.



ES.11 The student will investigate and understand that oceans are complex, interactive physical, chemical, and biological systems and are subject to long- and short-term variations. Key concepts include * physical and chemical changes (tides, waves, currents, sea level and ice cap variations, upwelling, and salinity concentrations); * importance of environmental, geologic, and economic implications; * systems interactions (energy transfer, weather, and climate); * features of the sea floor (continental margins, trenches, mid-ocean ridges, and abyssal plains) reflect tectonic processes; and * public policy issues concerning the oceans.

Aquatic Network: Oceanography Topics

An extremely well organized site filled with tons of references to all things Ocean.



ES.12 The student will investigate and understand the origin and evolution of the atmosphere and the interrelationship of geologic processes, biologic processes, and human activities on its composition and dynamics. Key concepts include * scientific evidence for atmospheric changes over geologic time; * current theories related to the effects of early life on the chemical makeup of the atmosphere; * comparison of the Earth's atmosphere to that of other planets; * atmospheric regulation mechanisms; and * potential atmospheric compositional changes due to human, biologic, and geologic activity.

Ozone and the Atmosphere Main Menu

A mostly text description of the Earth's atmosphere and how it was formed. Also includes information on human impact on the Ozone Layer. Pictures that are available are excellent.



ES.13 The student will investigate and understand that energy transfer between the sun, Earth, and the Earth's atmosphere drives weather and climate on Earth. Key concepts include * observation and collection of weather data; * prediction of weather patterns; and * weather phenomena and the factors that affect climate.

TOPEX/Poseiden Main Screen

Allows students to explore the aspects of EL Nino using Poseiden Satellite information. Nicely organized with great pictures.



ES.14 The student will investigate and understand the planets and other members of the solar system; the history and contributions of the space program; and concepts related to the origin and evolution of the solar system, galaxy, and universe. Key concepts include * characteristics of the sun, planets, their moons, comets, meteors, and asteroids; and * cosmology and the origin of stars and stellar systems (the Big Bang, the solar nebular theory, stellar evolution, star systems, nebulae, constellations, and galaxies).

The StarChild Project

Allows students to choose from two different levels of learning. Both levels provide excellent information and pictures

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