Environmental Science Syllabus

Environmental Science

Mr. Wilbanks


Course Objective:


            Students will engage in an inquiry-based curriculum using logic, reasoning, and team work to apply scientific methods to solve real-world problems.  The course will consist of both literature review and laboratory research.  Students will focus on data analysis and proper research procedures while learning about the chemical, biological, and physical processes that govern our solar system, planet, and ecosystem.


Course Outline:


            The class will be divided into seven research groups.  Each group will be given a topic for extensive literature review and research.  The goal of the research groups is to address certain topics and issues that will be provided on a research rubric.  Each group will present their data on a rotating schedule.  Students that are not presenting data will be responsible for listening and taking whatever steps necessary to retain the information being presented by the other groups.  Students will be tested over ALL information presented.  Students will also be assigned to rotating laboratory research groups.  A series of laboratory research projects will be completed and findings will be reported to the instructor and presented to the class.


The research topics will be as follows:


  • Earth System
    • How does the Earth’s position in the solar system (abiotic factors) impact the global ecosystem?
  • The Living World
    • The global ecosystem and how biotic and abiotic factors interact.
  • Human Population
    • The impact of human population, particularly overpopulation, on the environment.
  • Water and Land Resources
    • How can humans use natural resources in a sustainable way?
  • Energy Resources and Consumption
    • Are we using our energy resources in a sustainable way and what impact does our use of these resource have on the environment?
  • Waste Production and Pollution
    • How can we mimic nature to provide goods and services for the growing human population in ways that do not pollute the environment?
  • Global Change and Civic Responsibility
    • Explore the factors (both human-caused and non-human-caused) that effect global climate change and explore what responsibility human kind has in environmental stability.




Social Contract:

            Students will develop a social contract to govern the class before instruction and research begins.

Grading System:

Numerical grades will be determined using the following system and letter grades will be assigned per the school board grading scale:


            Literature review and research presentations                              100 Points each

            Laboratory research presentations and reports                            100 Points each

            Exams over literature review                                                     100 Points each

            Mid term/final exam                                                                 200 Points



            Final Grade =  Points earned \ Points possible x 100%


Instructor Availability:


            Students needing extra help may schedule time with me for extra instruction before or after school.  Students may also contact me via email (jwilbanks@mauryk12.org) for help on assignments.  My email goes directly to my phone and will be read and responded to as fast as possible.

            Parents may contact me by phone at school during school hours, by email, or by scheduling a meeting at the school.