Eighth grade Space & Earth Science takes an in depth look at the physical non-living universe that can be divided into four major divisions or spheres. The four divisions are as follows: the celestial sphere – outer space; the atmosphere – the layers of gases surrounding the earth; the hydrosphere – the natural waters that cover and penetrate the earth’s surface; and the lithosphere – the solid part of the earth and its surface.
Eighth grade earth science begins with the study of space: the sun, moon, planets, and all other objects beyond the earth’s atmosphere, including the technology used to study space, will be considered. The earth’s atmosphere is described and discussed in the second unit. The atmosphere’s design provides protection and sustenance for life on Earth. Meteorology, atmospheric water in the form of clouds, and movement in the atmosphere, such as storms and winds, will be examined. Students should be able to identify simple weather maps and patterns at the end of this unit. The third unit of study introduces the solid part of the earth, the lithosphere. An introduction to geology will be presented including the identification of minerals and ores, rocks and fossils. Also, the study of the earth’s plate tectonics will explore the earth’s frequent earthquakes and volcanoes. The hydrosphere is the fourth and final unit of study. The presence of large quantities of water makes the Earth different from every other known planet in the universe. A close look at the earth’s oceans and seas, glaciers, and groundwater systems will show how this important resource can shape the Earth’s surface and subsurface. Pre-algebra is required, but it can be taken concurrently.