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Earth and Space Science

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Eligibility: CTY-level or Advanced CTY-level math score required

Prerequisites: Completion of grade 5 math

Course Format: Individually paced

Course Length: Typically 3 months

Recommended School Credit: One-half academic year

Course Code: EAS

Course Description


CTY Online Programs’ middle school science series includes individually paced Life Science, Physical Science, and Earth and Space Science courses. Students who are interested in scientific inquiry, problem solving, and critical thinking are engaged through a vibrant online environment with graphics, animations, video, real-time feedback, activities, projects, and tests. Students apply knowledge and reinforce concepts learned in the lessons with “real world” interactive applications that build critical thinking and reinforce skills. The content in the middle school science series correlates to state and national curriculum standards and draws on software provided by Edmentum.

In the first three units of the course, students observe the phases of the Moon and use scientific evidence to understand how Earth, the Sun, and the Moon interact. They also examine other celestial objects in our solar system. In addition, this course describes the history of Earth through the study of energy flow, weathering and erosion, the rock cycle, and tectonic plate movements. Students apply their understanding of the three states of matter to explain the water cycle and other systems on Earth. The last three units of Earth and Space Science explains how convection shapes the weather, climate, and movement of ocean currents on Earth. The course takes an in-depth look at climate change and the greenhouse effect in Earth’s atmosphere. It draws attention to severe weather events and describes how technology plays a role in keeping communities safe. It also explores how the growing human population poses challenges for the distribution of Earth’s natural resources today and in the future.

Unit 1: Earth and Space
Unit 2: The History of Earth
Unit 3: Earth Systems
Unit 4: The Weather and Climate
Unit 5: Earth’s Changing Climate
Unit 6: Human Impacts on Earth

This course does not have any synchronous class meetings, but students may schedule one-on-one virtual meetings directly with the instructor to answer questions or concerns.

Videos from YouTube or other web providers may be present in this course. Video recommendations or links provided at end of videos are generated by the video host provider and are not CTY recommendations.

Materials Needed

This course includes two hands-on projects, but the materials needed will be dependent upon which project options are chosen.

Detailed Course Information

  • Apply the scientific method to Earth and space science investigations.
  • Explain the cyclic patterns of the seasons, the lunar phases, and eclipses of the Sun and Moon.
  • Compare and contrast properties of planets, moons, stars, asteroids, and comets.
  • Describe the interactions of energy between the four spheres of Earth.
  • Explain the role of water and wind in shaping Earth’s surface.
  • Compare the physical properties of minerals: hardness, color, luster, and streak.
  • Use historical data to explain the positions of the continents and the formation of volcanoes.
  • Explain particle motion of matter and the composition of substances.
  • Use evidence to explain that natural geological processes result in uneven distribution of Earth’s natural resources.
  • Describe how the uneven heating of Earth affects its weather and climate.
  • Use data from weather maps to explain the motion of air masses.
  • Use data collection tools to draw conclusions about current weather conditions.
  • Explain how current trends in carbon dioxide levels affect Earth’s climate.
  • Analyze evidence of climate change, and present your findings.
  • Determine the effectiveness of different methods of addressing climate change.
  • Use historical evidence of natural hazards to determine the disaster risk of a region.
  • Analyze data to explain how technology can limit the risk of damage from natural hazards.
  • Explain how the growing number of humans and their use of natural resources affect Earth’s systems.


Technical Requirements

This course requires a properly maintained computer with high-speed internet access and an up-to-date web browser (such as Chrome or Firefox). The student must be able to communicate with the instructor via email. Visit the Technical Requirements and Support page for more details.

Zoom online virtual classroom
This course uses an online virtual classroom which can be used for instructor-student communication if the student has any questions about the course or curriculum. The classroom works on standard computers with the Zoom desktop client and also tablets or handhelds that support the Zoom Mobile app. Students will need a computer with the Zoom desktop client installed to watch any recorded meetings. The Zoom desktop client and Zoom Mobile App are both available for free download.

This course uses Respondus LockDown Browser proctoring software for designated assessments. LockDown Browser is a client application that is installed to a local computer. Visit the Respondus website for system requirements.

While Chromebook can be used to progress through the course, all exams must be completed on a PC or Mac.


CTY Online Programs Science - Comments and Feedback from Students, Parents, and Teachers



"Fabulous course! The content is informative and appropriately challenging for this age level, well-organized and interesting. I think my daughter liked the experiments the best. I anticipate that she will also take the Biology and Chemistry courses in the future. Thank you!"

"The instructor was extremely positive and attentive. We especially loved her interactive 'question of the week' which challenged my son to do his own scientific research and inspired discussions about how science is applied to real life at our dinner table. Excellent course."

"The instructor is truly outstanding. She had a tremendously positive impact on my son. In addition to helping him build a richer understanding of the course material, she helped him to further develop self-confidence and determination."