Sixth Grade: Earth Science

Weather and Water
The first unit encompasses both meteorology and an in-depth exploration of our planet’s atmosphere and climate systems.
 
Astronomy
Students begin their study of astronomy by researching the history of the field. With an understanding of how the field of astronomy has developed over time, students study Earth within the context of the solar system while exploring its potential origins and how the current celestial orientation evolved. 
The astronomy unit is built upon a close relationship with the American Museum of Natural History’s Hayden Planetarium. We also collaborate closely with Columbia University, where our students visit Columbia University’s Pupin Physics facility, explore the astronomy library, visit the Rutherfurd Observatory, and speak with graduate students. The following week, a team of scientists from Columbia University’s astronomy department visits our classroom for a guest lesson on light from stars. Students also work with a physics professor, who teaches them about light and the electromagnetic spectrum.
 
Geology
The final unit of the year focuses on the connection between the earth’s weather and the role it continuously plays in shaping the earth’s landscape. Students are reminded that the current state of the earth lacks permanence and it is in a constant process of geological change.