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Earth's Systems

Total Unit Running Time: 35-45* minutes

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FIELD TRIP : Wildcat Den State Park 

Running Time: 4:53 


From inside of a large gorge, meet up with VVR Host, Steve Grubbs to learn about frost wedging and water  erosion. From various vantages around this state park, students will learn and witness how the hydrologic and rock  cycles interact to alter Earth’s surfaces. For more information and facts about Wildcat Den State Park, visit  https:.visitmuscatine.com/258/Wildcat-Den-State-Park

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INTERACTIVE EXPERIENCE : Trickybeard’s Challenge 

Running Time: Self-paced* 

Deep in Trickybeard’s fiery lair, treasure chests are arranged in a circular pattern and are color-coded. Each hue  signifies a different element within the unit (e.g., field trip, teacher demo, etc.). Students will match the chests that  identify a common relationship between the contents of the respective darker and lighter chests. A color legend is  provided to keep students on track.

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STORY 1 : Earth’s Interior & Thermal Convection 

Running Time: 7:08 


Topics Covered  

  • Layers of Earth & their characteristics 
  • Causes of core heat 
  • Plate tectonics demonstrated

Assessment Answer Key  & Critical Thinking Skills

  1. C (BT2—comprehension)
  2. A (BT4—analysis) 
  3. B (BT1—knowledge) 
  4. B (BT6—evaluation) 
  5. D (BT2—comprehension)
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STORY 2 : Water & Rocks: Opposites Attract

Running Time: 7:10 


Topics Covered 

  • H20’s impact on Earth & surface processes 
  • Concepts of mass wasting, breccia, and pahoehoe

Assessment Answer Key  & Critical Thinking Skills

  1. C (BT3—application) 
  2. D (BT4—analysis) 
  3. D (BT1—knowledge) 
  4. B (BT4—analysis) 
  5. D (BT2—comprehension)
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TEACHER DEMO: Sustainable Forests With Wendy  

Running Time: 9:31 


Vocabulary: climax community, carbon fixation, primary productivity 

Topics Covered 

  • Importance of carbon recycling 
  • Sustainable forestry

Assessment Answer Key  & Critical Thinking Skills 

  1. B (BT2—comprehension)
  2. B (BT1—knowledge) 
  3. C (BT4—analysis) 
  4. A (BT4—analysis) 
  5. D (BT5—synthesis) 


Logger, Environmental Engineer, Land Manager

Science Standards: 

NGSS: HS-ESS2-3, HS-ESS2-5, HS-ESS2-6; TEKS: 112.34(c.12.E), 112.34(c.12.F),112.35(c.10.A), 112.36(c.2.F), 112.36(c.2.G), 112.36(c.2.I), 112.36(c.9.A),  112.36(c.9.B), 112.36(c.9.C), 112.36(c.10.A), 112.36(c.10.B),112.36(c.10.C), 112.36(c.10.D),112.36(c.11.A), 112.37(c.3.E), 112.37(c.4.C), 112.37(c.4.D),  112.37(c.5.A), 112.37(c.5.C), 112.37(c.5.E), 112.37(c.5.F), 112.37(c.8.C), 112.37(c.9.E), 112.37(c.9.F); CPALMS: SC.912.E.6.1, SC.912.E.6.2, SC.912.E6.3,  SC.912.E.6.4, SC.912.E.7.1, SC.912.E.7.3, SC.912.L.17.10, SC.912.L.17.11, SC.912L.17.12, SC.912.L.17.17, SC.912.L.17.20, SC.912.L.17.4, SC.912.N.1.6,  SC.912.N.3.1, SC.912.N.3.5,SC.912.N.4.1, SC.912.N.4.2, SC.912.P.10.4, SC.912.P.10.20, SC.912.P.10.21,