Emily Currier

 

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Observing sand grains under a microscope.

Welcome to 6th grade science on the Sapphire team! I’ve been teaching middle and high school science for more than 20 years! I grew up on a farm in northern Michigan and moved to Montana with my husband and kids in 2002. I earned a B.S. in Earth Science/Geography with teacher certification in Secondary Education from Michigan State University and an M.S. in Science Education from Montana State University. (I only attend MSU’s- ha!) I’m passionate about Earth Science and middle school is my absolute favorite level to teach. Can’t wait to dig into some science with you!signature

Geology on Mars

Anchor Phenomenon

Analyzing data about landforms on Mars can provide evidence that Mars may have once been habitable.

 

Student Role

As planetary geologists, students analyze data about geoscience processes on the surface of Mars, in order to decide whether Mars could have been habitable.

 

Focal performance expectations

  • ESS1-3: Scale in the Solar System
  • ESS2-2: Geoscience Processes

Plate Motion

Anchor phenomenon

Mesosaurus fossils have been found on continents separated by thousands of kilometers of ocean, even though the Mesosaurus species once lived all together.

 

Student Role

Students play the role of geologists working for the fictional Museum of West Namibia to investigate Mesosaurus fossils found both in southern Africa and in South America.

 

Focal performance expectations

  • ESS1-4: Strata and Earth Age
  • ESS2-2: Geoscience Processes
  • ESS2-3: Evidence for Plate Motion

PLATE MOTION ENGINEERING INTERNSHIP

 Anchor phenomenon

Patterns in earthquake data can be used to design an effective tsunami warning system.

 

 Student Role

Students act as mechanical engineering interns to design a tsunami warning system. Students communicate like engineers and scientists do as they use their understanding of plate motion and patterns in data to create and justify their designs.

 

 Focal performance expectations

  • ESS3-2: Natural Hazards
  • ETS1-1: Criteria and Constraints
  • ETS1-2: Evaluating Solutions
  • ETS1-3: Analyzing Results
  • ETS1-4: Modeling and Iterative Testing

 Connections to other performance expectations

  • ESS2-2: Geoscience Processes
  • ESS2-3: Evidence for Plate Motion

Links

Rock Transformations

 Anchor phenomenon

Rock samples from the Great Plains and from the Rocky Mountains — regions hundreds of miles apart — look very different, but have surprisingly similar mineral compositions.

 

 Student Role

As geologists, students investigate the mystery of how 2-billion-year- old sand grains could be found on an island that formed only 9 million years ago. They apply ideas about cycling of Earth materials.

 

 Focal performance expectations

  • ESS2-1: Earth’s Materials
  • ESS2-2: Geoscience Processes
  • ESS3-1: Distribution of Natural Resources

 Connections to other performance expectations

  • ESS1-3: Scale in the Solar System
  • ESS2-3: Evidence for Plate Motion

Earth, Moon and Sun

 Anchor phenomenon

An astrophotographer can only take pictures of specific features on the Moon at certain times.

 

 Student Role

Students play the role of student astronomers who must learn about the Earth, Moon, Sun system, including phases and eclipses, in order to advise an astrophotographer who is photographing Moon features.

 

 Focal performance expectations

  • ESS1-1: Earth, Sun, Moon System
  • ESS1-2: Gravity
  • ESS1-3: Scale in the Solar System

 Connections to other performance expectations

  • PS2-4: Gravity Depends on Mass

Ocean, Atmosphere and Climate

 Anchor phenomenon

During El Niño years, the air temperature in Christchurch, New Zealand is cooler than usual.

 

 Student Role

As climatologists, students must explain the pattern of temperature changes in El Niño years, which are impacting agriculture around the Pacific. They learn about how sunlight, ocean, and atmosphere interact to produce regional climate.

 

 Focal performance expectations

  • ESS2-6: Climate Patterns

 Connections to other performance expectations

  • PS1-4: Phase Change
  • PS3-3: Thermal Energy Transfer
  • ESS2-3: Evidence for Plate Motion
  • ESS2-5: Air Masses
  • ESS3-2: Natural Hazards

Weather Patterns

 Anchor phenomenon

In recent years, rainstorms in Galetown have been unusually severe.

 

 Student Role

Students play the role of forensic meteorologists who must explain why powerful storms have increased after a manmade lake was built. They learn how air masses, water, and energy from the Sun produce weather phenomena.

 

 Focal performance expectations

  • ESS2-4: The Water Cycle
  • ESS2-5: Air Masses

 Connections to other performance expectations

  • PS1-4: Phase Change
  • PS3-3: Thermal Energy Transfer
  • ESS2-1: Earth’s Materials
  • ESS2-6: Climate Patterns
  • ESS3-2: Natural Hazards

Earth's Changing Climate

Anchor phenomenon

The ice on Earth’s surface is melting.

 

 Student Role

In their role as climatologists, students must explain why Earth’s ice is melting. They learn about how changes in the atmosphere are affecting the energy balance in the Earth’s system, and about humans’ role in these changes.

 

 Focal performance expectations

  • ESS3-3: Designs to Minimize Impact
  • ESS3-4: Human Population
  • ESS3-5: Factors for Global Temperature

 Connections to other performance expectations

  • LS2-1: Resources and Populations
  • LS2-4: Changes Affect Populations
  • ESS3-2: Natural Hazards

EARTH’S CHANGING CLIMATE ENGINEERING INTERNSHIP

 Anchor phenomenon

Designing rooftops with different modifications can reduce a city’s impact on climate change.

 

 Student Role

As civil engineering interns, students apply design and engineering concepts as they create a plan for making changes to building rooftops. Their goal is to make a city more energy efficient, and thus reduce the carbon dioxide produced from combustion.

 

 Focal performance expectations

  • ESS3-3: Designs to Minimize Impact
  • ETS1-1: Criteria and Constraints
  • ETS1-2: Evaluating Solutions
  • ETS1-3: Analyzing Results
  • ETS1-4: Modeling and Iterative Testing

 Connections to other performance expectations

  • PS4-2: Waves Interact with Materials
  • ESS3-5: Factors for Global Temperature

Upcoming Events

  • August 29, 2018

    WEB Day!

    Welcome to 6th Grade!

Emily Currier's Schedule

  • 1st Period

    Science - 6

  • 2nd Period

    Teacher Prep

  • 3rd Period

    Science - 6

  • 4th Period

    Science - 6

  • 5th Period

    Advisor - 6

  • 6th Period

    Science - 6

  • 7th Period

    Science - 6