Course title

VIRTUAL Earth Science



Course description

Earth Science offers a focused curriculum that explores Earth's composition, structure, processes, and history; its atmosphere, freshwater, and oceans; and its environment in space.

Course topics include an exploration of the major cycles that affect every aspect of life, including weather, climate, air movement, tectonics, volcanic eruptions, rocks, minerals, geologic history, Earth's environment, sustainability, and energy resources. Teacher-scored labs and projects encourage students to apply the scientific method.

This course is built to state standards and informed by the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA). Students spend a little under  an hour each week completing laboratory assignments.

This inquiry- and lab-based course is designed to support modern science curriculum and teaching practices. It robustly meets NGSS learning standards associated with high school Earth and space science. Content topics include scientific processes and methods, the universe, the Precambrian Earth, the Earth’s materials and tectonics, the hydrosphere and atmosphere, and human interactions with the Earth’s systems and resources.

Each lesson includes one or more inquiry-based activities that can be performed online within the context of the lesson. In addition, the course includes a significant number of hands-on lab activities. Approximately 40% of student time in this course is devoted to true lab experiences, as defined by the National Research Council (2006, p. 3).

Lab materials note: Most hands-on labs employ relatively-common household materials. 

Laboratory experiments list:

Lab: Investigate the Water Cycle

Complete a lab to investigate how living things are part of the water cycle in a terrarium you make as a model living system.Duration: 1 hr 30 mins

Lab: Investigate Cycling of O2 and CO2-

Complete a lab to model the carbon cycle by observing how plants and yeast exchange gases with their surroundings. Duration: 1 hr 30 mins

Lab: Modeling Convection in Earth's Interior

Complete a lab to build a model using warm and cold water to represent the cycling of matter inside Earth. Duration: 1 hr 30 mins 

Lab: Investigating How Water Affects Earth's Rock

Complete a lab to investigate how water's ability to dissolve various minerals contributes to the weathering and erosion of rocks.Duration: 1 hr 30 mins

Lab: Investigate Weathering and Erosion

Complete a lab to build a model using graham crackers to show how continental features are formed by weathering and erosion.  Duration: 1 hr 30 mins

Lab: Simulate Sustainable Resource Management

Complete a virtual lab to simulate the effects of sustainable and unsustainable agricultural practices. Duration: 1 hr 30 mins




School country

United States

School state


High school

Apex Learning Virtual School

School / district Address

5600 W 83rd St, Suite 300, 8200 Tower

School zip code


Requested competency code

Lab Science

Date submitted



Approved competency code

  • LGEO
  • Geology

Approved date

Online / Virtual