This page features the ETA protocol aligned to the Ohio Science Standards:  

Ohio Model Curriculum – Physical Geology

Alignment with ETA Protocol


1)  Overall Goals


• Know, use and interpret scientific explanations of the natural world;

-Hydrology, habitat alteration and development, and plant communities all relate to the creation of habitat for living organisms.

-The better outcome from the survey, the more money the community will is worth as far as trees goes which is related to habitat improving biodiversity


• Generate and evaluate scientific evidence and explanations, distinguishing science from pseudoscience

-The ETA metric allows a community to see how much money it will provide based on the tree survey

-The ETA can also display a map of the trees that have been surveyed, which includes the species, diameter, GPS location, and any maintenance that is required


• Understand the nature and development of scientific knowledge;

-The ETA allows the students to understand that scientific knowledge is constantly changing and improving.

• Participate productively in scientific practices and discourse.

- Students learn about common scientific protocols, metrics and how they are used to compare results gathered by anyone using the protocol.

- Students see how to interpret their results in light of the results gathered by others using the same protocols increasing discourse among scientists

2) Specific Curricular Goals

Science Inquiry and Application

• Identify questions and concepts that guide scientific investigations;

-Students determine the quality of tree in its environment  based on observations and questions from the app. They identify questions and concepts that link biological findings to the physical environment, i.e. Is the bark damaged? What condition are the leaves in?


• Design and conduct scientific investigations;

- Students observe trees, and hypothesize the hydrology, habitat alteration and development, and plant communities present in the urban tree distribution. They follow a standardized protocol to gather data and score the trees through a mobile web app.


• Use technology and mathematics to improve investigations and communications;

-The use of smartphones and tablets in completing ETA will allow the students to use technology to improve their learning.

• Formulate and revise explanations and models using logic and evidence (critical thinking);

- Results can be compared with other trees and other sites in surrounding areas

- Results are used to determine the best place to sight future development and to conserve habitat.


• Recognize and analyze explanations and models; and

-Students relate habitat to the biology of organisms determining why specific habitats support organisms that are more sensitive to changes in high quality environments

• Communicate and support a scientific argument.

- Students use their own data to determine the quality of the tree they observed.

Course Content

  • Igneous

    • Mafic and felsic rocks and minerals

    • Intrusive (igneous structures: dikes, sills, batholiths, pegmatites)

    • Earth’s interior (inner core, outer core, lower mantle, upper mantle, Mohorovicic discontinuity, crust)

    • Magnetic reversals and Earth’s magnetic field

    • Thermal energy within the Earth

    • Extrusive (volcanic activity, volcanoes: cinder cones, composite, shield)

    • Bowen’s Reaction Series (continuous and discontinuous branches)

  • Metamorphic

    • Pressure, stress, temperature and compressional forces

  • Foliated (regional), non-foliated (contact)

  • Parent rock and degrees of metamorphism

  • Metamorphic zones (where metamorphic rocks are found)

  • Sedimentary

    • The ocean

  • Tides (daily, neap and spring)

  • Currents (deep and shallow, rip and longshore)

  • Thermal energy and water density

  • Waves

  • Ocean features (ridges, trenches, island systems, abyssal zone, shelves, slopes, reefs, island arcs)

  • Passive and active continental margins

  • Division of sedimentary rocks and minerals (chemical, clastic/physical, organic)

  • Depositional environments

  • Streams (channels, streambeds, floodplains, cross-bedding, alluvial fans, deltas)

  • Transgressing and regressing sea levels

Earth’s History


The geologic rock record


Relative and absolute age


Principles to determine relative age

  • Original horizontality

  • Superposition

  • Cross-cutting relationships

Absolute age

  • Radiometric dating (isotopes, radioactive decay)

  • Correct uses of radiometric dating


Combining relative and absolute age data


The geologic time scale

  • Comprehending geologic time

    • Climate changes evident through the rock record

  • Fossil record


Plate Tectonics


Internal Earth

Seismic waves

  • S and P waves

  • Velocities, reflection, refraction of waves

Structure of Earth (Note: specific layers were part of grade 8)

  • Asthenosphere

  • Lithosphere

  • Mohorovicic boundary (Moho)

  • Composition of each of the layers of Earth

  • Gravity, magnetism and isostasy

  • Thermal energy (geothermal gradient and heat flow)

Historical review (Note: this would include a review of continental drift and sea-floor spreading found in grade 8)

  • Paleomagnetism and magnetic anomalies

  • Paleoclimatology


Plate motion (Note: introduced in grade 8)

  • Causes and evidence of plate motion

  • Measuring plate motion

  • Characteristics of oceanic and continental plates

  • Relationship of plate movement and geologic events and features

  • Mantle plumes


Earth’s Resources


Energy resources

  • Renewable and nonrenewable energy sources and efficiency

  • Alternate energy sources and efficiency

  • Resource availability

  • Mining and resource extraction


Air and Air pollution

a. Primary and secondary contaminants

b. Greenhouse gases

c. Clean Air Act

d. Point source and nonpoint source contamination

Students will be observing canopy cover and can measure the amount of CO2 gases surrounding the area. The students can also research the Clean Air act and consider that while renovating the trees.

Glacial Geology

Glaciers and glaciation

  • Evidence of past glaciers (including features formed through erosion or deposition)

  • Glacial deposition and erosion (including features formed through erosion or deposition)

  • Data from ice cores

  • Historical changes (glacial ages, amounts, locations, particulate matter, correlation to fossil evidence)

  • Evidence of climate changes throughout Earth’s history

  • Glacial distribution and causes of glaciation

  • Types of glaciers – continental (ice sheets, ice caps), alpine/valley (piedmont, valley,

cirque, ice caps)

  • Glacial structure, formation and movement

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