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

Ohio Model Curriculum – Physical Geology

Alignment with ORAM 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.  High scores correlate with better habitat improving biodiversity


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

-The ORAM metric scores predict the category a wetland is (higher the score the better the wetland, meaning more biodiversity)

- Predictions for each metric are based on evidence that they collect while completing the ORAM


• Understand the nature and development of scientific knowledge;

-ORAM protocol is based on empirical evidence from wetlands across Ohio.  New evidence may change the protocols or their interpretations


• 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 wetland to support life using six metrics based evidence from observations. They identify questions and concepts that link biological findings to the physical environment, i.e. what type of plant species were prevalent? What was the coverage of invasive species in the wetland?


• Design and conduct scientific investigations;

- Students observe wetlands, and hypothesize the hydrology, habitat alteration and development, and plant communities present in the wetland. They follow a standardized protocol to gather data and score the wetland.


• Use technology and mathematics to improve investigations and communications;

- The use of QR Codes to connect the students to the six metrics allows the use of technology in the completion of the ORAM.


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

- Results are compared with other wetlands and other sites where the biological data does not support the physical data, and students have to hypothesize why.

- 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 wetland based on data.


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

    • This correlates to next generation HS-ESS2-3

    • Thermal energy within the Earth

    • This correlates to next generation code HS-ESS2-3

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

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

  • Metamorphic

    • Students can measure the condition of soil and rock within the wetlands to determine the structure and age of the land

  • Students can determine the stability or direction of the land by determining the state of the rocks and how the rocks are forming or changing

  • Students can compare and contrast the soil composition and quality between different wetlands

  • This correlates to next generation code HS-ESS1-5

  • 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

    • Students will be able to test the quality of water samples taken from the wetlands

    • Students will take samples of soils and test for contamination

    • Students will look for any signs of erosion and drift lines within the wetland to measure water displacement and flow

    • Students will observe water sources within the wetlands and measure or take note of sediment deposits

    • Students will observe how and where minerals and other sediments are deposited due to the effect of runoff and water erosion as well as other disturbances (grazing, plowing, vehicle use).

  • 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

    • This correlates to next generation code HS-ESS2-5

  • 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

  • This correlates to next generation code HS-ESS2-2

Earth’s History


The geologic rock record


Relative and absolute age


Principles to determine relative age

  • Original horizontality

  • Superposition

  • Cross-cutting relationships

  • Students will be able to look at rock formations located near the stream and analyze the age of the stream using the rock wall as a reference.

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

    • This correlates to next generation code HS-ESS1-6

  • Climate changes evident through the rock record

  • Students will be able to collect samples from the streams identify their composition and classify them

  • Students will then be able to determine the stream’s health and turbidity

  • This correlates to next generation code HS-ESS1-5

  • Fossil record


Plate Tectonics


Internal Earth

Seismic waves

  • S and P waves

  • Velocities, reflection, refraction of waves

  • This correlates to next generation code HS-ESS2-1 and HS-ESS2-3


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)

  • This correlates to next generation code 2-ESS2-2 and HS-ESS2-3


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

  • This correlates to next generation code HS-ESS1-5


Earth’s Resources


Energy resources

  • Renewable and nonrenewable energy sources and efficiency

  • Alternate energy sources and efficiency

  • Resource availability

  • Mining and resource extraction

  • This correlates to next generation code HS-ESS3-2 and HS-ESS3-3


Air and Air pollution

a. Primary and secondary contaminants

b. Greenhouse gases

c. Clean Air Act

d. Point source and nonpoint source contamination

e. This correlates to next generation code HS-ESS2-6 and HS-ESS2-2


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

  • This correlates to next generation code HS-ESS2-5

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