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Content & Coursework:
Earth and Space Science (Grade 5-Adult)

West Virginia Board of Education Policy 2520.3C Next Generation Content Standards and Objectives for Science in West Virginia Schools, effective July 1, 2016, all ninth-graders will be required to take Earth and Space Science, a course that is a part of the Earth and Space Science objectives for Kindergarten through high school. Note that the course is for ninth grade; the certification is Grade 5-Adult, according to Policy 5100 Teacher Preparation. This excerpt from Policy 2520.3C describes the objectives for the ninth grade course:

Earth and Space Science - Grade 9

The ninth grade Earth and Space Science (ESS) course builds upon science concepts from middle school by revealing the complexity of Earth’s interacting systems, evaluating and using current data to explain Earth’s place in the universe and enabling students to relate Earth Science to many aspect of human society.  Disciplinary core ideas, science and engineering practices, and crosscutting concepts are intertwined as students focus on five ESS content topics: Space Systems, History of Earth, Earth’s Systems, Weather and Climate, and Human Sustainability. The objectives strongly reflect the many societally relevant aspects of ESS (resources, hazards, environmental impacts) with an emphasis on using engineering and technology concepts to design solutions to challenges facing human society. Engineering, Technology, and the Application of Science objectives are integrated throughout instruction as students define problems and design solutions related to the course objectives. There is a focus on several scientific practices which include developing and using models, planning and conducting investigations, analyzing and interpreting data, using mathematical and computational thinking, constructing explanations and designing solutions. Students will engage in active inquiries, investigations, and hands-on activities as they develop and demonstrate conceptual understandings and research and laboratory skills described in the objectives. Safety instruction is integrated in all activities, and students will implement safe procedures and practices when manipulating equipment, materials, organisms, and models.

In their course, students will address many objectives, including developing a model based on evidence of Earth’s interior to describe the cycling of matter by thermal convection. They will create  a computer simulation to model the impact of proposed solutions to a complex real-world problem with numerous criteria and constraints on interactions within and between systems relevant to the problem.

Because the Earth and Space Science (ESS) objectives begin in Kindergarten, ninth-graders will be ready for their Earth and Space Science course, building on their foundation of science, engineering, math, writing, research, technology, and critical thinking skills.

Most of the courses in this program are standard for high school science. Two are unique to OVU- NSC 150 21st Century Science and NSC 321 Oceanographic & Atmospheric Science. This certification program will be available at a distance.

Many students completing our General Science Grade 5-Adult certification program also add Biology or Earth and Space Science. The overlaps in coursework will make it very possible to complete two certification programs, if desired.


EDUC 333 Methods of Teaching Science, 5-Adult (3 credit hours)

Biological Sciences (8 credit hours):
NSC 142 General Biology II (4 credit hours)
NSC 411 Ecology (4 credit hours)

Physical Sciences (16 credit hours):
NSC 145 General Chemistry I (4 credit hours)
NSC 146 General Chemistry II (4 credit hours)
NSC 150 Twenty-First Century Science (4 credit hours)
NSC 231 Introduction to Astronomy (4 credit hours)
NSC 232 Physical Geology (4 credit hours)
NSC 244 Physics I (4 credit hours)
NSC 245 Physics II (4 credit hours)
NSC 321 Oceanographic and Atmospheric Science (4 credit hours)

Mathematics (6 credit hours):
MAT 350 Mathematical Modeling (3 credit hours)
MAT 151 College Algebra* (3 credit hours)
       *A higher-level algebra or calculus course may be substituted for College Algebra


All of Ohio Valley University’s teacher certification programs offered by the College of Education have been approved by the West Virginia State Board of Education .