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FOSS Planetary Science Investigation 1: Where am I? (4 days)
Big Idea
A person's specific location can be described in many ways, depending on the particular frame of reference. Scale includes understanding the different characteristics, properties, or relationships within a system might change as its dimensions are increased or decreased.(NSES)
Essential Questions
How can you create a map to represent your location?
How does elevation affect the appearance of structures?
How does the number of observations of human-made structures compare to the number of natural structures as the elevation increases?

Select appropriate resources for background information related to a question, for use in the design of a controlled investigation.
Form a logical argument about a correlation between variables or sequence of events (e.g., construct a cause-and-effect chain that explains a sequence of events).
Describe how a major milestone in science or technology has revolutionized the thinking of the time (e.g., global positioning system, telescopes, seismographs, photography).
Keep a record of observations, notes, sketches, questions, and ideas using tools such as written and/or computer logs.
Communicate the results of an investigation with appropriate use of qualitative and quantitative information.
Describe how scientific knowledge is subject to change as new information and/or technology challenges prevailing theories.
Draw a map to represent the school environment. Interpret representations of human-made and natural structures in photographs taken from various elevations.
Science & Engineering Practices
Obtaining, Evaluating, and Communicating Information
Analyzing and Interpreting Data
Content/Core Ideas
  • A map is a representation of a place or area.
  • Elevation is the distance above Earth's surface, often measured from sea level.
Crosscutting Concepts
  • Scale, Proportion, and Quantity
  • Systems and System Models
Systems and System Models
Academic Vocabulary
  • planetary system
  • location
  • frame of reference
  • map
  • point of view or bird's-eye view
  • elevation
  • aerial photography
  • resolution
Electronic Resources
Earth Observatory
Mid-summative Exam 1
Where am I? Response Sheet
Edited Response Sheet:  Where am I?