MA in Geosciences Areas of Study

WGU Master of Arts in Science Education (5–12, Geosciences)

The Master of Arts in Science Education (5-12, Geosciences) is a competency-based degree program that prepares already licensed teachers to be licensed to teach earth and space science in grades 5-12 and provides the opportunity to develop skills in science curriculum development, design, and evaluation. All work in this degree program is online and includes Mathematics Content, General Science Content, Geosciences Content, and Science Education courses. All students complete a culminating Teacher Performance Assessment.

Mathematics Content

Trigonometry and Precalculus
Trigonometry and Precalculus covers the knowledge and skills necessary to apply trigonometry, complex numbers, systems of equations, vectors and matrices, sequence and series, and to use appropriate technology to model and solve real-life problems. Topics include degrees; radians and arcs; reference angles and right triangle trigonometry; applying, graphing and transforming trigonometric functions and their inverses; solving trigonometric equations; using and proving trigonometric identities; geometric, rectangular, and polar approaches to complex numbers; DeMoivre's Theorem; systems of linear equations and matrix-vector equations; systems of nonlinear equations; systems of inequalities; and arithmetic and geometric sequences and series. College Algebra is a prerequisite for this course.

General Science Content

Integrated Natural Sciences
Integrated Natural Sciences covers the subject area of natural sciences, including the use of the scientific method to derive conclusions based on research. Topics covered include astronomy, geology, environmental science and ecosystems, and organisms.

General Chemistry I
In this course students will attain a solid understanding of fundamental chemistry concepts and a reasonable ability to solve chemical problems. Topics include measurement, elements and compounds, properties of matter and energy, the periodic table and chemical nomenclature, quantities in chemistry, chemical reactions, the modern atomic theory, and the chemical bond. Laboratory work focuses on using effective laboratory techniques to examine the physical and chemical characteristics of matter.

General Chemistry Laboratory I
In this course students will attain a solid understanding of fundamental chemistry concepts and a reasonable ability to solve chemical problems. Topics include measurement, elements and compounds, properties of matter and energy, the periodic table and chemical nomenclature, quantities in chemistry, chemical reactions, the modern atomic theory, and the chemical bond. Laboratory work focuses on using effective laboratory techniques to examine the physical and chemical characteristics of matter.

General Physics
This course provides a broad overview of the principles of mechanics, thermodynamics, wave motion, modern physics, and electricity and magnetism and invites students to apply them by solving problems, performing labs, and reflecting on concepts and ideas.

Ecology and Environmental Science
Ecology and Environmental Science is an introductory course for graduate students seeking initial licensure or endorsement in science education for grades 5–12. The course introduction to ecology and environmental science and explores the relationships between organisms and their environment, including population ecology, communities, adaptations, distributions, interactions, and the environmental factors controlling these relationships. This course has no prerequisites.

Geosciences Content

Geology I: Physical
Geology I: Physical provides graduate students seeking licensure or endorsement in science education for grades 5-12 with an introduction to minerals and rocks, the physical features of the Earth, and the internal and surface processes that shape those features. This course has no prerequisites.

Geology II: Earth Systems
Geology II: Earth Systems provides graduate students seeking licensure or endorsement in science education for grades 5-12 with an examination of the geosphere, atmosphere, hydrosphere, and biosphere, and the dynamic equilibrium of these systems over geologic time. This course also examines the history of Earth and its life-forms, with an emphasis in meteorology. A prerequisite for this course is Geology I: Physical.

Astronomy
This course provides graduate students seeking initial licensure or endorsement in geosciences for grades 5−12 with essential knowledge of astronomy and explores Western history and basic physics of astronomy; phases of the moon and seasons; composition and properties of solar system bodies; stellar evolution and remnants; properties and scale of objects and distances within the universe; and introductory cosmology. A prerequisite for this course is General Physics.

The Ocean Systems
In this course, learners investigate the complex ocean system by looking at the way its components—atmosphere, biosphere, geosphere, hydrosphere—interact. Specific topics include: origins of Earth’s oceans and the early history of life; physical characteristics and geologic processes of the ocean floor; chemistry of the water molecule; energy flow between air and water, and how ocean surface currents and deep circulation patterns affect weather and climate; marine biology and why ecosystems are an integral part of the ocean system; the effects of human activity; and the role of professional educators in teaching about ocean systems.

Earth Science: Content Knowledge
This course covers the advanced content knowledge that a secondary earth/space science teacher is expected to know and understand. Topics include basic scientific principles of earth and space sciences, tectonics and internal earth processes, earth materials and surface processes, history of Earth and its life-forms, Earth's atmosphere and hydrosphere, and astronomy.

Science Education

Science, Technology, and Society
Science, Technology, and Society explores the ways in which science influences and is influenced by society and technology. A humanistic and social endeavor, science serves the needs of ever-changing societies by providing methods for observing, questioning, discovering, and communicating information about the physical and natural world. This course prepares educators to explain the nature and history of science, the various applications of science, and the scientific and engineering processes used to conduct investigations, make decisions, and solve problems. There are no prerequisites for this course.

Science Methods
Science Methods provides graduate students seeking additional licensure or endorsement in the sciences for grades 5-12 with an introduction to science teaching methods and laboratory safety training. Course content focuses on designing and teaching with the three dimensions of science: disciplinary core ideas, crosscutting concepts, and science and engineering practices. Laboratory safety training and certification will include the proper use of personal protective equipment and safe laboratory practices and procedures in science classrooms. This course has no prerequisites.

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