Academic journal article Science Scope

Cycles and Connections

Academic journal article Science Scope

Cycles and Connections

Article excerpt

Knowledge of the basic interconnections between the cycles of the land, water, air, and living things is necessary for students to make sense of the world around them. The cycles in nature are the backbone of much learning in all areas of science and essential to scientific literacy.

Most middle level students are too young to recognize on their own the complex relationships among the natural cycles. They seldom connect one cycle with another nor do they see the relevance of the cycles to human events and natural phenomena so it is the job of the teacher to jump start students' "discovery" of the interconnectedness, for example, of the lithosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere, and biosphere and the cycles of matter and energy.

I know how0 challenging this task is for middle level science teachers. I also know how rewarding it can be to see students suddenly piece together isolated snippets of information into a complex, interwoven web. When my students "get" the connection between how the carbon dioxide released from a car engine today is related to ancient plants, photosynthesis, the Sun, and the rock cycle, I know I have given them a core understanding that will be good for a lifetime.

This issue of Science Scope presents a collection of articles that will get your students thinking about natural cycles and how they connect to real-world happenings. …

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