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How elections are impacted by a 100 million year old coastline

How elections are impacted by a 100 million year old coastline

Earth Science and Geology impact American social and political life in unexpected ways

Hale County in west central Alabama and Bamberg County in southern South Carolina are 450 miles apart.  Both counties have a population of 16,000 of which around 60% are African American.  The median households and per capita incomes are well below their respective state’s median, in Hale nearly $10,000 less.  Both were named after confederate officers–Stephen Fowler Hale and Francis Marion Bamberg.  And although Hale’s county seat is the self-proclaimed Catfish Capitol, pulling catfish out of the Edisto River in Bamberg County is a favorite past time.

These two counties share another unique feature. Amidst a blanket of Republican red both Hale and Bamberg voted primarily Democratic in the 2000, 2004, and again in the 2008 presidential elections.  Indeed, Hale and Bamberg belong to a belt of counties cutting through the deep south–Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina–that have voted over 50% Democratic in recent presidential elections.

Why? A 100 million year old coastline.

Creteaceous North America coastline

During the Cretaceous, 139-65 million years ago, shallow seas covered much of the southern United States.   These tropical waters were productive–giving rise to tiny marine plankton with carbonate skeletons which overtime accumulated into massive chalk formations.  The chalk, both alkaline and porous, lead to fertile and well-drained soils in a band, mirroring that ancient coastline and stretching across the now much drier South.   This arc of rich and dark soils in Alabama has long been known as the Black Belt.

But many, including Booker T. Washington, coopted the term to refer to the entire Southern band. Washington wrote in his 1901 autobiography, Up from Slavery, “The term was first used to designate a part of the country which was distinguished by the color of the soil. The part of the country possessing this thick, dark, and naturally rich soil…”

Cretaceous rocks Alabama

Over time this rich soil produced an amazingly productive agricultural region, especially for cotton.  In 1859 alone a harvest of over 4,000 cotton bales was not uncommon within the belt. And yet, just tens of miles north or south this harvest was rare.  Of course this level of cotton production required extensive labor.

Cotton in 1859 USA

As Washington notes further in his autobiography, “The part of the country possessing this thick, dark, and naturally rich soil was, of course, the part of the South where the slaves were most profitable, and consequently they were taken there in the largest numbers. Later and especially since the war, the term seems to be used wholly in a political sense—that is, to designate the counties where the black people outnumber the white.”

Slaves 1860 American south

The legacy of ancient coastlines, chalk, soil, cotton, and slavery can still be seen today.   African Americans make up over 50%, in some cases over 85%, of the population in Black Belt counties.  As expected this has and continues to deeply influence the culture of the Black Belt.  J. Sullivan Gibson writing in 1941 on the geology of the Black Belt noted, “The long-conceded regional identity of the Black Belts roots no more deeply its physical fundament of rolling prairie soil than in its cultural, social, and economic individuality.”  And so this plays out in politics.

Census 2000 black percent African American

This Black Belt with its predominantly African American population consistently votes overwhelmingly for Democratic candidates in presidential elections. The pattern is especially pronounced on maps when a Republican candidate has secured the presidency as Bush did in 2000 and 2004.  In Southern states where a Republican secures the nomination, almost the entirety of Black Belt counties still lean Democratic. This leads to a Blue Belt of Democratic counties across the South. Even when Clinton, a Democrat, overwhelmingly took most Southern states, the percentages of those voting Democrat was still highest in the Black Belt counties.

Election Results 1964

But the Black Belt has not always been visible on maps during elections.  The Voting Rights Act, outlawing discriminatory voting practices, was passed in 1965.  As result, a year earlier in the 1964 elections larger numbers of African Americans were excluded from the polls in Southern states.  And, in turn, the blue band we see today was not visible.

Long heralded as the Black Belt for rich dark soils and later for the rich African American culture and population, it may equally be referred to as the Blue Belt to reflect both its oceanic geology and the political leanings that resulted from it.

About the author: Craig McClain is the Executive Director of the Lousiana University Marine Consortium. He has conducted deep-sea research for 20 years and published over 50 papers in the area. He has participated in and led dozens of oceanographic expeditions taken him to the Antarctic and the most remote regions of the Pacific and Atlantic.

Deep Sea News: How presidential elections are impacted by a 100 million year old coastline

–  – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Now we move to further data, from the original article,  Geology and Election 2000: Overview, by Steven Dutch, Natural and Applied Sciences,University of Wisconsin – Green Bay

On the map of electoral returns for the presidential election of 2000 is a feature instantly recognizable to a geologist: in the otherwise pro-Bush South, an arcuate band of pro-Gore counties sweeps from eastern Mississippi, across Alabama and Georgia and into the Carolinas.

Election results 2000

My geologist’s eye was immediately drawn to this arc because it coincides almost exactly with a series of rock units on the Geologic Map of the United States. Why would election returns follow rock outcrops?

In the map below, Cretaceous rock units (139-65 million years old) are shown in shades of green. Older rock units are in gray, younger ones in yellow. The complex NE-trending patterns in Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina are deformed rocks of the Appalachians. In NW Alabama, the older rocks are flat-lying layers of the continental interior.

Cretaceous rocks Alabama

Comparison with the geologic maps shows that the arc actually consists of three segments.

  • In Mississippi and Alabama the pro-Gore band of counties corresponds very closely with the units labeled uK – upper Cretaceous. We might suspect that  the most likely explanation for this part of the arc has to do with economic patterns dictated by the soils. Most of the electoral and demographic patterns associated with the band end abruptly in NE Mississippi.
  • In Georgia, the Cretaceous outcrop band is very narrow. It is surprising how clear the pro-Gore band is in Georgia considering how narrow and discontinuous the outcrop band of Cretaceous rocks is. This part of the arc may have less to do with the rocks themselves than the boundary between the Appalachians and the Coastal Plain.
  • In South Carolina, however, the band of Democratic counties is well defined but is consistently seaward of the Cretaceous rock units. In fact, on some maps there seems to be a weak anti-correlation between the Cretaceous rocks in South Carolina and the political and demographic trends noted for the other three states. However, the South Carolina portion of the arc turns out to be consistent in election returns and a variety of other demographic factors.

This band shows up with varying degrees of prominence for previous elections as well. It shows the same correlation with rock units in Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia and the same lack of correlation in South Carolina. It further shows strong correlation with demographic trends.

The Coastal plain rocks slope gently seaward toward the Gulf and Atlantic coasts, a structure called a homocline. I therefore propose to call the arc of pro-Democratic counties, which is reflected in a variety of demographic trends, the Cretaceous Homoclinal Arc of Demography, which can be abbreviated by an acronym that more than anything else symbolizes the election of 2000: CHAD.

(more to come)


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Close Reading Strategies

Intro – what are close reading strategies all about?



The Art of Close Reading (Part One) Foundation for Critical Thinking

Slow Reading Makes You Smarter, James Kennedy


Examples of close reading strategies in physics

Literacy in Physics: Reading a Primary Source


Close Reading Selections with Text-Dependent Questions: Boston Public Schools Science Dept

Close Reading and Text Dependent Questions in Science Hot Technology (Physics– HS)



Model close reading for the students: annotating, making notes in the margins, and explain the thought process (think-aloud)


But first understand why you are reading the passage. Are we looking for information? Are we trying to understand how different lines of evidence come together to support a claim? Are we learning how some process works? Are we trying to discover the author’s beliefs, opinions or values? Annotation options:

  • highlight in different colors
  • circle words/phrases
  • put question marks by things you don’t understand.

Write in the margins

James Kennedy Annotated notebook

An annotated textbook, by James Kennedy . https://jameskennedymonash.wordpress.com/2014/10/18/how-to-use-a-textbook-6-rules-to-follow/

notes about what the author is saying, text connections they make, and questions they have.

  • What is the author telling me here?
  • Are there any hard or important words?
  • What does the author want me to understand?
  • How does the author play with language to add to meaning?
Close Reading Technique 1

from Educational Leadership, Dec. 2012, Vol 70 #4. Common Core: Now What? Closing in on Close Reading, Nancy Boyles


Common Core ELA Skills addressed

Common Core English Language Arts and Literacy Anchor Standard 1: finding evidence in the text.

Expeditionary Learning: Trip to a classic bookstore

Seaport Academy Logo 2

Addressing standards from the American Association of School Librarians:

MBTA Water Shuttle from Flagship Wharf to Long Wharf

Walk to Commonwealth Books, Downtown Crossing, 9 Spring Lane

40,000+ titles. Medieval manuscript, modern fiction, non-fiction, history, science, philosophy, art monographs, poetry, literature.

Walk to The Brattle Book Shop, Downtown Crossing, 9 West Street

250,000+ titles. Founded 1825. Outdoor section plus 3 stories indoors. Americana, Boston, History, politics, religion, philosophy, fiction, non-fiction, rare books and collectibles.

Walk to Faneuil Hall & Quincy Market.

Marketplace and a meeting hall since 1743. Site of speeches by Samuel Adams, James Otis, and others encouraging independence from Great Britain. Part of Boston National Historical Park and the Freedom Trail.

Visitor Center 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.  The Great Hall is open 1 p.m. – 5 p.m.

Learning Goals

American Association of School Librarians: Standards for the 21st-Century Learner


4.1.1 Read, view, and listen for pleasure and personal growth.
4.1.2 Read widely and fluently to make connections with self, the world, and previous reading.
4.1.4 Seek information for personal learning in a variety of formats and genres.
4.1.5 Connect ideas to own interests and previous knowledge and experience.
4.2.1 Display curiosity by pursuing interests through multiple resources. 4.2.2 Demonstrate motivation by seeking information to answer personal questions and interests, trying a variety of formats and genres, and displaying a willingness to go beyond academic requirements.
4.2.4 Show an appreciation for literature by electing to read for pleasure and expressing an interest in various literary genres.
4.3.3 Seek opportunities for pursuing personal and aesthetic growth.

Model ship building in Boston

(this will be a work-in-progress)

Wooden ship models or wooden model ships are scale representations of ships, constructed mainly of wood. This type of model has been built for over two thousand years.


HMS Victory

Dad's Kaiser HMS Victory model ship


Dad's Kaiser HMS Victory model ship II July 2004.JPG

US Navy Schooner Enterprise

Dad's Navy Schooner Enterprise model ship


Dad's Navy Schooner Enterprise II


Dad's Flying Fish ship model

The Flying Fish


Dad's Flying Fish ship model II

The last model ship hull that my father,ז״ל, was working on, before he passed away.

Dad's last model ship hull


Scale conversion factors

Written by George Kaiser (and later incorporated into Wikipedia)

Instead of using plans made specifically for models, many model shipwrights use the actual blueprints for the original vessel. One can take drawings for the original ship to a blueprint service and have them blown up, or reduced to bring them to the new scale.

For instance, if the drawings are in 1/4″ scale and you intend to build in 3/16″, tell the service to reduce them 25%. You can use the conversion table below to determine the percentage of change. You can easily work directly from the original drawings however, by changing scale each time you make a measurement.

Table of Scale Conversion Factors
from to 1/8 to 3/16 to 1/4
1/16 2.0 3.0 4.0
1/12 1.5 2.25 3.0
3/32 1.33 2.0 2.67
1/8 1.0 1.5 2.0
5/32 0.8 1.2 1.6
3/16 0.67 1.0 1.33
1.5 0.625 0.94 1.25
7/32 0.57 0.86 1.14
1/4 0.5 0.75 1.0


The equation for converting a measurement in one scale to that of another scale is D2 = D1 x F where:

  • D1 = Dimension in the “from-scale”
  • D2 = Dimension in the “to-scale”
  • F = Conversion factor between scales

Example: A yardarm is 6″ long in 3/16″ scale. Find its length in 1/8″ scale.

  • F = .67 (from table)
  • D2 = 6″ X .67 = 4.02 = 4″

It is easier to make measurements in the metric system and then multiply them by the scale conversion factor. Scales are expressed in fractional inches, but fractions themselves are harder to work with than metric measurements.

For example, a hatch measures 1″ wide on the draft. You are building in 3/16″ scale. Measuring the hatch in metric, you measure 25 mm. The conversion factor for 1/4″ to 3/16′, according to the conversion table is .75. So 25 mm x .75 = 18.75 mm, or about 19 mm. That is the hatch size in 3/16″ scale.

Conversion is a fairly simple task once you start measuring in metric and converting according to the scale.

There is a simple conversion factor that allows you to determine the approximate size of a model by taking the actual measurements of the full-size ship and arriving at a scale factor. It is a rough way of deciding whether you want to build a model that is about two feet long, three feet long, or four feet long.

Here is a ship model conversion example using a real ship, the Hancock. This is a frigate appearing in Chappelle’s “History of American Sailing Ships”. In this example we want to estimate its size as a model. We find that the length is given at 136 ft 7 in, which rounds off to 137 feet.

1/8 scale Feet divided by 8
3/16 scale Feet divided by 5.33
1/4 scale Feet divided by 4

To convert feet (of the actual ship) to the number of inches long that the model will be, use the factors in the table on the right.

To find the principal dimensions (length, height, and width) of a (square rigged) model in 1/8″ scale, then:

  1. Find scaled length by dividing 137 by 8 = 17.125″
  2. Find 50% of 17.125 and add it to 17.125 (8.56 + 17.125 = 25.685, about 25.5)
  3. Typically, the height of this model will be its length less 10% or about 23.1/2″
  4. Typically, the beam of this model will be its length divided by 4, or about 6 1/2″

Although this technique allows you to judge the approximate length of a proposed model from its true footage, only square riggers will fit the approximate height and beam by the above factors. To approximate these dimensions on other craft, scale the drawings from which you found the length and arrive at her mast heights and beam.

Reference: Williams, Guy R. The World of Model Ships and Boats London 1971 Page 30


External links

The USS Constitution Model Shipwright Guild

We are the largest model ship association on the East Coast and our friendly meetings overlooking Old Ironsides at the USS Constitution Museum are well attended. In addition to our monthly meetings the Guild takes part in the annual meeting of model clubs from Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. We also attend the annual Salem Maritime Festival and the Antique & Classic Boat Festival, as well as the biennial Woods Hole Model Boat Show. Novices and experienced model builders alike can have fun developing resources, experiences, and skills by joining us.

The USS Constitution Museum, located in the Charlestown Navy Yard, which is part of the Boston National Historical Park

The USS Constitution Museum serves as the memory and educational voice of USS Constitution, by collecting, preserving, and interpreting the stories of “Old Ironsides” and the people associated with her.  Only yards away from “Old Ironsides,” the Museum is a “must see” for everyone visiting Boston, where interactive galleries take adults, families and children of all ages on a 200-year voyage.

The science and history of the sea



Learning Standards

2016 Massachusetts Science and Technology/Engineering Curriculum Framework
Ocean Literacy The Essential Principles and Fundamental Concepts of Ocean Sciences: March 2013 and Ocean Literacy Network. The Centers for Ocean Sciences Education Excellence (COSEE) and Lawrence Hall of Science, University of California, Berkeley


Massachusetts History and Social Science Curriculum Frameworks

5.11 Explain the importance of maritime commerce in the development of the economy of colonial Massachusetts, using historical societies and museums as needed. (H, E)

5.32 Describe the causes of the war of 1812 and how events during the war contributed to a sense of American nationalism. A. British restrictions on trade and impressment.  B. Major battles and events of the war, including the role of the USS Constitution, the burning of the Capitol and the White House, and the Battle of New Orleans.

National Council for the Social Studies: National Curriculum Standards for Social Studies

Time, Continuity and Change: Through the study of the past and its legacy, learners examine the institutions, values, and beliefs of people in the past, acquire skills in historical inquiry and interpretation, and gain an understanding of how important historical events and developments have shaped the modern world. This theme appears in courses in history, as well as in other social studies courses for which knowledge of the past is important.

A study of the War of 1812 enables students to understand the roots of our modern nation. It was this time period and struggle that propelled us from a struggling young collection of states to a unified player on the world stage. Out of the conflict the nation gained a number of symbols including USS Constitution. The victories she brought home lifted the morale of the entire nation and endure in our nation’s memory today. – USS Constitution Museum, National Education Standards

Common Core ELA: Reading Instructional Texts

Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.

Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative, connotative, and technical meanings

Common Core ELA Writing

Use words, phrases, and clauses to link the major sections of the text, create cohesion, and clarify the relationships between claim(s) and reasons, between reasons and evidence, and between claim(s) and counterclaims.

Establish and maintain a formal style and objective tone while attending to the norms and conventions of the discipline in which they are writing.

Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.

Teachable moments in Boston Harbor

The king tides are back, along with high winds, and they caused some havoc in Boston – leading to a teachable moment by Boston Harbor. A massive ship broke free from dock, and had drifted out – while crewed! They were rescued by tugboats, and the boat is now stationed between Nahant and Winthrop.

This was the perfect opportunity to discuss with students where Boston Harbor was, how tides are created, how to read maps, and maritime geography.

Seaport Boston harbor teaching

As for those King Tides:

It’s that time of the year again. Sure, the holiday season has returned, but so have — this week, at least — the king tides. The astronomically caused ultra-high tides peaked in Boston just before noon Tuesday, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Reaching more than two feet higher than average daily high tides, the seasonal occurrence produced minor flooding in low-lying areas along the East Coast.

king tides NOAA Lunar orbit

Let’s see how the motion of the moon creates tides:

Tides Spring Neap

News from the Boston National Historical Park Twitter page.

boston NHP King Tides

News story from WCVB


A container ship broke free from a terminal in Boston, the Coast Guard confirmed early Wednesday morning. The 1,065-foot ship “Helsinki Bridge” was at the Paul W. Conley Container Terminal when the 12 lines securing the vessel broke.

Helsinki Bridge container ship floats away

“They notified us very quickly. The ship’s crew was very quick in getting their engine equipment up and running so that they could drop their anchor and not be drifting around,” Coast Guard Lt. Jennifer Sheehy said.

Terminal workers who were on the ship were able to get off, and no injuries were reported. Two tug boats and a pilot helped to escort the runaway ship out to Broad Sound, between Winthrop and Nahant. State police said the ship hit a dock and did some minor damage when it broke free.

Paul W. Conley Container Terminal Boston

“They’ll take a look at all of the equipment.  They’ll talk to the ship’s crew, and a team is at Conley Terminal looking at any damage that might be there,” Sheehy said.

Officials said weather may have played a role in the ship breaking free.  “Winds that we had last night, the strength of those winds and a ship this size has a lot of sail area to push against, so it’s not unheard of for a ship this size to part ways because of the wind strength,” Sheehy said. The ship will eventually be towed back to the terminal.

See our lesson on tides, and Why Is There a Tidal Bulge Opposite the Moon?

Learning Standards

Ocean Literacy Scope and Sequence for Grades K-12


Ocean Literacy Principle #3, The ocean interaction of oceanic and atmospheric processes controls weather and climate by dominating the Earth’s energy, water and carbon systems.

Ocean Literacy Principle #6,

b. The ocean provides foods, medicines, and mineral and energy resources. It supports jobs and national economies, serves as a highway for transportation of goods and people, and plays a role in national security.

f. Much of the worlds population lives in coastal areas. Coastal regions are susceptible to natural hazards (tsunamis, hurricanes, cyclones, sea level change, and storm surges).



Four types of multiverses

Intro tba / Max Tegmark

type 1

type 2

Some people believe that the universe began at the Big Bang, and that our universe is the only one that has ever existed. Others believe that the universe is cyclical, and that universes existed before ours: those universes, it is hypothesized, collapsed and were replaced by later universes.

When Georges Lemaître, a Belgian physicist and Roman Catholic priest, first began to develop the Big Bang Theory (in 1927), many scientists assumed the former (this is the only universe that has ever existed) In this view, it makes no sense to ask “what happened before the Big Bang?” as there was no before.

In more recent years, scientists have studied the possibility of a multi-verse. Our universe may not be the only one that has existed; perhaps others existed before our own, and others may exist after our own. Also, perhaps other universes  – in some way removed from our own – simultaneously exist.  In this view, one indeed may ask “what happened before the Big Bang?” as there was a time before our universe.

We have no direct evidence of other universes, although astronomical and physics evidence, as interpreted through theories like Quantum Mechanics and General Relativity, does suggest that other universes may exist.

As such, some physicists have developed models of how our universe may have been created, perhaps from the destruction of a previous universe, or perhaps ours branched off from some other.

type 3

type 4





Further reading


Learning Standards

2016 Massachusetts Science and Technology Curriculum Framework
Appendix VIII: Value of Crosscutting Concepts and Nature of Science in Curricula

ETS3. Technological Systems.  5.3-5-ETS3-1(MA). Use informational text to provide examples of improvements to existing technologies (innovations) and the development of new technologies (inventions). Recognize that technology is any modification of the natural or designed world done to fulfill human needs or wants.

9. Influence of Engineering, Technology, and Science on Society and the Natural World

In grades 9–12, students can describe how modern civilization depends on major technological systems, such as agriculture, health, water, energy, transportation, manufacturing, construction, and communications. Engineers continuously modify these systems to increase benefits while decreasing costs and risks. New technologies can have deep impacts on society and the environment, including some that were not anticipated.

SAT Subject Test: Physics

Quantum phenomena, such as photons and photoelectric effect

Atomic, such as the Rutherford and Bohr models, atomic energy levels, and atomic spectra. Nuclear and particle physics, such as radioactivity, nuclear reactions, and fundamental particles. Relativity, such as time dilation, length contraction, and mass-energy equivalence.

College Board Standards for College Success: Science

Enduring Understanding 1D: Classica mechanics can not describe all properties of objects.

Warp drive

Most people are familiar with warp drive as a form of FTL (Faster Than Light travel) Its most popular use is in the science-fiction series Star Trek. What is warp drive – and according to the laws of physics, as we know them today, could this potentially be possible?

Enterprise at warp speed Star Trek

Warp drive in science fiction


Warping space in general relativity



Gravity General Relativity warping The Elegant Universe

From “The Elegant Universe”, PBS series NOVA. 2003.

Warp drive in real physics

The Alcubierre drive is a speculative analysis of physics which shows that warp drive may in fact be possible. It is based on a solution of Einstein’s field equations in general relativity.  It was first proposed by Mexican theoretical physicist Miguel Alcubierre. In his analysis, a spacecraft could effectively achieve a kind of FTL travel if a configurable energy-density field lower than that of vacuum (that is, negative mass) could be created.

Alcubierre Warp Drive

From a demo on Wolfram.com by Thomas Mueller.

Rather than exceeding the speed of light within a local reference frame, a spacecraft would traverse distances by contracting space in front of it and expanding space behind it, resulting in effective faster-than-light travel.

In this analysis, objects still cannot accelerate to the speed of light within normal spacetime; therefore it doesn’t violate the laws of General Relativity.

Instead, the Alcubierre drive shifts space around an object so that the object would arrive at its destination faster than light would in normal space.

“Space-time bubble is the closest that modern physics comes to the “warp drive” of science fiction. It can convey a starship at arbitrarily high speeds. Space-time contracts at the front of the bubble, reducing the distance to the destination, and expands at its rear, increasing the distance from the origin (arrows). The ship itself stands still relative to the space immediately around it; crew members do not experience any acceleration. Negative energy (blue) is required on the sides of the bubble.” – Ford and Roman


Lawrence H. Ford and Thomas A. Roman. Sci Am article.



Although the metric proposed by Alcubierre is consistent with the Einstein field equations, it may not be physically meaningful. We are not certain that the mathematical solutions are possible in the real world. If so then this warp drive will not be possible.

Even if it is physically meaningful, that does not necessarily mean that a drive can be constructed. The proposed mechanism of the Alcubierre drive implies a negative energy density and therefore requires exotic matter. So if exotic matter with the correct properties can not exist, then the drive could not be constructed.

Further reading

Negative Energy. Wormholes and Warp Drive. Scientific American Jan 2000

Faster-than-light (FTL) Travel in Science Fiction. Dan Koboldt

Alcubierre warp drive, Wikipedia

Faster Than Light, Wikipedia

Negative Energy, Wormholes and Warp Drive, Scientific American, Jan 2000

By Lawrence H. Ford and Thomas A. Roman

Learning Standards

2016 Massachusetts Science and Technology Curriculum Framework
Appendix VIII: Value of Crosscutting Concepts and Nature of Science in Curricula

ETS3. Technological Systems.  5.3-5-ETS3-1(MA). Use informational text to provide examples of improvements to existing technologies (innovations) and the development of new technologies (inventions). Recognize that technology is any modification of the natural or designed world done to fulfill human needs or wants.

9. Influence of Engineering, Technology, and Science on Society and the Natural World

In grades 9–12, students can describe how modern civilization depends on major technological systems, such as agriculture, health, water, energy, transportation, manufacturing, construction, and communications. Engineers continuously modify these systems to increase benefits while decreasing costs and risks. New technologies can have deep impacts on society and the environment, including some that were not anticipated.

SAT Subject Test: Physics

Quantum phenomena, such as photons and photoelectric effect

Atomic, such as the Rutherford and Bohr models, atomic energy levels, and atomic spectra. Nuclear and particle physics, such as radioactivity, nuclear reactions, and fundamental particles. Relativity, such as time dilation, length contraction, and mass-energy equivalence.

College Board Standards for College Success: Science

Enduring Understanding 1D: Classica mechanics can not describe all properties of objects.