Earth and Environmental and Physical Science

John Mizell


Phone: 828.271.4533

Course Description

  • Physical Science will be covered in the first semester. The topics covered are motion, force and motion, energy, nature of waves, electricity and magnetism, matter, chemical bonding and interactions, and nuclear reactions.
  • Earth/Environmental Science is the second science course students will take at Discovery Academy. The course explores the laws and processes that govern our earth and its components. Topics covered are astronomy, plate tectonics, water, climate, weather, energy, population, human impact, biodiversity, and agriculture.


We will be using an online text through


Student Learning Outcomes

  • For Physical Science, the students will get a better understanding of energy and how it relates to matter. Students will also participate in a semester long project working small groups.


  • For Earth Science, students will gain a better understanding of our home, Earth, and how it functions as an object in the universe. We will also explore all the large processes that take place here on Earth, including; plate tectonics, the water cycle, weather, ocean currents, tides, and biodiversity. Additionally, we will look at how humans have influenced some of those processes and how our population continues to exceed a natural carrying capacity, which also affects the Earth.


As part of the North Carolina New Schools’ instructional framework, each student at Nesbitt Discovery Academy will read, write, think, and talk in every class every day.


Grading Policy

50 % - Unit Test

25% - Projects/Labs

15% - Quizzes

10% - Classwork (Simulators, Bell-work, Case Studies, and Discussions) and Homework (readings).



Students will have the ability to do test corrections on each Unit Tests for ½ credit.


Formative and summative assessments are a part of every class at Nesbitt Discovery Academy; final grades are based on a 10 point system as follows:


Grading Scale:

90 – 100: A

80 – 89: B

70 – 79: C

60 – 69: D

0 – 59: F



Attendance Policy

Students are only allowed five (5) absences per each semester. To be counted present in a class, the student must be in class for 2/3 of the class period.  Students are responsible for making up any days past the allotted 5 absences per semester.  For information about excused and unexcused absences, please refer to the student handbook.


Late Work

All late assignments are subject to a reduced in total possible points. All assignments will be submitted through Canvas and will receive a time stamp when submitted.

  • Turned in within a week (7 days) after the due date = 11% reduction (89% is the highest possible percent an assignment can receive).
  • Turned in more than a week (8 days) after the due date = 30% reduction (70% is the highest possible percent an assignment can receive).


Make-up Policy

The following procedure will apply to all courses:

After any absence, it will be the student’s responsibility to check with his/her teacher outside of class time for work missed and to schedule a time to make up all work including tests.

Projects and work assigned before absences should be turned in as soon as student returns to school.

If a student is absent for one (1) day, he/she will have two (2) days to make up homework, missed assignments and tests assigned during his/her absence.

If a student is absent two (2) or three (3) days, he/she will have four (4) days to make up homework, missed assignments and tests during his/her absence.

If a student is absent four (4) or more days, he/she will meet with each teacher for an individual arrangement for all make-up work.

For more information on attendance make-up if absent for more than six (6) days, please refer to the student handbook.


Classroom Expectations

Nesbitt Discovery Academy follows PBIS (Positive Behavioral Interventions & Supports) guidelines in accordance with the US Department of Education.   All students are expected to:

BE RESPECTFUL:  Treat others as you would like to be treated.

BE RESPONSIBLE: Work should be completed thoroughly, to the best of your ability, and be on time.

BE READY: Come to class each day prepared.

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