Environmental Science, Part 1 - Silicon Valley High School


Price: $125 | Credits: One Semester | Department: Science | Course ID# 271-1

This course is the first part of a two-semester course that examines environmental science and the concept of sustainability from scientific, personal, and philosophical perspectives. Students learn the science behind different energy resources, myriad types of pollution, and their effects on the environment and human health. While the scientific aspect forms the core of the course, it is complemented by discussion of relevant environmental laws and environmental economics, as well as discussion of personal sustainability practices and consideration of one’s carbon footprint, waste production patterns, and energy use. The course is rounded out with strategies for a sustainable future. Environmental Science is approved by the University of California A-G as a Science – Life (category D).

Upon completion of this course, the student is awarded 5 credits. Each credit corresponds to 15 hours of study. Of course, some students work more quickly than others, and some can devote more hours to study, so some students are able to complete the course at an accelerated rate.


In this module, students gain a comprehension of the following:

  • Explore different definitions of “sustainability” and the root causes of unsustainability.
  • Recognize the different types of energy resources, and the differences between renewable and nonrenewable energy.
  • Understand energy conservation on a personal level, as well as on green-building techniques. 
  • Examine the science behind different types of air pollution, as well as impacts of each type on the environment and human health. 
  • Relevant policy solutions and strategies that individuals use to reduce their own carbon footprint.
  • Understand different types of water pollution, including how, why, and where they arise; and impacts they have on people, animals, ecosystems and bodies of water. 
  • The concept of water sustainability, freshwater supplies and use patterns. Understanding water management, wastewater treatment, water shortages, water rights and conflicts. 


This course covers the following topics:

  • Identifying what is sustainability and root causes of unsustainability.
  • Analyze the life cycle of different products and their impact on the environment.
  • Obtaining energy from a variety of renewable and nonrenewable sources.
  • Pros and cons of different types of energy.
  • What is fossil fuel?
  • Concept of peak oil.
  • Maintaining an eco-friendly and energy efficient home.
  • Weatherizing
  • LEED certification, passive and zero energy houses.
  • Air pollution and the negative effects on human health and the environment.
  • Earth’s natural carbon cycles.
  • The greenhouse effect and how greenhouse gases contribute to climate change.
  • Ways countries, communities, and individuals are taking action regarding air pollution and climate change.
  • US legislation on clean air, and international treaties like the Kyoto Protocol, Montreal Protocol, and the Paris Accord.
  • How individuals can reduce their carbon footprint.
  • The different types of water pollution in rivers, oceans, lakes and what causes each type.
  • The negative effects of each type of water pollution on humans, animals and the environment.
  • Earth’s freshwater resources.
  • Water scarcity and water rights on a local and global scale.
  • Strategies individuals can take to conserve water and use it more efficiently. 
Environmental Science Part 1 the First Semester of the Course for $125
Course Details:
• One Semester Credit: $125
• First Semester of Environmental Science