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Backyard Geology

Mr. Walter, Room 302, Parishville-Hopkinton Central School



Backyard Geology entails an introductory study of the regional geology and mineralogy of central and northern New York State. Three units: petrology (the study of rocks), mineralogy (including gemology), and glaciology will increase student’s awareness of our environment and its resources.


Classes will involve hands on activities, although, no formal lab component accompanies this course. There will, however, be numerous field trips that are critical to the content of the instruction and which are required for successful completion of the course. Approximately five days will be spent in the field, which includes two daylong field trips, a two-day, over-night, field trip to central New York, and a College or University visit. Students must have completed Earth Science (Physical Settings) with a passing grade in order to be eligible to enroll in Backyard Geology and be a senior at Parishville-Hopkinton Central School.


During the course students may visit active mines, mineral collecting sites, and quarries. Safety in the areas is strictly enforced by mine and school personnel. Students may be required to comply with OSHA regulations and, or, their instructor’s guidelines. These may include, but not be limited to, hard hats, steel toed boots and safety glasses.



Course Syllabus


Backyard Geology Grading Policy


Tests, Quizzes, and Special Projects (60 % of class grade)

Quizzes, both announced and unannounced, normally will occur on a weekly basis. They normally are on the material reviewed that week and cover one chapter of studies. Unit exams are given approximately once a month and cover four to five chapters of work.


Tests are given during regularly scheduled class time in room 302 or in other appropriately proctored areas with advanced permission of the instructor. Tests missed by students due to legal absences will be taken the next time they have Backyard Geology class. There are no make-up tests or re-tests. What you earn is what you get so do a good job the first time. Quizzes or tests not done or made up will receive a numerical grade of zero.


Labs, Journals, Homework, and Field Trip Journals (30% of class grade)

Papers, field trip journals, class activities, and other projects will be graded and weighted according to the guidelines described at the time that they are assigned. Field trips are an important part of the course curriculum and should be considered mandatory.


In Class Participation (10% of class grade)

Students will be expected to provide constructive input and discussion during class. Cooperation during class and lab sessions is also expected.


Other Important Notes:

Required materials for this course include a three ring binder and filler paper, writing utensils, and a four function calculator.


*If you have any questions regarding these guidelines, ask Mr. Walter about them during the first few days of class.



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12 County Route 47
Parishville, NY 13672
Phone: 315-265-4642
Fax: 315-268-1309

Mission Statement:
The PHCS community strives to instill in all students the knowledge and skills necessary to become caring, conscientious, and creative citizens.

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