Geography Rocks

Friday, January 21, 2022 - By: Fabian H, Whittall ‘22

Among Brentwood’s extensive list of social studies courses, Physical Geography 12 – taught by Mr Carr – has stood out for many students in the beginning of this year. That is why Mr Carr has taken on the challenge of two Physical Geography classes this year.

The course offers in-depth lessons of Earth’s systems beginning with global circulation, followed by motions of the Earth - which explain the four seasons. Mr Carr implemented plate tectonics and plate boundaries into our minds through maps and small groups becoming experts on specific regions. This then allowed classmates to work together to help each other understand the effects of plates on Seismology, Volcanology, Geochronology, and Geography. We then performed more in-depth analyses of earthquakes using government websites to study real-time earthquakes and to, hopefully, predict future earthquakes in our labs. Mr Carr brought the dangers of volcanoes to light with British Columbia’s Mount Meager which worried some students like Youki I, Whittall ‘23, who found “the signs of stirring very alarming and worrying.”

It’ll be okay, Youki. For now…

Lessons then shot up into the sky with introductions of the atmosphere and climate. We then had a better understanding of weather and performed a summative assessment on a personally selected hurricane. With Mr Carr’s support, students were able to complete the project however they pleased. Some students selected a generic method of writing lengthy essays, while others made posters and slideshows. Mr Carr encouraged an interpretive dance - however no one took him up on his offer.

Tornadoes were the next hot topic and Mr Carr paired the natural disaster up with hurricanes for a year-end debate. The class was split in half with one side arguing for tornado chasing being more dangerous and the other half arguing that hurricane hunting is more hazardous. And when I say arguing, I mean arguing. The last day was filled with mayhem with Barack Obama quotes being pulled out of nowhere, a reenactment of vice-presidents, and students accidentally arguing for the wrong side.

The new year has started with a new unit: the ocean. I can’t talk much about it, as we have just started, and we have just grazed the interconnectedness of the ocean with our everyday lives.

The class is so relevant - it even connects to present-day issues. Mr Carr made this ever so clear when he said, “The recent events of the Tongan Islands and the aftermath demonstrates the importance of physical geography and the effects it has on us.”

Third Rock from the Sun, Rock on!

Fabian H, Whittall ‘22

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