• Spartan Image
    Michael W. Williams

    Department: Science
    A Day: 2nd Block
    B Day: 5th Block

     Phoenix   Vision
    Sponsored Activities:
    • Head Cross Country Coach
    • Head Girls Track Coach for Broad Run





    Research Earth Science is a course that studies the following areas: Scientific Method, Geology, Astronomy, Meteorology and Oceanography.  The course will open up new areas for students to explore and hopefully get excited about.  If it is green and or wiggles we leave that for Biology.  If it bubbles, stinks and explodes that would be the realm of Chemistry.  That leaves one year to cover the world and the Universe. NO PROBLEM!


    This is a 9th grade research course for high school science students.  It is also the first science SOL requirement. To get credit for this class they must pass the Earth Science SOL.

    Being that this is a Research Class, more is expected of your student. This is a step above a regular Honors Class. There will be times where they will have to come early or stay after school to work on their research work.  They will have four major projects to complete (one each quarter) this year.  My classes will be working on Sedimentology (sand analysis) the entire year. There will be outside reading assignments that they must complete.  I have samples that cover from Lubec Maine down to the Florida Keys and around to western Florida and Texas. There are also samples from the Hawaii, Caribbean, Australia and Ireland. The students will be involved in weighting, sorting, sieving, weighting again, completing various graphs and histograms, and finding ways to determine the source of the sediments making up their clastic beach material. They will be working with a teammate to gather the data, but the graphs, and papers will be their own responsibility. 


    Grading System for Research Earth Science

    Test = 100 to 200 pts

    Quizzes = 10 to 50 pts

    Labs = varies with difficulty generally 100 to 200 pts.

    Research Projects = 25% of each quarters grade.

    Students will be responcible for reading assignments and taking notes during class.

    Reading assignments are subject to quizes and test.

    Any additional inclass or homework assignments witll be 10% of the total grade.



    Work is generally turned on Google Classroom or Turnitin.com. Very few papers will be turned is as paper copies. All assignments turned in on Google Classroom or Turnitin.com will need to be saved by the student in a 3 ring binder as a backup.


    I expect your student’s work to be done neatly and turned in as a PDF document (by obtaining an app on your phone) if submitted through Google Classroom. Due Dates are posted in class and on Google Classroom.


    Supplies Needed

    • 1 composition book
    • Number 2 pencils
    • 1 package of color pencils       
    • pencils
    • Pens (no red) black or blue only
    • 1 two or three inch 3 ring binder (they are to keep every assignment done in their binder).
    • 1 package of graph paper
    • They will be required for various project to have poster boards, and other items to complete assignments.
    • 1 notebook of focus notes (Cornell Note paper), they may need additional notebooks throughout the year.
    • 300 index cards to begin with.  They will need more as we go throught the year.
    • Also a large Ring to attach the index cards to.
    • Glue stick
    • Highlighter
    • Earbuds or headphones


    Personal Note:

    Each year I get the opportunity to explore science with new and eager students.  I look forward to guiding and mentoring your student this coming year.  I personally have a passion for Earth Science, and hope to pass that excitement on to your student. 

    Not everyone learns in the same way or at the same speed.  Many different methods will be used in this class to provide your student with the opportunity to enjoy and learn the material.  I tell the students that this is a self-educated class, that they have a responsibility for their own education. I can guide them, giving them many and varied opportunities to learn, but they are ultimately responsible for learning the material. All I ask is that you the parents support my efforts and help keep them focused.


    I am certified in Biology, Earth and Space Science, and General Science.

    I have 27 years of teaching experience in the states of Virginia and Oklahoma, in subjects ranging from Physical Science, Biology, Care and Prevention of Athletic Injuries, Geosystems, and Earth Science. Currently I am the Head Cross Country Coach and Head Girls Track Coach for Broad Run. I have also coached Wrestling, Cross Country and Track and Field in Oklahoma. I worked as a geologist in the Oil and Gas Industry for many years.
    My other interests involve Civil War history, fishing , and hiking on the Appalachian Trail.