Earth Science

Physical Setting/Earth Science Regents

Mr. R. Zinke,

Welcome to the 2017-2018 school year! Science can and should be a wonderfully fun experience. Together as a class community we can explore the wonders of science and nature with hands on experiments and investigations. However, the level of fun, hands on activities and investigations depends upon the cooperation of everyone in our science community. Please be respectful of both your teacher as well as all the citizen scientists in our community. We can all contribute to this community by making sure we come to class everyday with the required assignments and participating in class discussions. Remember, lack of preparation on your part does not constitute an emergency on mine. By following the rules of our community we can be sure to have a fun, exciting, and successful year.  

Parents/Guardians should fill out the information page and return it to school.  Please keep this sheet for your reference in your binder or in a safe place at home.  If you have any questions during the year, please do not hesitate to ask.

Science Materials:

The following should be with you in class every day.

  1. A section in your binder for science divided into 3 sections: Notes & Homework, Labs, and Test/Quizzes. Hand-outs should be kept with the notes they pertain to.
  2. Loose-leaf (8 1/2” x 11”) 3.  Scientific Calculator (Not a graphing calculator)
  3. Pen and pencils, Colored Pencils 5.  Earth Science Reference Table

Class Requirements:

Your grade will be based on the following:

  1. Tests:                                            55%                
  2. 3. Labs, reports & projects:               15%                      
  3. Quizzes:                                20%           4.Homework:                                  10%

Classroom Policies:

Be prepared for every class with the necessary materials.  It is important to keep your science binder neat and organized – this will aid you in staying well prepared for class. Throughout the year, there will be multiple messages sent home via the infinite campus parent portal to keep everyone up to date on missing assignments.

Homework assignments are given often and will be written on the board in class. If a homework assignment is missed, you will have one day to make up the assignment for ½ credit. After that, the homework assignment will receive 0 credit. You and your parents will always have access to the online gradebook.

Labs are essential to the class and are required to take the Regents Exam. Labs are a New York State mandated requirement. Students are required to have 1200 lab minutes to take the NYS Regents Exam. If the requirement is not satisfied, students will not be allowed to take the regents exam.

Labs will be kept in school at all times unless assigned to be completed for homework. Labs will have an assigned due date on which they must be handed in. If students do not hand in a lab, there will be a 10 point deduction per class day. After 10 days, the lab will receive 0 credit but students still must complete the lab to receive credit towards their 1200 lab minutes. A lab receiving less than a 65 will be considered unsatisfactory, and will either need to be redone, or another lab will be required to be completed in its place.

Tests:  All quizzes and tests are comprised of regent’s questions.  This will prepare you for taking the Earth science regents in June.  There is at least one week notice before an exam and one day notice before a quiz.  You should review your notes on a daily basis. Quizzes will cover lab material and test material. Homework will also provide necessary information and practice needed for the class. Some quizzes or tests may be online.


If you are absent it is your responsibility to ask a fellow classmate or check the website for any of the notes you have missed. Be sure you get any hand-outs that may have been given out during your absences.  Any quizzes or tests missed on the day of your absence will be made up on the first day of your return.  You will be given one day to make up any missed homework.

Extra Help:

As an extra tool for your use I will try to keep an updated website: Your primary source of information is the classroom for notes and homework. I will try to update the website with notes and HW assignments whenever possible.  If an assignment is not posted on the website you are still responsible if you received the information in class.


The days of the week that extra help will be offered will be
Monday & Tuesday (2:41pm-3:06pm) and Thursday (7:15am-7:35am).



In order to be successful in Earth Science it is imperative

that you do all of the homework and labs assigned on

time. It is also important to continually practice old

regents questions and exams to become more familiar

with the wording of those questions. Always strive to do

your best by putting in the time required for this High

School level class.

Midterm Exam: There will be a midterm exam in January and will count as 4% of your overall Earth Science grade for the year.

Regents Exam: The regent’s exam is administered in two parts; a lab practical and a written exam. The lab practical is administered during school at the beginning of June and the written portion of the exam is administered in mid-June after classes have ended. The exams overall score counts as 12% of the overall Earth Science grade for the year. The individual marking period grades and regents score are placed on your High School transcripts. The State Education Department has set a Mastery level of 85 on the regent’s exam and that is what we use during the year as well.

Requirements and Rules:

  1. You should always be prepared for class. Bring your notebook, pens, sharpened pencils, erasers, or anything else you might need during the class period.
  2. You should always be in your assigned seat when the bell rings, prepared to begin class. (Notebooks open, pens ready, assignment copied down, engaged in DO NOW).
  3. You have four minutes between periods to get drinks of water, go to the bathroom, etc. Make use of the passing period to do all of these activities. If it is an emergency and you need to go to the bathroom, raise your hand and ask for a pass. If this privilege is being abused, it will be taken away.
  4. Do not talk when the teacher or other students are speaking. If you have something to say, please raise your hand and wait for the teacher to call on you. Cutting off fellow students and/or the teacher is counterproductive and is not the way to get your opinion heard.
  5. Food and gum are not appropriate for the science lab, so please save these items for after school or lunch.
  6. You will not be permitted to go to your locker for homework, labs, or anything else you forgot. You are responsible to bring all of these items to class on the date they are due. Failure to bring them will result in late work or an unprepared mark for class.
  7. Do not pack up before the bell rings. Please take any garbage you are holding to the basket and replace your chair under the table when the teacher (not the bell) dismisses you.
  8. If you are absent, it is your responsibility to find out what you missed and make it up. If you are absent for a quiz or a test, you will be required to make it up on the day you return.
  9. If I am absent and the substitute teacher leaves your name saying that you were uncooperative or disruptive, you will receive several days of detention and parents or guardians will be contacted.

I look forward to a successful school year!
– Mr. Zinke


Science Lab Safety Contract

Merrick Avenue Middle School

Merrick, New York


  1. Always obtain your teacher’s permission before beginning an activity.
  2. Study the procedure and directions. If you have any questions, ask your teacher. Be sure you understand symbols and directions.
  3. Never eat, drink, or chew gum in the lab.
  4. Do not operate electrical equipment with wet hands.
  5. Get your hair “under control” before entering the lab.
  6. Do not leave hot glass where someone may touch it. (Hot glass tubing looks just like cold glass.)
  7. Act responsibly in the lab. Inappropriate behavior could result in loss of lab privileges.
  8. Goggles must be worn when dealing with flames, chemicals, and glassware. Aprons must be worn during experiments involving chemicals.
  9. Know the location of the safety equipment in the room – This includes fire extinguishers, the fume hood, the safety blanket, eye wash station, and the deluge shower.
  10. Be cautious when dealing with spills. (Spilled acid on a desk looks just like spilled water). Report spills immediately to the teacher.
  11. Report any accident or injury to the teacher at once, no matter how trivial they may   
  12. Never point a heated test tube at anyone, including yourself.
  13. Never leave an open flame unattended.
  14. Work areas should be kept clean and tidy at all times. Never sit on the laboratory table.
  15. The last thing you must do at the end of the laboratory is wash your hands.