1
Published in 2018
What’s an awe-inspiring natural feature in your state? Maybe it’s a mountain, canyon, waterfall, glacier, cave, volcano, geyser, natural arch, grand vista, or something else. Identify an inspiring landscape near you, and learn about the geoscience behind it. Start with the geologic maps...
Grade Level   K 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
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2
The ocean is the key element in Earth's hydrologic cycle (water cycle). Students will construct a simple model of the hydrologic cycle to help them visualize and understand the movement of liquid water and heat. The hydrologic cycle is the continual movement of water from one place to another and...
Grade Level   K 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
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3
Geologic time can be difficult for people to understand. Our own lives are so short when we compare them to the age of the Earth, that the hundreds of millions of years of geologic time are almost too much to grasp. But for us to understand Earth activities today, we must have at least some basic...
Grade Level   5 6 7 8
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4
Published in 2005
Students have the opportunity to take a core sample of their local soil. Using PVC piping, a section of soil is pulled up, allowing students to observe the soil's different layers. Those layers are then separated and identified. The identification process helps students understand what elements make...
Grade Level   5 6 7 8
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5
Earthquakes are exciting and dangerous, and many Earth scientists try to determine the risks they pose to people. In fact, earthquakes are one of the most costly natural hazards faced by the Untied States, posing a significant risk to 75 million Americans in 39 States. Earthquakes occur every day....
Grade Level   4 5 6 7 8
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6
Trace fossils, which are physical evidence of life activities of now vanished organisms, are more prevalent than body (bones) fossils. One organism can leave behind many traces (e.g. footprints), but only one set of hard parts (e.g. bones) actually becomes a fossil. Trace fossils include tracks,...
Grade Level   3 4 5 6 7 8 9
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7
Students will become familiar with fire terminology, realize how fire can be used as a management tool, and better understand the factors that need to be considered when planning a prescribed burn. In this activity the students will form opinions around fire management issues. They will then work in...
Grade Level   5 6 7 8
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8
Students will be able to discuss how different magnitudes of earthquakes affect structures differently by simulating how buildings become damaged in an earthquake.
Grade Level   4 5 6 7 8
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9
Scientists, engineers, and others create geologic maps to determine the best places for people to settle, build, farm, and use land in a variety of ways. They also use geologic maps to monitor the ways that human activity might be changing the land itself over time. As the Geologic Map of Karst in...
Grade Level   6 7 8 9 10 11 12
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10
Published in 2018
How do you suppose people created geologic maps before the advent of photography, aviation, satellite imagery, and remote sensing? What data might have been gathered to determine the geology of an area? Imagine you’re a geoscientist in the early 1800s. You want to create a geologic map of your...
Grade Level   5 6 7 8
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11
Published in 2018
Any evidence of past life preserved in a geologic context, such as within rock or sediment, is called a fossil. In this activity, you will work as a paleontologist -- a scientist who studies fossils to understand ancient landscapes, climate, and life on Earth — to find and identify fossils. The...
Grade Level   K 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
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12
This activity will provide you with an introduction to a series of lessons — Survivor Earth — about water resources on Earth. You’ll investigate Earth systems by making observations in nature and identifying systems in the natural world. Ultimately, you will understand how the four spheres, or...
Grade Level   5 6 7 8
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13
Landslides not only are dangerous — causing on average more than 25 deaths and over ¤1 billion in damages a year — but are also widespread, occurring in all 50 states. Compounding the hazards, these natural disasters often occur along with other similar natural phenomena, such as floods...
Grade Level   5 6 7 8
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14
Since our beginnings, we humans have had a narrow view of our home - Earth. For many years, standing on the ground and looking around or climbing a mountain and squinting down were the most useful ways people had of trying to understand the planet's surface. Only in the past few hundred years have...
Grade Level   4 5 6 7 8 9
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15
A volcano is a vent in the surface of the Earth through which magma and gasses erupt. Volcanic eruptions are among the Earth's most powerful and destructive forces, but volcanoes are also creative. Volcanoes have also shaped the Earth's landscape, as many of our mountains, islands, and plains have...
Grade Level   5 6 7 8
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16
Human beings have been linked to earth materials since prehistoric times. They used caves for shelter, shaped rocks into stone implements, and later refined metals to make tools. Beyond practical purposes, Earth materials also were used to make pigments for paint. Rock walls became canvases where...
Grade Level   3 4 5 6 7 8
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17
A normal fault occurs when rocks break and move because they are being pulled apart. As the area is stretched, the rocks move along the fault. Each movement causes an earthquake. This model demonstrates how a block of rock is extended by a normal fault. 
Grade Level   4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
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18
"Water that accumulates beneath the surface of the Earth is called groundwater. Contrary to popular belief, groundwater does not form underground """"rivers,"""" but is actually found in the small spaces and cracks between rocks and other material such as sand and gravel. Groundwater supplies about...
Grade Level   4 5 6 7 8 9
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19
"""""Thar's gold in them thar classrooms!"""" History meets Earth science in the fun, hands-on activity below. Students pan for gold and other minerals, experiencing what early settlers of the Western US went through. Some gold deposits, or lodes, are found in veins of fractured rock. After millions...
Grade Level   K 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
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20
"There are many glaciers all over Alaska. Flying into Lake Clark National Park and Preserve through Lake Clark Pass, you will see many glaciers. These glaciers were growing during the last Ice Age. Now many are retreating because Alaska is getting warmer. As the glaciers melt they leave behind...
Grade Level   5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
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