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
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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4
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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5
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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6
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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7
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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8
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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9
The JOIDES Resolution (JR) has physical dimensions unlike most oceangoing vessels. Why? So that scientists can sail nearly anywhere in the world to drill for samples of rocks and sediment from below the seafloor — in hopes of discovering clues about Earth’s history and structure, life in the...
Grade Level   5 6 7 8
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10
How do geologists understand the Earth’s history? In part, they measure the age of rocks and other natural materials by dating techniques. They can date rocks by gauging the amount of decay of radioactive elements. The time necessary for half of any given amount of one element (the “parent...
Grade Level   5 6 7 8 9
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11
Core samples are small portions of a formation taken from an existing well and used for geologic analysis. The sample is analyzed to determine porosity, permeability, fluid content, geologic age, and probable productivity of oil from the site. Drilling is the only way to be sure that oil and gas...
Grade Level   5 6 7 8 9
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12
"The """"Blue Goose"""" has been the symbol of the National Wildlife Refuge System since it was first drawn by Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist J.N. """"Ding"""" Darling, one of the greatest supporters of wildlife conservation in the 20th century. Naturalist and author Rachel Carson had a reminder...
Grade Level   3 4 5 6 7 8
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13
This activity allows students to experience what rocks and minerals go through during the rock cycle. The activity explains how to manipulate chocolate using heated water and a knife into different states representing metamorphic, igneous, and sedimentary rocks. Chocolate can be ground into small...
Grade Level   3 4 5 6 7 8
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14
This activity teaches the student to identify minerals by observing and testing the physical properties of each mineral. Have students compare their test results with the Mineral Identification Sheet.
Grade Level   4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
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15
Raindrops contain more than just water. In addition to the small particles of dust around which water drops form, raindrops can contain chemicals found in the atmosphere. Often rain is slightly acidic. This “acid rain” can chemically affect (weather) materials it touches. The amount of...
Grade Level   6 7 8 9 10
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16
Bombarded by Web sites, the evening news, newspapers, and popular magazines, citizen scientists often have to interpret scientific information directly from the media. Sometimes this can be a confusing process. How can you, as a citizen scientist, figure out whether science information you get from...
Grade Level   6 7 8 9
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17
Rocks break down into smaller pieces through weathering. Rocks and sediment grinding against each other wear away surfaces. This type of weathering is called abrasion, and it happens as wind and water rush over rocks. The rocks become smoother as rough and jagged edges break off. In this activity,...
Grade Level   3 4 5 6
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18
Soil is often overlooked as a natural resource. Like fossil fuels, we depend on it for energy in the form of foods. And, like fossil fuels, it is nonrenewable. Soil is a delicate balance of inorganic minerals, organic matter, living organisms, soil water, and soil atmosphere. The natural development...
Grade Level   6 7 8 9 10
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19
"Crucial to our existence, water sustains all life on Earth. Following the old adage, """"""""What goes around comes around-"""""""" water moves continuously through the stages of the hydrologic cycle (evaporation, condensation, and precipitation). How does our drinking water fit into this...
Grade Level   K 1 2 3 4
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20
Elastic waves that move through the Earth are called seismic waves. Want to study them more closely? SeisMac is a free application that displays the output from the Sudden Motion Sensor in recent Mac laptops as a real-time, three-axis, acceleration graph, or, more commonly, a seismogram. Once your...
Grade Level   6 7 8 9
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