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
Published in 2018
If you were an alien visiting Earth for the first time, you might remark on the diverse and incredible landscapes and patterns around majestic mountains, green forests, rolling grasslands, and turquoise oceans. You also might recognize geometries of civilization and changing weather patterns. All...
Grade Level   K 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
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3
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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4
Students will map the patterns of the major ocean currents as well as the influence of wind, water temperature, land masses, and water density on those currents. Students observe what happens to pieces of an herb sprinkled into a pan of water. After the activity, the students can discuss why the...
Grade Level   5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
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5
We can read about, hear, or see weather reports every day on the radio, television, Internet, or newspapers. Some of this information includes current air temperatures and highs and lows for that day. As a citizen scientist, you can take your own air temperatures with an outdoor thermometer and...
Grade Level   4 5 6 7 8 9
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6
Different types of soil have different capabilities for retaining rainwater. When the soil in an area cannot hold enough rainwater, flooding occurs. Students in this activity measure the amount of water different soil types can handle. Following the activity, students discuss soil and flooding...
Grade Level   5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
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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
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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9
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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10
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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11
"Nitrogen is an element that is found both in living things and the nonliving parts of the Earth system. In this classroom activity, students play the role of nitrogen atoms traveling through the nitrogen cycle to gain understanding of the varied pathways through the cycle and how nitrogen is...
Grade Level   5 6 7 8 9
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12
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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13
Landslides constitute a major geologic hazard. They are widespread, occurring in all 50 states, and cause ¤1-2 billion in damages and more than 25 fatalities on average each year. Landslides commonly occur with other major natural disasters, such as earthquakes and floods (USGS Learning Web)....
Grade Level   5 6 7 8
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14
Is today sunny or overcast? Is there wind, rain, or snow? No matter where you live, weather shapes your life. What’s happening in the sky can determine how you dress, what you eat, where you spend your time, and when you work—or play. The science of the sky encompasses Earth and space science...
Grade Level   3 4 5 6 7 8
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15
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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16
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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17
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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18
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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19
"The purpose of this activity is to give the player an introduction to the economics of mining. Each player buys """"property,"""" purchases the """"mining equipment,"""" pays for the """"mining operation,"""" and finally pays for the """"reclamation."""" In return, the player receives money for the...
Grade Level   4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
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20
"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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