21
Dendrochronologists use tree rings to go back in time to learn more about past climate. Using straws to recreate tree rings, you can learn how dendrochronologists work. Construct a 50-year climatic history on a three-meter time line. In this activity, students use the spacings between tree rings to...
Grade Level   5 6 7 8 9
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22
Static electricity can be used to demonstrate the electricity of lightning. This activity will demonstrate the attraction of positive and negative charges and what happens when those opposite charges meet each other.
Grade Level   5 6 7 8
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23
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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24
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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25
Link to a PDF for an activity: Hands-on experiment to test for acid mine damage
Grade Level   5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
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26
The atmosphere is a mixture of gases. Similarly, the world's oceans and fresh waters contain dissolved chemicals. Many substances dispersed in air or water are measured in parts per million. Some of these substances are colorless, odorless, and tasteless, yet even in small quantities they can be...
Grade Level   5 6 7 8
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27
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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28
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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29
Caves form through a variety of natural processes depending on their local geology and climate. Flowing lava, melting ice, dissolving rock, and crashing waves are the major processes that form these wondrous environments. In this activity, students will observe a model of how the most common type of...
Grade Level   K 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
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30
Traditional geologic maps — sometimes crisscrossed with lines, blotted with colors, and marked with strike and dip symbols — have been used to depict the geologic makeup of the Earth for many years. New technologies such as satellite-enabled remote sensing are allowing geoscientists to create...
Grade Level   6 7 8 9 10 11 12
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31
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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32
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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33
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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34
Published in 2018
People find inspiration in many different places and things. Among them is taking joy in sensing the Earth around you. Feel the breeze on your face. Take in the fresh smell of the air after a spring rain. Use your hands to build something. Wherever you live you can get outside, savor your...
Grade Level   K 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
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35
Published in 2018
Common things we use every day, like roads, sidewalks, schools, hospitals, and homes -- to name a few -- are made up of rocks and minerals. As a resource, they are called mineral reserves and include materials like sand, gravel, limestone, granite, and other aggregate and construction materials....
Grade Level   6 7 8 9 10 11 12
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36
Published in 2018
Looking at Earth from space is inspiring. All of the colors you see in a satellite image tell you a lot about the world around us. What is on the land around you? Pavement? A grassy lawn? A forest? What covers our land matters because we depend on and pasture to produce food, forests for wood...
Grade Level   6 7 8
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37
Published in 2018
Soils are one of our most important natural resources -- just think of where all the food you eat comes from. They also are important for the beauty the many soil colors add to our landscapes. Most of us overlook this natural beauty because we see it every day. Often these colors blend with...
Grade Level   K 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
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38
Just as your GPS helps you make sure you’re getting from point “a” to point “b” correctly, maps help scientists draw important conclusions and visualize important concepts they study. The right map can help a petroleum engineer find the best drilling site, or help a meteorologist make the...
Grade Level   6 7 8 9 10 11 12
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39
If you have ever used Google Earth, what was the first place you tried to find? For many people the answer is “my home.” Where humans choose to live is one of the fundamental influences on the surface of our planet. People influence and change Earth’s systems (atmosphere, biosphere, geosphere,...
Grade Level   4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
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40
Density is an intrinsic physical property of minerals that relates to the composition of the mineral and to the pattern in which the mineral’s atoms are arranged. “Intrinsic” means that the property is the same for the mineral, no matter what the size or shape of the sample. In this activity,...
Grade Level   6 7 8 9
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