81
Petroleum geologists study Earth's rock layers, looking for places where oil-generating rocks might occur. These geoscientists try to determine whether geologic structures trap the oil in reservoirs which can be drilled and pumped to recover the oil. One such type of trap occurs when rocks have been...
Grade Level   7 8 9 10 11 12
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82
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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83
This activity allows you to investigate how often earthquakes of various magnitudes happen within a geographic region of your choice. You will use the online resources of the Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology (IRIS) to do the investigation. Students use online maps to attempt finding...
Grade Level   9 10 11 12
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84
Sinkholes are natural depressions in the land caused when limestone and soils dissolve. They form when groundwater removes rock underground. They can form by slow gradual sinking or by sudden collapse of an underlying hole. Sinkholes are common in about one quarter of the U.S. You can usually...
Grade Level   6 7 8 9 10
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85
Are soils like M&Msâ„¢? Yes! Typical soil colors are red, brown, yellow, or black. These colors are often not the color of the minerals in the soil but coatings of iron oxides (Fe203, FeOOH, and so on) or organic matter on particles. The minerals beneath are often quartz or feldspar, which are...
Grade Level   9 10 11 12
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86
"This activity is intended to help students observe how stick-slip movement works. Instructions on how to build a motorized version of the following experiment as well as data produced from this model are available. At the end of the activity, students will be able to answer the questions,...
Grade Level   7 8 9 10 11 12
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87
In this unit, your students will study fossils. Fossils are any evidence of past plant or animal life contained in sediment or a sedimentary rock, from bones, shells or teeth to imprints of a dinosaur's foot. Students will see that to hold a fossil is to hold millions of years of history in their...
Grade Level   K 1 2 3 4 5
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88
Picking up, examining and collecting rocks can be the first steps in moving children toward an appreciation of geology and the “bones” of the Earth. Children can find a wide variety of rocks in many places, from the school yard to parks and driveways at home. Even very young children...
Grade Level   K 1 2 3 4 5
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89
Over time, Earth's magnetic poles change strength and location. They also completely reverse directions episodically. The north magnetic pole is currently moving northwest at 40 kilometers per year. It moved from 81.3° N, 110.8° W in 2001 to 82.7° N, 114.4° W in 2005. (Learn more at...
Grade Level   7 8 9 10 11 12
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90
We usually think of caves forming as rocks are dissolved and the particles are washed away, leaving hollow spaces behind. This activity simulates the way that dissolution, a chemical weathering process, leads to the formation of caves. When precipitation such as rainwater or snowmelt mixes with...
Grade Level   7 8 9 10 11 12
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91
In this investigation, you'll have the opportunity to learn about the many geological features in our country's national parks. You might not realize this, but a large number of the national parks were created because of their amazing geology. Just think of the geological features of Yellowstone...
Grade Level   6 7 8
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92
This investigation will help you to learn that different geologic materials have different characteristics. Why is this important? When a road or building is constructed, the underlying substance could have an effect on the structure's stability. Different soils, for instance, can pose different...
Grade Level   6 7 8
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93
"Since 1970, oil and natural gas have provided more than half of the energy used each year in the United States to produce electricity, heat, transportation fuels, and many everyday products from balloons to vitamins. Oil and natural gas are forms of petroleum, a word that literally means...
Grade Level   8 9 10 11 12
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94
An earthquake occurs when massive rock layers slide past each other. This motion makes enormous vibrations, which travel from the site of the earthquake in waves. The waves (seismic waves) travel all the way through the Earth. Seismologists can record these waves when they reach Earth's surface...
Grade Level   6 7 8 9 10
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95
Natural gas, which is mostly methane, is an energy resource used for generating electricity and heating, powering transportation, and manufacturing products. Right now, one-quarter of the world's energy comes from natural gas. Natural gas formation, one of the processes occurring on our...
Grade Level   6 7 8 9 10 11 12
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96
The rock cycle is the combination of all the processes that act to break down rocks, move sedimentary materials from place to place, and produce new rocks. In this investigation, students will discover what happens to rocks under lots of pressure and heat through a simulation that uses crayon...
Grade Level   3 4 5 6
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97
All living things depend on soil to live. What are some of our important natural resources? Your answers might include materials such as oil, water, coal, trees, animals, and gold. All of those areimportant natural resources, but we often forget to mention one of our most important natural...
Grade Level   K 1 2 3 4 5
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98
"Students are trying to """"""""see"""""""" what is beneath the surface of the Earth. Rather than digging up vast tracts of land to expose an oil field or to find some coal-bearing strata, core samples can be taken and analyzed to determine the likely composition of the Earth's interior. In this...
Grade Level   K 1 2 3 4
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99
Coal is an organic sedimentary rock that is formed by the compaction and hardening of plant remains. Because coal is mostly composed of carbon, it is a rock that burns in air. The heat that is released by burning coal is used as the primary source of energy for the generation of electricity. About...
Grade Level   9 10 11 12
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100
One of the most frightening and destructive phenomena of nature is a severe earthquake and its terrible aftereffects. An earthquake is a sudden movement of the Earth, caused by the abrupt release of strain that has accumulated over a long time. For hundreds of millions of years, the forces of plate...
Grade Level   7 8 9 10 11 12
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