121
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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122
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
Classroom Activities Curricula and Instruction
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123
Soil plays a unique role in our life. Soil helps to maintain air quality, stores water and nutrients for plants, and filters contaminants from surface water. Where there is soil, life flourishes. Determining a soil’s pH is important because many plants will only grow in either alkaline or acidic...
Grade Level   4 5 6 7 8
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124
"""""Soil porosity"""" refers to the amount of pore, or open space between soil particles. Pore spaces may be formed due to the movement of roots, worms, and insects; expanding gases trapped within these spaces by groundwater; and/or the dissolution of the soil parent material. Soil texture can also...
Grade Level   5 6 7 8 9 10
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125
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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126
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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127
"This activity opens by asking students to demonstrate how 'hard"""" they think the ground shakes during an earthquake. To quantify their demonstrations of ground shaking, students are introduced to a three-component accelerometer (iPhone, laptop or USB). Through a teacher lead discussion students...
Grade Level   K 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
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128
"Have you ever seen a fossil? A fossil is any evidence of past life preserved in sediments or rocks. Do you think you could have dinosaur fossils in your family car’s gas tank? Did you ever hear that oil and natural gas are “fossil fuels”? Do you think oil and natural gas can be made from...
Grade Level   3 4 5 6 7 8
Classroom Activities Curricula and Instruction
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129
"In this activity, students will use an accelerometer (iPhone, laptop or USB) to kinesthetically explore the physical """"meaning"""" of three component seismic data by replicating a seismogram by moving the accelerometer. Students have a chance to identify S and P waves and describe the paths each...
Grade Level   K 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
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130
In this activity students explore the rate of earthquake occurrence for areas of Earth they choose to explore. Data is accessed through the simple interface of the IRIS Earthquake Browser (See Related Resources above). After compiling their data for various sized earthquakes, students calculate...
Grade Level   5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
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131
"This poster features a visualization of ground motion resulting from the February 21, 2008 M 6.0 earthquake that occurred near Wells, NV combines with the image of a faucet to illustrate the classic Earth science functional analogy; """"Seismic waves radiate outward from an earthquake's epicenter...
Grade Level   5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
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132
A fossil is any evidence of past life preserved in a geologic context, such as within rock or sediment. This activity allows you to explore the process used by paleontologists — scientists who study fossils to understand ancient landscapes, climate, and life on Earth — to find and identify...
Grade Level   K 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
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133
In this lesson, students examine seismic evidence to determine a) Earth must have a layered internal structure and, b) estimate the size of Earth’s core. Using an inquiry approach, students are divided into two teams (theoreticians and seismologists) to test the simplest hypothesis for what is...
Grade Level   K 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
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134
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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135
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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136
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
Classroom Activities Curricula and Instruction
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137
"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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138
"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
Classroom Activities Curricula and Instruction
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139
Current consumption of fossil fuel releases more than 25 billion tons of CO2 into the atmosphere every year. If current trends continue, there will be a tripling of atmospheric CO2 by the end of the century—levels not seen for more than 40 million years. By measuring our carbon footprint, we can...
Grade Level   4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
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140
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
Classroom Activities Curricula and Instruction
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