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Exploring Geoheritage Through EarthCaching

An EarthCache is a special site that people can visit to learn about a unique geoscience feature or aspect of our Earth. Visitors to EarthCache sites can see how our planet has been shaped by geological processes, how we manage the resources and how scientists gather evidence to learn about the Earth.

Exploring Porosity

Earth scientists play a vital role in harvesting the energy resources on which we all rely. When preparing to drill for oil, for example, geoscientists must assess many aspects of a rock stratum (layer). For example, they must figure out the volume of the rock’s pores, or empty spaces, as compared with the rock’s total volume. This is called the rock’s porosity. To help you understand porosity, think about different sizes of gravel. Which size gravel will have the greatest porosity? Why? In this activity, you will work in groups to explore the answers to these questions.

Eye of the Storm

A tropical storm is brewing in the Atlantic Ocean. It’s causing rain and thunderstorms over the Caribbean, and it will soon be a tropical depression — the beginning of a hurricane. By the time Hurricane Mitch leaves the Central America, more than 11,000 people will be dead and as many as 18,000 more will be missing. (Activity adapted from Mapping Our World at http://edcommunity.esri.com/MOW.)

Find Your Park

A park can be many different things to many different people. For many people, Canyonlands National Park is a favorite showcase of geology.

In each of the park’s districts, you can see the remarkable effects of millions of years of erosion on a landscape of sedimentary rock. The Green River has carved a channel out of rock layers deposited nearly 300 million years ago creating an open book for earth science enthusiast of all ages.

Finding Slope

Explore how the slope of land will effect water flow and life above ground in this activity from the Soil Science Society of America.

Flood!

Learn the dangers of flooding in this activity, where students explore soil porosity and permeability.

Food Source

How diverse are the food sources in your community and where are they located? How far do they travel to reach you? Do you think the food sources for your community are sustainable? This multi-day activity explores these questions.

Geography of a Pencil

How is the world connected to the pencil you hold in your hand? Complete this activity to find out.

Geoheritage Via Google Street View

Google’s Street View is a rich resource for exploring geoheritage, since it visually transports us to many impressive sites across the country and around the world. Street View allows you to investigate a site, even one you don’t know well, which can lead to important insights. Of course, the real power and fun of Street View is that it allows you to explore by moving your visual perspective around the image.

Geologic Age

This activity will have students collect data, graph it, and compare the information to what they already know about radioactive elements and dating the planet's age.

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