Analyze and interpret data on natural hazards to forecast future catastrophic events and inform the development of technologies to mitigate their effects.

Burning Issues

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.

Chemistry of Burning

Why is CO2 increasing in the atmosphere? Who is doing it? Many people think that CO2 is “pollution,” so that clean burning should be a way to eliminate greenhouse gas emissions. In this demonstration, we review basic chemistry (see illustration) to realize that producing CO2 is an inevitable product of burning any fossil fuel.

Cookie Mining

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 "ore mined." The object of the game is to develop the mine, safeguard the environment, and make as much money as possible.

Disaster Supplies Kit

Prepare a kit in case of natural hazards or a disaster. This list from FEMA and the Red Cross will have you prepared for almost any emergency!

Earthquake on the Playground

Push away from those paper seismograms and get outside to make your own earthquake waves! You're going to learn about earthquake location kinesthetically. In the activity below, you will model how earthquake waves travel through the Earth at different speeds. You also will construct and utilize a graph to characterize the relationship between distance and time of travel of seismic waves (a travel-time curve). Finally, you'll use the constructed travel-time curves to locate the epicenter of a simulated earthquake by triangulation.

Engineer a Satellite

In this activity, you will select the scientific instruments for your satellite, calculate the power requirements for all the subsystems, and construct a scale model of your very own Earth observing satellite.

Exploring for Petroleum - Modeling an Oil Reserve

Doing this investigation will help you understand how geoscientists identify and explore petroleum-rich reserves.


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

Hurricane Tracking

In this activity, plot data found on the National Hurricane Center website to track the path of the hurricane storms.

The Slope of Land in Your Community

The slope of the land and the materials under ground must be considered when planning how to build on the land in a community to lessen landslide risk. Changing the slope of the land (or even the amount of vegetation on a slope) can have dangerous consequences. This activity will introduce you into thinking critically about the land in your area!


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