Are You a Water Waster?

Are You a Water Waster? Activity Source: Education Place, Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Company. All rights reserved. Try this experiment to find out if you’re a water waster. Materials clean, empty, one-quart milk cartons new toothbrushes toothpaste Procedure Brush your teeth with the water running. At the same time, have another person fill the containers with the running water-until you finish brushing. Record how many quart containers are filled. Then use that information to figure out how much water your family uses to brush their teeth. [Read More]

Carbon Travels

Carbon Travels Activity Source: Adapted with permission by NASA. We find carbon everywhere on Earth ─ in trees, rocks, fossil fuels, oceans, and even you! Carbon doesn’t stay in one place, through. Scientists study how carbon moves from one place to another. This is the carbon cycle. The Industrial Revolution, starting in the 1700s, saw a move to large-scale manufacturing and the use of new technologies, such as steam power and electricity. [Read More]

Chemistry of Burning

Chemistry of Burning Activity Source: The University of Texas at Austin Bureau of Economic Geology. Provided by Association of American State Geologists. Adapted with permission. 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. [Read More]

Connecting With Nature

Connecting With Nature Activity Source: Adapted with permission by U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service 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. President Theodore Roosevelt designated Florida’s Pelican Island as the first wildlife refuge in 1903. Now the National Wildlife Refuge System includes more than 550 refuges. [Read More]

Cookie Mining

Cookie Mining Activity Source: Adapted from Women in Mining Education Foundation Activities Purpose 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. [Read More]

Cupcake Core Sampling

Cupcake Core Sampling Activity Source: Adapted from Women in Mining Education Foundation Activities This activity is ideal for a small group of students, a youth group, or a parent-child activity. Purpose Trying to “see” what is beneath the surface of the Earth is one of the jobs of a geologist. 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. [Read More]

Energy and Population

Energy and Population Activity Source: The NEED Project. Adapted with permission. 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 best prediction. This interactive mapping activity will help you understand the relationship between the population of a given state and the amount of energy consumed there. [Read More]

Exploring Change with GIS

Exploring Change with GIS Activity Source: ESRI. Adapted with permission. On our ever-changing Earth, conditions may change quickly or slowly. Some changes come from natural processes; some from human activity. Satellites allow us to see conditions and track changes over time — in land use, forest health, land/water interface, and so on. Since 1972, Landsat satellites have been collecting data using various portions of the visible and invisible electromagnetic spectrum, at a scale close enough to see highways, but not individual buildings on a city block. [Read More]

Exploring Climate Change with GIS

Exploring Climate Change with GIS Activity Source: ESRI. Adapted with permission. Earth’s climate is a product of and is affected by many things—and it’s changing. Long-term and short-term processes, such as plate tectonics and volcanism, contribute to climate. Likewise, human influences, such as rising CO2 levels from fossil fuel burning and deforestation, play active roles. The expression of climate change is seen in a variety of forms: Erratic weather patterns and rising sea levels are among the most discussed. [Read More]

Exploring for Petroleum - Modeling an Oil Reserve

Exploring for Petroleum - Modeling an Oil Reserve Activity Source: Adapted from “Earth System Science in the Community,” American Geosciences Institute, 2005 Background 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 “oily rock. [Read More]