Our ocean is filled with items that don’t belong there. Huge amounts of plastics, metals, rubber, paper, textiles, abandoned fishing gear, and much more enter the ocean every day, making marine debris one of the most widespread pollution problems facing the ocean and waterways.
You may be familiar with ice cubes in your favorite soda, but do you know there are very big ice cubes (scientists call them glaciers) hundreds to thousands of meters thick, lying in places
with high mountains? These glaciers shaped beautiful landscapes all around the world — from Glacier National Park to Yosemite, from Patagonia in South America to the Himalayas in Asia.
How is the world connected to the pencil you hold in your hand? Complete this activity to find out.
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.
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.
Unraveling time and the Earth's biologic history are arguably geology's most important contributions to humanity. Yet it is very difficult for humans to appreciate time beyond that of one or two generations, much less hundreds, thousands, millions and billions of years. Perhaps we can only hope that students catch glimpses of our rich geologic heritage, particularly when most of our teaching is done in a classroom and not in a field setting. This exercise begins to make time more "three dimensional" and most importantly, students gain a better appreciation for geologic time and our Earth's history.
Learn how oil rigs work in this activity from the Society of Petroleum Engineers.
Geographic information systems (GIS) are mapping and analysis tools that people use in all walks of life. GIS is problem-solving technology, for careers in research, policy-making, and production — in government agencies, non-profit groups, and for-profit companies, from global to local levels. Learn about GIS careers with ESRI.
Glaciers can create lakes, valleys and areas known as kettle marshes. Their weight and movement are the tools a glacier uses to shape the landscape. Use this experiment to look at small "glaciers" and how they shape the landscape around them.
The atmosphere is a mixture of gases. Similarly, the world's oceans and fresh waters contain dissolved chemicals. Many substances dispersed in air or water are measured in parts per million. Some of these substances are colorless, odorless, and tasteless, yet even in small quantities they can be toxic. To develop an understanding of parts per million as a concept, teams of students will create successive dilutions of a solution to reach a parts-per-million concentration.