Soil is a vital component of almost every ecosystem, and its health often determines the viability of the whole ecosystem. If a soil cannot support the living organisms within it – such as insects, bacteria, fungi, and plant roots – then it is likely that the entire ecosystem will suffer. The same is true on farms. The success of crops is dependent on the health of the soil.
After rain falls on relatively high land, it moves downwards into drainage areas called watersheds. You will create a model of a watershed by spraying rain on a plastic cover representing Earth’s surface. By watching how it flows, you can identify drainage divides and learn about the movement of water.
Per student or small group:
• 4 ounces of modeling clay
• Sugar cubes (3-6 per cave)
• See-through bowl (cutting the top off a 2-liter bottle works well)
If you were an alien visiting Earth for the first time, you might remark on the diverse and incredible landscapes and patterns around majestic mountains, green forests, rolling grasslands, and turquoise oceans. You also might recognize geometries of civilization and changing weather patterns. All this can be explored from space. In this activity you will explore our planet using Google Earth and locate natural and man-made patterns and landscapes on Earth’s surface that inspire you.
The sun rises in the east and sets in the west. This we know from personal observation. But have you ever thought about where the sun is in the sky at the same time each day?
You might think the sun would appear at the same place at the same time each day. This would be true if Earth had no tilt and its orbit were a perfect circle. But this is not the case.