Earth's Systems (ESS2)

Climate and Temperature

Learn how Earth's climate effects soil types all over the planet.

Connecting With Nature

Go on an adventure with the Blue Goose, the symbol of the National Wildlife Refuge System!

Conservation in Action

Join the conservation movement with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service!

Core Sampling

Drilling is the only way to be sure that oil and gas fields exist and exactly what is present in the formation. Core samples reveal the physical and chemical nature of the rock. In this activity, you will create a model formation and “drill” for samples.

Dangerous Atmosphere

How much of a danger does severe weather pose for the area where you live? You can compute the answer yourself in this exercise.

Dating Popcorn

How do geologists understand the Earth’s history? In part, they measure the age of rocks and other natural materials by dating techniques. They can date rocks by gauging the amount of decay of radioactive elements. You can simulate the dating process with popcorn.

Deep-Sea Drilling

This activity enables students to estimate and calculate scales of distance and length as used by ocean drilling scientists.

Different Times, Different Environment

Geologic maps show the locations of various kinds of rocks at the surface. In places where rivers have eroded the surface, deeper layers become exposed. The opposite occurs when lake levels rise; rocks along the shore are covered by water. Geologic clues in each layer can be used to tell a story of Earth’s history. Differences between one layer and the next reveal changes in the Earth system.

Dig Into Soil

Learn how soil scientists observe and record data and how that information is useful to farmers, builders, and others in order to use the land appropriately.

Digging Into Soil

Materials

  • Piece of heavy duty PVC pipe about one inch in diameter and 10 inches long
  • Piece of wood doweling that will fit inside the PVC pipe
  • Hammer
  • Wood block
  • Leather garden glove
  • Hand lens or microscope
  • Non-toxic marker
  • Large sheet of white posterboard
  • Six clear plastic sandwich bags
  • Plastic knife
  • Tools for separating soil, such as tweezers, tongue depressor, drinking straw
  • Paper towels (for clean up)

Procedure

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