activity

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.

Density of Minerals

Density is an intrinsic physical property of minerals that relates to the composition of the mineral and to the pattern in which the mineral’s atoms are arranged. “Intrinsic” means that the property is the same for the mineral, no matter what the size or shape of the sample. In this activity, students will measure and compare the densities of minerals.

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

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!

Discovering Fossils

A fossil is any evidence of past life preserved in a geologic context, such as within rock or sediment. This activity allows you to explore the process used by paleontologists — scientists who study fossils to understand ancient landscapes, climate, and life on Earth — to find and identify fossils.

Drill Site Dilemma

This activity gives your students a glimpse at the difficulty of seafloor surveying, as well as the challenges the JOIDES Resolution faces during each expedition. Your students also will learn about latitude and longitude and plotting coordinates.

Dynamic Wetlands

Learn about the importance of wet and dry seasons in wetland ecology. Students will learn to understand the wetlands as precious ecosystems.

Earth and Ancient Architecture

Architects and engineers often design and build structures inspired by the earth’s natural formations and shapes. This was also true for the ancient builders that built pyramidal structures and platforms with broad bases and tapered sides, inspired in most cases by the hills and mountains they saw around them. While many societies built them, pyramids and platforms across different cultures were not all alike, differing in shape, function, and construction materials, and techniques.

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