Keyah Math > Activities > Layers of the Earth

# Layers of the Earth

This activity was selected for the On the Cutting Edge Reviewed Teaching Collection

This activity has received positive reviews in a peer review process involving five review categories. The five categories included in the process are

• Scientific Accuracy
• Alignment of Learning Goals, Activities, and Assessments
• Pedagogic Effectiveness
• Robustness (usability and dependability of all components)
• Completeness of the ActivitySheet web page

#### Summary

Students use graphs of seismic wave travel times, and value for the diameter of Earth obtained in the Size of the Earth activity, to investigate the internal structure of the Earth and determine that it is layered.

Click here to view the full activity on the Kéyah Math Project website.

## Learning Goals

Objectives
• Use graphs of travel times of seismic body waves.
• Use data provided to compute velocity for one seismic wave and travel time for a second seismic wave from a station at a known distance from the epicenter of an earthquake.
• Deduce the path of the second wave and recognize the implications for the internal structure of Earth.

Mathematical Skills
• Use basic algebra (distance, rate and time) and geometry.
• Apply Snell's law.
• ## Context for Use

This activity consists of a set of quantitative problem-solving exercises that can be used as an in-class activity or an assignment in any introductory course with a unit on Earth structure, plate tectonics, or seismology, such as:
• Physical geology or physical geography
• Historical geology or Earth history
• Environmental geology, natural hazards, natural disasters
• Earth system science
• Earth materials

## Teaching Notes and Tips

An Instructor's Guide to all Kéyah Math activities is available online from the Instructor Resources page on the Kéyah Math website.

## Assessment

Students record their work and answers in a word-processor document or a notebook, which can be submitted to the instructor for assessment. Solutions to these problems are available online from the Instructor Resources page on the Kéyah Math website.

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