Elementary and Middle School (K-8) Activity Browse
Resource Type: Activities
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Volcano Monitoring with GPS: Westdahl Volcano Alaska part of EarthScope ANGLE:Educational Materials:Activities
Learners use graphs of GPS position data to determine how the shape of Westdahl Volcano, Alaska is changing. If the flanks of a volcano swell or recede, it is a potential indication of magma movement and changing ...
Human Wave: Modeling P and S Waves part of EarthScope ANGLE:Educational Materials:Activities
Lined up shoulder-to-shoulder, learners are the medium that P and S waves travel through in this simple, but effective demonstration. Once "performed", the principles of P and S waves will not be easily forgotten. This demonstration explores two of the four main ways energy propagates from the hypocenter of an earthquake as P and S seismic waves. The physical nature of the Human Wave demonstration makes it a highly engaging kinesthetic learning activity that helps students grasp, internalize and retain abstract information.
Seismic Slinky: Modeling P and S waves part of EarthScope ANGLE:Educational Materials:Activities
Students will produce P and S waves using a Slinky© to understand how seismic waves transfer energy as they travel through solids. All types of waves transmit energy, including beach waves, sound, light, and more. When an earthquake occurs it generates four different types of seismic waves. We will focus on two of these: Compressional-P (longitudinal) and shearing-S (transverse) "body waves." These travel through the Earth with distinct particle motion and predictable speed.
Earthquake Location: With real seismogram data part of EarthScope ANGLE:Educational Materials:Activities
Students use real seismograms to determine the arrival times for P and S waves and use these times to determine the distance of the seismic station from the earthquake. Seismograms from three stations are provided to determine the epicenter using the S – P (S minus P) method. Because real seismograms contain some "noise" with resultant uncertainty in locating arrival times of P and S waves, this activity promotes appreciation for uncertainties in interpretation of real scientific data.
Seismic Geohazards & Earthquake Hazard Maps: Alaska emphasis part of EarthScope ANGLE:Educational Materials:Activities
Ground shaking is the primary cause of earthquake damage to man-made structures. This exercise combines three related activities on the topic of shaking-induced ground instability: a ground shaking amplification demonstration, a seismic landslides demonstration, and a liquefaction experiment. The amplitude of ground shaking is affected by the type of near-surface rocks and soil. Earthquake ground shaking can cause even gently sloping areas to slide when those same areas would be stable under normal conditions. Liquefaction is a phenomenon where water-saturated sand and silt take on the characteristics of a dense liquid during the intense ground shaking of an earthquake and deform. Includes Alaska and San Francisco examples.
Build a Better Wall part of EarthScope ANGLE:Educational Materials:Activities
How can we design buildings to withstand an earthquake? This activity uses simple materials and gives learners a chance to experiment with structures that can withstand an earthquake. Two optional activities explore building damage by subjecting models to ground vibration on a small shake table.
Base Isolation for Earthquake Resistance part of EarthScope ANGLE:Educational Materials:Activities
This document includes two activities related to earthquake base isolation. Learners explore earthquake hazards and damage to buildings by constructing model buildings and subjecting the buildings to ground vibration (shaking similar to earthquake vibrations) on a small shake table. Base isolation a powerful tool for earthquake engineering. It is meant to enable a building to survive a potentially devastating seismic impact through a proper initial design or subsequent modifications. The buildings are constructed by two- or three-person learner teams.
Earthquake Hazard Inventory & Mitigation Planning part of EarthScope ANGLE:Educational Materials:Activities
In this two-part activity, students/participants first: - Complete a Hazard Inventory for their city or area of interest in the event of a magnitude 7 or larger earthquake and tsunami. - Identify what critical structures and infrastructure will be affected. Then: - Write a summary statement assessing strengths and vulnerabilities of essential services or infrastructure. - Propose actions for mitigating vulnerabilities. - Create an Action Plan to address identified needs.
Tsunami Vertical Evacuation Structures (TVES) part of EarthScope ANGLE:Educational Materials:Activities
Students learn about tsunami vertical evacuation structures (TVES) as a viable solution for communities with high ground too far away for rapid evacuation. Students then apply basic design principles for TVES and make their own scale model that they think would fit will in their target community. Activity has great scope for both technical and creative design as well as practical application of math skills. Examples are from the Pacific Northwest, USA's most tsunami-vulnerable communities away from high ground, but it could be adapted to any region with similar vulnerability.
Rocks are Elastic!! Seeing is Believing part of EarthScope ANGLE:Educational Materials:Activities
This activity helps learners see the elastic properties of rocks by actually bending marble. How rocks respond to stress is a fundamental concept, critical to forming explanatory models in the geosciences (e.g., elastic rebound theory). Whereas learners are likely to have lots of experience with rocks, few will have directly experienced them behaving elastically. As a result of this "missed experience", most learners conceptualize rocks as rigid solids; a concept which generally serves students well in everyday life but impedes learning about particular geologic concepts.
Fault Models for Teaching About Plate Tectonics part of EarthScope ANGLE:Educational Materials:Activities
This short interactive activity has learners to manipulate fault blocks to better understand different types of earthquake-generating faults in different tectonic settings--extensional, convergent, and strike-slip. Fault models aid in visualizing and understanding faulting and plate motions because the instructor and their students can manipulate a three-dimensional model for a true hands-on experience.
Earthquake Machine part of EarthScope ANGLE:Educational Materials:Activities
In this activity, learners work collaboratively in small groups to explore the earthquake cycle by using a physical model. Attention is captured through several short video clips illustrating the awe-inspiring power of ground shaking resulting from earthquakes. To make students' prior knowledge explicit and activate their thinking about the topic of earthquakes, each student writes their definition of an earthquake on a sticky note. Next, through a collaborative process, small groups of students combine their individual definitions to create a consensus definition for an earthquake.
Torn Pieces of a Newspaper part of Teach the Earth:Teaching Activities
A successful unit on plate tectonics begins with engaging learners about the puzzle of the continents. Using "torn pieces of a newspaper" (Wegener's actual words), students recreate the newspaper ...
Arctic Climate Curriculum, Activity 1: Exploring the Arctic part of Climate Change:Activities
This activity introduces students to the Arctic, including different definitions of the Arctic and exploration of the Arctic environment and Arctic people. Students set out on a virtual exploration of the geography ...
Visual Story-Telling Project for Grades 6-12 part of Climate Education in an Age of Media:Use Student Media Production:Activities
Students will learn how to use a sequence of images to illustrate the difference between sequestering and emitting carbon.
Variable Rivers part of NAGT:Teaching Resources:Teaching Materials Collection
This activity is designed to be used as an introduction to rivers and river processes. Students will be working in small groups to test an isolated variable in rivers; they will test either the amount of water, ...
Discovering Plate Boundaries part of NAGT:Teaching Resources:Teaching Materials Collection
Students work collaboratively using data maps to discover plate tectonic boundary processes. Data sets used are earthquakes, volcanos, seafloor age, and topography. The authors below have submitted variations of ...
Animation for grades 6-12 part of Climate Education in an Age of Media:Use Student Media Production:Activities
Students will create an animation to represent one of the many feedback loops that influences climate change. To create their animation, students will use clay, cut paper, whiteboard or other materials commonly ...
Melting ice cubes part of Oceanography:Activities
Explore how melting of ice cubes floating in water is influenced by the salinity of the water. Important oceanographic concepts like density and density driven currents are visualized and can be discussed on the ...
Layer Cake Geology part of Paleontology:Activities
This activity visually introduces students to the idea of geologic time and the correlation between time, rock layers and fossils. It uses the familiar, relevant example of cake but teaches important concepts such ...