Monday, 23 October 2017

Modelling earthquake wave amplification

Our new Earthlearningidea is 'Jelly/biscuit modelling of how earthquake waves amplify and devastate; demonstrating how seismic shaking depends on local geology'


The model represents a place like Mexico City where the central part of the city is built on solid rock but the rest of the city is built on soft lake bed sediments. This means that different parts of the city, only a few hundred metres apart, respond very differently to earthquake shaking.
Many activities about earthquakes for all ages, can be found by searching our website.
This activity was devised and written by a colleague in the British Geological Survey.

Monday, 9 October 2017

The rock cycle - common misconceptions

The new ELI today is 'Not misunderstanding the rock cycle: addressing common misconceptions about the rock cycle'

This is a sorting exercise directly focussed on common rock cycle misconceptions. The activity takes the educational approach known as constructivism. Through constructivism, student misconceptions are identified and directly targeted by teaching.
Many more Earthlearningideas related to the rock cycle can be found on the website.

Monday, 2 October 2017

Sorting out soils

Following on from last week's 'Is there life in soil?', have you tried 'Soil doughnuts; sorting out soils'?
Sandy soils allow water through easily and clay soils do not. Gardeners usually prefer loam soils.
For a farmer or gardener, it is important to know the soil type so that it can be managed properly and crop production increased.
This activity can be used in any lesson about the environment, rocks and landscape, agriculture, gardening or investigations out of doors.
More ideas for teaching about soils can be found on the website in teaching strategies.

Monday, 25 September 2017

Is there life in this soil sample?

The new Earthlearningidea today asks questions to consolidate pupil understanding of soil-formation, 'Is there life in this soil sample?'

Soil often looks like a non-living substance that simply covers many parts of the Earth’s surface. However, pupils should be aware that if soil did not contain living material (alive and/or dead) it would no longer be soil, but would just be part of the weathered rock material found on the surface where no obvious life is present. Such non-soil debris is called regolith, as found on mountain tops and polar regions on Earth and also on the Moon or planets like Mars.
Many more activities related to soils can be found by searching the website or listed in Teaching strategies and Children's Fun activities.

Monday, 18 September 2017

Electrical ground probing

Following on from last week's post about remote sensing, this week we have 'Electrical ground probing; measuring the electrical resistance of the ground to find buried objects.'

The activity models the principles involved in surveying by electrical methods. Such techniques are frequently used in mineral exploration or in archaeological surveying. Forensic scientists also use the method to investigate disturbed ground in the search for objects buried by criminals.
Other related ideas can be found on the website.

Monday, 11 September 2017

Modelling remote sensing geophysics

The new Earthlearningidea today is 'Modelling remote sensing geophysics; using a mock gravitometer and magnetometer set up in the classroom'

This activity involves using a mock gravitometer and magnetometer to demonstrate the principles of the remote sensing of gravity and magnetism. It is an ELI+ activity. This method models how density and magnetic anomalies are identified by geophysical remote sensing. Data from such geophysical sensing is used to plot gravity and magnetic anomaly maps, like the ones shown above and explained in the activity.
Similar ideas for teaching Earth science can be found on our website.