Monday, 30 January 2012

Mapwork from models 7

This activity is the next in our mapwork series. It investigates a plain with faults parallel to the outcrops of the beds. By doing this activity, pupils can:
• add geological data to a 3D block model of a flat area;
• link up the data with geological boundaries;
• interpret these into a 3D picture of the geology;
• explain how different types of faults can have similar effects on outcrop patterns.
The mapwork series so far can be seen in our category 'Investigating the Earth'
These are just a small part of a  wide variety of Earth-related activities which can be found on our website

Monday, 23 January 2012

Erosion by ice

Have you tried ELI's 'Grinding and gouging'?
Ask your pupils:
• what will happen when they rub a clean ice cube on the piece of painted wood?
• what will happen when they rub a sand-covered ice cube on the piece of painted wood?
Carry out the activity by asking the pupils to rub a clean ice cube over the wood, pressing down as hard as possible. Next, ask them to press an ice cube on to some loose sand in a dish for about 15 seconds and then rub this over the wood. Are the results as predicted?
ELI activities about erosion by rivers, the sea and wind can also be found on our website. Use the topic search or search engine to find them.

Monday, 16 January 2012

Mapwork from models 6: plain with faults in the direction of dip

In this latest ELI mapwork from models activity, pupils are shown a photograph of a plain and then are asked to cut out a 3D paper model of a flat plain-like area. They should use the cut-out to make the first version, then either cut out another
model, or turn the first model inside out, and trace the geology to make the second version.
Plain with faulted rocks, version 1.
With the experience from previous Earthlearningidea models, pupils should realise that when dips are known (as for the fault) they can be drawn using a protractor, and that dipping beds appear horizontal for cross sections drawn at right angles to the dip direction (strike-sections). This makes completing the model fairly
straightforward. Faults like this, which are parallel to the dip of the beds, are called dip faults.
Plain with faulted rocks, version 2.
Completion of this model is even more straightforward, since the fault is vertical and all other lines are drawn in the same places.
However, completion of the second model shows an important geological fact, that the same outcrop pattern can be produced by a normal fault as by a tear fault.
This is one of a series of Mapwork from models exercises on our website. The others can be found in the Investigating the Earth category

Monday, 9 January 2012

Carbon cycle caper

At the recent Annual Conference of the Association for Science Education, Science Museum staff encouraged grown men and women to race excitedly around the room, transferring coloured plastic balls from one container into another and back again! They were taking part in an elaborate activity called 'Carbon Cycle Caper', designed to show 12 year-olds how the carbon cycle works, by becoming physically and mentally involved for a period of some 70 minutes. The Science Museum website gives full details for teachers who might wish to organise the activity for up to 60 pupils at once in the school hall or playground. It took over a year to develop and some details had to be omitted (including the fact that the biggest store of carbon in the Earth and atmosphere is locked up in the rocks, in the form of limestones). Nevertheless, the activity provides a good stimulus for pupils to explore this most complex and important topic, and once organised for one cohort of pupils could then be more readily used in successive years.
You could also try our two carbon cycle Earthlearningidea activities:-
- Carbon goes round and round and round
- Carbon cycle through the window

Monday, 2 January 2012

Fluids, friction and failure

The first ELI for 2012 is 'Fluids, friction and failure; how can unseen fluids affect the movement along faults and glacier beds?' This is a simple test of the angle at which friction is overcome and a drinks can begins to slide down an inclined board. Using a drinks can with small holes at the bottom results in water seeping out on to the surface of the board which reduces the friction.
The ELI website has over 100 Earth-related practical activities - use the search engine or search for a topic or category to find an idea which will stimulate and motivate your pupils.