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In this activity, students investigate convection as it applies to Earth processes. They will assemble a model using a bread pan to view convection in two paired cells. They will also investigate the strengths and weaknesses of the model thay have constructed and answer some questions about what they are seeing. Full description.
Grade level: Middle (6-8), High (9-12)
Resource type: Lab activity
Subject: Geology
 
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In this activity, candy models are used to demonstrate the features of the Earth, including its internal structure and layers. Students learn why models are essential in Earth science and answer questions about how their candy models do and do not compare with the actual Earth. Full description.
Grade level: Middle (6-8)
Resource type: Classroom activity
Subject: Geology
 
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In this activity, students measure the densities of samples of granite, basalt, peridotite/dunite, and an iron meteorite, which are used as representatives of the various layers of the Earth (crust, mantle, core). The samples are weighed to determine their mass, and the Archimedes Principle is used to determine volume. From these two properties, they calculate density, compare it to accepted values ... Full description.
Grade level: Middle (6-8), High (9-12)
Resource type: Lab activity
Subject: Geology, Geophysics
 
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This laboratory activity demonstrates how seismic waves are generated and helps students understand how they can reveal the composition of Earth's inner layers. Students will construct models by filling shoe boxes with various materials, drop rocks on them to generate 'seismic waves', record the waves, and make observations about their differences. Full description.
Grade level: Middle (6-8), High (9-12)
Resource type: Classroom activity
Subject: Geology, Geophysics
 
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Educational standards associated with this resource:
Other: Read
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In this activity, students simulate deformational effects on Earth's crust using peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. These common sandwich components are used to model geologic features such as synclines, anticlines, and monoclines, and to demonstrate the effects of stresses and strains. Full description.
Grade level: Middle (6-8), High (9-12)
Resource type: Classroom activity
Subject: Geology, Structural geology
 
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Educational standards associated with this resource:
Other: Read
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In this exercise, sudents write a series of three stories that explain and/or illustrate rock-forming processes. As an alternative, they may write a single story that addresses the rock cycle. Describing these processes at a level appropriate for their target audience (second graders) requires an adequate understanding of the geologic processes involved and can reveal problems or misconceptions in ... Full description.
Grade level: Middle (6-8), High (9-12)
Resource type: Classroom activity, Assessment / Evaluation
Subject: Geology, Mineralogy or petrology
 
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Students write a short essay using relative age principles to describe a fictional set of geologic events and processes (specified in the exercise) that occur in a hypothetical area. The essay is used to develop a geologic profile, and then it is given to another student who is tasked with producing the correct geologic profile (as a quiz), based on the essay information. A teacher-designed rubric ... Full description.
Grade level: Middle (6-8), High (9-12)
Resource type: Classroom activity
Subject: Geologic time, Geology
 
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Educational standards associated with this resource:
Other: Read
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In this activity, students are assigned a geologic profile based on a set of rock samples and are asked to arrange the samples from oldest to youngest. They then identify each rock type and record their observations of what processes might have formed it, what type of sediment it is made of, what sort of environment it might have formed in, and what agents of erosion or deposition might have been ... Full description.
Grade level: Middle (6-8), High (9-12)
Resource type: Classroom activity
Subject: Geologic time, Geology
 
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Educational standards associated with this resource:
Other: Read
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In this investigation, students locate a round or spherical naturally-occurring rock and take notes about its location and their reasons for selecting it. After measuring the rock and assessing some of its properties, they will answer a series of questions to determine the type of environment that would create a round rock, as well as the different types of weathering and components of the rock's ... Full description.
Grade level: Middle (6-8), High (9-12)
Resource type: Classroom activity, Field activity
Subject: Geology, Mineralogy or petrology
 
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Educational standards associated with this resource:
Other: Read
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The Atlantic Coastal Plain tour is part of the New York Landscape Regions Collection of Google Earth Tours, created by a group of New York State science educators. This tour introduces students to glacial erratics on Long Island, the Ronkonkoma terminal moraine, and the Rock Hill erratic. Coastal erosion and deposition can be studied by viewing dunes, beaches, and wave cut banks. Full description.
Grade level: Middle (6-8), High (9-12)
Resource type: Computer activity, Field trip - virtual
Subject: Physical geography, Geology
 
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Educational standards associated with this resource:
National Science Education Standards (NSES), National Geography Standards: Read
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