Monday, 24 November 2014

Magnetic field of the Earth

New ELI today 'Why won't my compass work on the other side of the Equator? - understanding the three dimensional magnetic field of the Earth'. People who take their magnetic compass from one hemisphere to the other are often surprised that it doesn't work in both. The activity uses this finding as a prompt to explain the three-dimensional nature of the Earth's magnetic field.
Visit our website for more ideas about teaching Earth's magnetism.

Monday, 17 November 2014

Testing the strength of rocks

Have you tried the ELI 'Testing rocks - 1 bouncing back testing the strength of rocks'? When engineers build structures such as dams, roads and tunnels, they need to investigate the properties of the rocks beneath and around them. One of the key properties is the strength of the rocks. This normally requires expensive equipment, but we can get quite a good idea by simply dropping a ball bearing onto a flat, cut sample of the rock. The height to which the ball bearing bounces back allows us to compare the relative strength of different rocks.
There are lots more ideas on our website.

Monday, 10 November 2014

Journey to the centre of the Earth - on a toilet roll

Today's new ELI is 'Journey to the centre of the Earth - on a toilet roll; just how thin is the crust we live on?' We seldom stop to consider the true scale of many features of the Earth. This activity aims to enable pupils to visualise the thickness of the crust in relation to the rest of the Earth. It also helps them to appreciate the difference in depth between the oceanic crust and the continental crust. It introduces the terms 'lithosphere' and 'asthenosphere' to help in understanding plate tectonic theory.
Other related activities about the structure of the Earth can be found on the  website.

Monday, 3 November 2014

Sorting out Earth events according to the time they take

A very popular ELI in October was 'How long does it take? - quick to very, very, very slow'. Some Earth processes are dangerously quick – but some are extremely slow. Help your pupils to understand how the rates of Earth processes differ by cutting out the cards provided and fitting them in the best places on the scale, also provided.

This is one of many ELI activities which help pupils to understand the enormity of geological time, all free to download from our website.

Monday, 27 October 2014

Cross bedding and ancient currents

Today's new ELI is the last in our current series of sedimentary structures. It is 'Cross bedding and ancient currents; using cross-bedding to find the directions of ancient currents' Cross-bedding is a common feature of sedimentary rocks. The formation of cross-bedding can be seen in modern depositional environments and then related to similar structures in sedimentary rocks – an example of using the present to help us to understand the past. Cross-bedding can be used as part of prospecting in the minerals or hydrocarbon industries.
View other activities in the series on our website.

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Identifying minerals in the dark!

Have you tried 'Identifying minerals – use your sense(s)! Minerals in the dark: identifying minerals when the lights fail'  In this activity, pupils use their senses other than sight to enable them to identify a range of different minerals.
Lots more ideas on our website.

Monday, 13 October 2014

Cross-bedding and way-up structures

Today's new ELI is another in our series about sedimentary structures. This one 'Cross-bedding' uses cross bedding to determine the way-up of a bed of sedimentary rock. It gives an introduction to the types of evidence which can be obtained from cross-bedding in sediments and in sedimentary rocks.

Other activities to show sedimentary structures can be found in the link to Teaching strategies on our website.