Friday, 30 November 2007

Modelling for Rocks - New Earthlearningidea

Our December activity 'Modelling for Rocks: What's hidden inside - and why?' has now been published on our website. This activity investigates the permeability of rocks and how they let water, oil and gas flow through. At the end of the activity, pupils will be able to test rock permeability and put rocks in order of permeability. They will be able to make 2D and 3D models to show different sorts of permeability or impermeability and be able to apply their knowledge to real world situations. They will understand that rocks which are good for holding oil, gas or water must be both porous and permeable. They will investigate their local rocks and assess their potential for extracting water, oil or gas, or for sealing water storage lakes and oil/gas traps.
Please try this activity with your pupils and let us have your comments and suggestions. Some photos of pupils carrying out some permeability tests would be most welcome.


Simon, Netherlands said...

Thinking about porous and permeable rocks holding water, reminded me of the clever project, PlayPumps where children play on a merry-go-round and pump water for villages at the same time. Girls benefit in particular because they are usually the ones fetching the water.
View the site on

Lin jung yen said...

You put all Igneous rocks in the same series of impermeable rocks 1 ,but some of them is not impermeable rocks ex.pumice stone.
So,i recommend that you could chang the characterization .

Earth Learning Idea said...

Thank you Lin Jung Yen for your comment. We did not mention the porosity of pumice; however, we did say in the 'context' that some rocks don't fit this simple pattern but the examples we gave were all sedimentary rocks. In the 'underlying principles', we mentioned that many crystalline rocks are fractured and so may be permeable.