Monday, 29 September 2008

How could we survive for a year in a sealed dome?

'Space survival: how could we survive a year in a dome?' is our latest Earthlearningidea.
Give the pupils copies of the carbon, water and nitrogen cycles and then ask them:-
What will you take with you? You can order whatever you want but think about the following questions:-
- What are you going to breathe?
- What are you going to drink? How will you collect fresh water?
- What are you going to eat? Will you be vegetarian? If not, how will you get meat?
- What is your likely water/oxygen/food consumption per day?
- How will you dispose of waste?
- What energy source will you use? How will you use it?
- How will you produce power?
- How will you control temperature?
- What will your medical requirements be?
- What are you going to do when you get there? Who will do which jobs?
- What else will you need to consider?
This is a popular activity in the UK. Please do try it with your pupils and let us publish their results.

ELI activities in Italy

News from Italy - "Yesterday, the Italian Teachers' Association ran a workshop in Bologna to spread Earthlearningidea activities. Six activities were presented in two hours. There were 29 teachers from secondary schools (mainly from Emilia, Romagna and Toscana) and they enjoyed the workshop and the interactive methodology (which was quite new to us, who are more used to frontal lectures). I used a small questionnaire at the end to find out if they liked the
workshop and everybody wrote that they would like another one soon. Thank you."
This is really good news; we are always delighted to know when our activities are being used and enjoyed.
Earthlearningidea team.

Monday, 22 September 2008

New Earthlearningidea

Metamorphism - that's Greek for 'change of shape' isn't it? This is our latest Earth-related activity.
The concept of metamorphism is a difficult one to explain because the processes happen at considerable depth in the crust or mantle and cannot be readily reproduced in a school laboratory. The activities given here demonstrate the principle of the effects of pressure on particles of different shape and composition, but cannot reproduce the recrystallisation that accompanies real metamorphism. However, slate and marble are important constructional and decorative materials and it is useful for pupils to have some understanding of their origins.
(The photo shows a Welsh craftsman splitting roofing slate)

Earthlearningidea in 2009

Because Earthlearningidea has been so successful and continues to attract new users, we have decided to continue publishing the activities into 2009 but we should like some new ideas from you.
Please click on the INVITATION link on the home page of our website for more details.

Tuesday, 16 September 2008

News from Italy

We have received the following information from Italy:-
'The teachers' association (the only one in Italy that includes geoscience teachers), has formed a workgroup on Earth science education (ANISN-DST) and we are translating the Earthlearningideas. We have our next meeting on 25th September and on this date we have a workshop where some of us will present the ELI activities to other colleagues to try to spread the use of ELI in the schools. Several teachers from different regions have already written to me that they are interested in this idea.'

Monday, 15 September 2008

An eruption through the window

We have just published another of our popular 'through the window' activities. Click here to see 'An eruption through the window; how could an eruption transform your view - lava, ash, lahar or something worse? Picture a large volcano to the left of the window - how would your view be affected by an eruption of the volcano? Different volcanoes erupt differently and the view could be transformed in different ways depending on the type of eruption. For each type of eruption, ask yourselves:
- What would you see - how would this change as the eruption continued?
- What might you sense - hearing, smelling, tasting or in other ways?
- How would you be feeling?
- Would you be safe? Would your friends and family be safe?
- What might the view be like after the end of the eruption?
Choose the best of your pupils' work on this activity and we will publish it.

Monday, 8 September 2008

Where shall we drill for oil?

In our latest Earthlearningidea, the diagram shows how oil and gas are formed, how they become trapped in the ground and how they may be extracted. Pupils are asked to list the events in the correct order and are given sentences to help. They are also asked to explain how oil and gas might escape from the trap on the right and what would happen if the fault brought the limestone on the right into contact with the sandstone on the left. Lastly they explain what sorts of rock they would be looking for if they were searching for oil and gas.

Monday, 1 September 2008

What is the geological history?

Click here for our latest Earthlearningidea, 'What is geological history'. This activity encourages pupils to use simple stratigraphic principles to work out a sequence of events to reveal a geological history. The cartoon diagram given shows, in a simple way, the geological history of the UK. This activity is especially good when combined with Earthlearningidea 'Laying down the principles'.

Please send us some feedback about these activities, either by using comments here on the blog or by