Monday, 6 April 2009

New Earthlearningidea - Dust bowl

We have just published our latest Earthlearningidea - 'Dust bowl: investigating wind erosion'. What will happen if pupils blow through a straw, or similar tube, at a pile of dry sediment? Which of the particles is most likely to move first? What would they have to do to make all the sediment move? How far will the particles travel? Which will go furthest? How does this activity relate to the real world?
This activity could lead to an understanding of the effects of wind erosion in flat, exposed areas and dry climates. Wind erosion can have devastating effects on a region's soil, if measures are not taken to protect it.
Try this Earthlearningidea with your pupils and let us know how they get on. Please send us some photos or written descriptions of their ideas. We will publish the best in our 'Extension' ideas.

1 comment:

Mary from New Mexico said...

To make clean up easier I covered the table tops with a large piece of paper. Before starting the activity I realized that students could also use the paper to record their predictions and observations.
Before beginning students outlined their predicted distribution of the sand. The students chose to compare a 'weak' wind and a 'strong' wind. After each wind event they recorded their observations directly on the paper, making annotations about grain density and grain size as well as the broad distribution. Students then were asked to explain their observations.