Monday, 30 November 2009

NEW Earthlearningidea - Riches in the river

The new activity 'Riches in the river' is an investigation into how valuable ores may become concentrated on river beds. Pupils will explore the importance of differences in density of sand and valuable ore, to see how the ores may become concentrated by the action of moving water.
Pupil learning outcomes: Pupils can
- explain how moving water can separate particles of different density;
- predict where best to look for gold and dense ores on a river bed;
- explain how density differences can be used to separate valuable ores from less dense waste in a commercial situation.
Try this or any of our Earth-related activities and please let us know how you get on.

Friday, 27 November 2009

Earthlearningideas translated into Tamil!

We are delighted to announce that we now have a page for translations of Earthlearningideas into Tamil. This is thanks to Michael Anjello Jothi Rajan, Associate Professor, Dept. Physics and Head Dept. of Religion and Value Education at Arul Anandar College in Karumathur, Tamil Nadu, India.
Not only is Jothi Rajan doing the translations but he is also demonstrating Earthlearningideas at workshops. Next week, on 3rd and 4th December, he is organising a two-day orientation cum workshop for rural schools science teachers of Usilampatti Educational District. The participants are science teachers of 9th standard class handling Tamil Medium classes. The Earthlearningidea team wishes Jothi and his students every success at this event! We hope we shall be able to publish some photos afterwards.

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Water problems

Spread out across the top of a hill, nets are coming to the aid of one neighborhood in Lima, Peru. These nets, both simple and slightly absurd, take advantage of the city’s foggy disposition to capture water. One net costs roughly $800 and those nearby benefit from up to 60 litres of water every night to use for drinking, cooking, bathing, and farming. Though this implementation is obviously very site specific, it is encouraging to see sustainable solutions to water crises, especially in an affordable, feasible form.
Have you tried the Earthlearningideas 'Water, water everywhere, but not a drop to drink' and our Water cycle 'thought experiment', 'Space survival; how could we survive a year in a dome'?

Monday, 23 November 2009

Investigating porosity

These photos come from the Earthlearningidea about the porosity of rocks - 'The space within'.
Pupil learning outcomes: Pupils can:
- test the porosity of a model in the classroom;
- work out the percentage pore space;
- explain why some rocks are porous;
- apply their knowledge of rock porosity to real world situations, such as oil and gas reservoir rocks and rocks containing water (aquifers);
- (in the context of other activities from the Earthlearningidea series) explain the difference between porosity and permeability.

Monday, 16 November 2009

Density of ores and rocks

Have you tried the Earthlearningidea 'Eureka! - detecting ore the Archimedes way'? A rock that feels heavy may contain mineral ores. But how can we find out if rocks that feel heavy for their size really are more dense than ordinary rocks? The simple way to find out is to use the method discovered by the famous scientist Archimedes more than 2000 years ago. To investigate if something is heavy for its size (has a high density) or light for its size (low density) we need to measure how heavy it is (its mass) and what size it is (its volume).
You can do all this if you try this activity.
We have published lots of activities using minimal resources and equipment - click on Keywords on our website.

Monday, 9 November 2009

Earthlearningidea - progress

One of our supporters in India demonstrated some Earthlearningideas at the 6th International Conference on hands-on-Science, at Ahemedabad, India during 27-31 October 2009.
He reports that it was much appreciated.

For our Italian readers - five more translations were added to the site today. Click here to view the page.

To see how our activities have spread across the world, click here.

Have you tried out latest new Earthlearningidea 'Craters on the Moon'? We should be pleased to receive your comments and suggestions.

Thursday, 5 November 2009

Artificial glaciers help farmers in India

To offset the disruptive irrigation effects brought on by global warming, the small village of Stakmo, India has been developing a method for creating its own artificial glaciers. The process involves diverting unused autumn and winter runoffs into specially constructed rock reservoirs that hold the water. As the weather grows colder, the collected water freezes, maintaining the supply of water until spring when it begins to melt. This innovative technique provides water to farmers during the planting season when natural glaciers still haven't thawed due to their higher elevations.
This information has been added in the 'Extension ideas' of 'Modelling for rocks: what's hidden inside - and why?'

Monday, 2 November 2009

Investigating impact craters

Investigating the shapes and sizes of impact craters on the Moon is the latest Earthlearningidea. This activity can be used in an astronomy lesson, or in a situation where teachers wish to set pupils an investigation in which the procedures are decided by the pupils themselves, rather than following a pre-determined set of instructions. It can also be related to the effects of meteorite impacts on the Earth, past, present and future, with discussion about the possible relationship between meteorite impact and mass extinctions.