Tuesday 11 December 2007

Tsunami booklet

We have now published the spectacular 16-page tsunami booklet (pdf 2406 KB) by Ranjith Dediwalage on our website. We first mentioned it in our post of Tuesday 16th October. This has been sent to us by Geoscience Education and Outreach Services of Australia with permission from its author - - many thanks for this. Both artwork, photos, diagrams and content are excellent.

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.

Tuesday 27 November 2007

Link for Earthlearningidea and 'One Laptop per Child'

Can anyone help us to link 'Earthlearningidea' and 'One Laptop per Child'? It would be wonderful if the children shown in this audio slideshow were accessing our Earth-related activities.
The laptops are currently being tested around the world. The pupils in the slideshow are from the LEA primary school, Galadima, on the outskirts of Abuja, Nigeria.

Wednesday 21 November 2007

Tsunami through the window in Portugal

Many thanks to the pupils of the Father Francisco Soares School in Portugal who wrote about seeing a tsunami through the window. Their accounts are imaginative and vivid and show that the pupils understand the devastation, fear and panic caused by such a natural hazard. Click here to read them on the website.

The Earthlearningidea team is especially pleased as this sort of work is what we hoped would happen when we devised our project. The original activity may be downloaded from our website in English or Spanish.

Tuesday 20 November 2007

Education for everyone, including girls

UNGEI, The United Nations Girls' Education Initiative is a project aimed specifically at education for girls. Of the world's illiterate adults, two-thirds are women. Of 100 million children worldwide between ages 6 and 11 who are not in school, 70% are girls.
Click here for more information about the project.

Please send us your photos of boys and girls learning from, and enjoying, Earthlearningideas.

Wednesday 14 November 2007

Do you know about the Earth Science Education Unit in the UK?

The Earth Science Education Unit (ESEU) is based at Keele University, Staffordshire in the UK. It provides short, modular workshops which cover the Earth Science content needed by UK schools. These workshops are activity-based and stress the importance of enquiry in science. They address pedagogical issues as well as subject content. Because the Earthlearningidea team members are all involved with ESEU, ELI activities have a similar approach.

ESEU is funded by Oil and Gas UK and this means that a nationwide team of centrally-trained ESEU facilitators can deliver the workshops in schools, colleges and universities across the UK.

Click here to view the activities in ESEU's 'The Dynamic Rock Cycle'.

Wednesday 31 October 2007

ELI activity for November - Rock detective

Our November activity has now been published on our website - Rock detective - rocky clues to the past. Pupils will use the characteristic properties of a set of local rocks to sort them into sedimentary, igneous and metamorphic rock groups.

Please let us have your comments, suggestions and ideas about this topic.

Tuesday 23 October 2007

More links for Tsunamis

We have been sent the following links from Geoscience Education and Outreach Services of Australia:-

The Geological Society of Australia has a link on its resources page - scroll down and click on 'Tsunami facts'.

Geoscience of Australia also has a good tsunami site.

We were also sent more information about the booklet we mentioned in our post of 16th October. The article was published by the Australian Science Teachers' Association on 12th July 2005.

Thursday 18 October 2007

Extension ideas and activities for 'A tsunami through the window'

We have just published the comments we have received so far about our activity 'A tsunami through the window'. If you have further thoughts and ideas, then please comment on the post of 30th September.

More about Tsunamis

Steve Kluge and David Robison from New York, worked on seismograms as soon as these began coming on-line after the disastrous Sumatran tsunamis of December 2004. They created an inquiry-based lab exercise appropriate for high school and first year introductory level college students that involves the analysis of various aspects of data collected during and right after the quake - including locating the epicenter, timing the tsunami, measuring the human impact, and more.

Click here to see the webpage which has links to the activities.

The activity has been done by thousands of students around the world since then, and is featured in the journal of the National Earth Science Teachers' Association (NESTA).

Thank you very much for sending this link Steve; the project looks excellent.

Wednesday 17 October 2007

One laptop per child

Just as Earthlearningidea is trying to provide a means of learning and exploration for children with little access to education, so is this initiative - 'One Laptop per Child'

The XO laptops are created expressly for the world's poorest children living in the most remote environments. Files from the machines can be backed up on a 'school server' or via an on-line system provided by Google. Click here for more details.

It seems that the laptops would be able to access Earthlearningidea activities. What a wonderful combination! Does anyone have more information about this please?

Here are some more links to information about these laptops. Click here and here.

Tuesday 16 October 2007

Physics of the tsunami that re-drew the Sri Lankan coast

A booklet, 'Jala Tharanga - Physics of the Tsunami that re-drew the Sri Lankan Coastal Map' has been written by Ranjith Dediwalage, Head of Science at St. Leonard's College, Melbourne, Australia. The idea is that people can donate money through the purchase of the booklet at $5.00 each and learn some science at the same time. All the money raised will be given to the Panadura Fisheries Village Rehabilitation Fund in Sri Lanka. Ranjith can be contacted by email.

Monday 15 October 2007

More links for Earthlearningidea

Earthlearningidea has been linked to the websites of UCL Department of Earth Sciences, 'Useful Earth Science Links' and there is an article and a link on the website of the Royal Society of New Zealand. This is very good news. We are also pleased to report that subcription numbers to ELI continue to rise steadily. Please write your comments on this blog.

Sunday 30 September 2007

New ELI activity - Tsunami through the window

Ask your pupils what they might see and feel if a major tsunami wave hit the view they can see outside through the window or doorway. How big would it be, how fast would it be moving, is it carrying anything, what would you do, what caused it? These are just some of the suggested questions you could ask.

This new 'thought experiment' activity is available now on the Earthlearningidea website. Please try it out and let us have your comments.

If you have access to YouTube, there are a number of videos of the terrible tsunami that struck South East Asia on December 26th 2004. However, some are not suitable for the classroom. This one, Tsunami hits Thailand and South East Asia, lasts for 7 minutes and this one, Tsunami shows the ensuing devastation in Banda Aceh and lasts for 52 seconds.

Monday 24 September 2007

More Comments on Quake Shake

We have received some very interesting additional information following the post of Thursday 23rd August. Both John Lahr of the US Geological Survey and Paul Denton of the British Geological Survey have added some useful facts. Click here to see these additional comments.

Click here to see all the comments received about this activity. This pdf file may be found on the Earthlearningidea website.

Friday 14 September 2007

Trying out 'Quake shake' in India

Pupils from Vishwa Mangala School, Mangalore University campus are trying out 'Quake shake - will my home collapse', our sample Earthlearningidea activity. There was a large group of students aged about 14 years. Their teacher tells us that they all appreciated the demonstration and found it useful. Some of them guessed that the building which did not fall had good foundations.

If you have photos of your pupils trying out ELI activities, please send them to us for publication.

Thursday 6 September 2007

Google Earth Science Lessons

Steve Kluge from New York recently got in touch with ELI about his National Science Foundation funded project, creating a teacher friendly manual for developing earth science lessons using Google Earth.

You can find information about the manual here and the manual itself here. Looks really interesting.

Thanks Steve for your support of ELI and for letting us know about your project. Does anyone else have relevant projects they would like to share with ELI?

Friday 31 August 2007

New Earthlearningidea activity

Our new activity is now ready for you to try - 'When will it blow? - predicting eruptions'. It shows how a simple tiltmeter can demonstrate the bulging of a volcano before eruption. Our short video clip shows the bulging in action.

This is a brilliant, simple activity and could form part of a lesson about volcanic eruptions and their effects. It could also be used as part of the preparation for the best response to an eruption in a volcanic area. Pupils will be able to relate this simple classroom demonstration to the fact that tiltmeters are used on volcanoes all over the world to help to predict eruptions.

Please try this out and let us have your comments here.

Friday 24 August 2007

ELI activities are now available in Spanish

Thanks to Aulagea, a service for teachers and learners of the Department of Geology of the University of Buenos Aires, our activities will now be available in Spanish.

'Quake Shake - will my home collapse?' has already been translated and is available on the website.

Thursday 23 August 2007

Quake Shake - extension idea

Many thanks, Thomas, for your interesting extension thoughts for Quake Shake. This sounds a really good idea and one which students would certainly enjoy, especially the 'quake-off' at the end! If you try this out, please let us know the results.

Just click here to see the comments on Quake Shake. All comments and suggestions like this are gratefully received and will be added to the website, after the original activity. By the end of the International Year of Planet Earth, we shall have 57 activities and, hopefully, lots of extension and modification ideas.

Tuesday 14 August 2007

Video Clips on Earthlearningidea - Quake Shake

In order to bring Earthlearningideas to life we'll be using video footage of some of the activities to show you what to expect. We've produced a video to accompany the sample activity, 'Quake shake - will my home collapse?' Click here to watch the video.

Monday 6 August 2007

Earthlearning idea has reached Australia

We are delighted that we now have subscribers to ELI in Australia. Our aim is to reach every country in the world so please help us to spread by telling your colleagues, and particularly teacher- educators, about us.

We are busy writing new activities and already have some very good ideas ready for publication from September this year.

Coming soon - - video clips to demonstrate our activities.

Thursday 2 August 2007

ELI is linked to the Geological Society's Education page

The Geological Society has included a link to Earthlearningidea via its website's Education page, bottom right in image above. This will help to disseminate our teaching ideas when we start to publish more activities - one a month from September to December this year and then one every week in 2008. Please subscribe to this blog if you want to be informed when anything new has happened and when the activities have been published.

Tuesday 31 July 2007

National Association of Geoscience Teachers sponsors ELI

We are absolutely delighted to announce that the Executive Committee of The National Association of Science Teachers (NAGT) has approved sponsorship of Earthlearningidea.

NAGT works in the USA to raise the quality of and emphasis on teaching the geosciences at all levels. Its purpose is to foster improvement in the teaching of the earth sciences at all levels of formal and informal instruction, to emphasize the cultural significance of the earth sciences and to disseminate knowledge in this field to the general public.

In support of its mission, NAGT organizes the technical program in geoscience education at every Geological Society of America Annual Meeting, and in this context also sponsors numerous technical sessions, workshops, and field trips. NAGT also publishes the Journal of Geoscience Education which has become a definitive source for high quality research about teaching and learning in the geosciences. We shall be writing articles about our Earthlearning teaching ideas for NAGT's e-newsletter.

ELI in New Zealand

Earthlearningidea has reached Auckland Girls' Grammar School in New Zealand. We hope the teaching ideas will spread from there across New Zealand and maybe to Australia and South-east Asia.

Thank you for your interest and support.

Saturday 21 July 2007

Earthlearningidea has reached South America

We now have a subscriber from La Plata, Argentina. He is willing to spread our teaching ideas to as many establishments as possible.
Thank you.

Friday 20 July 2007

Experts have joined our supporters' team

We are very pleased to announce that two experts have joined our team of supporters. One is a research scientist who will cover queries in the 'Resources and Environment' category. The other is a geophysicist and will answer questions concerning 'Investigating the Earth'.

Earthlearningidea in Taiwan

Our activities are now known in the Department of Earth Sciences, National Taiwan Normal University.

The professor of the Department of Earth Sciences and Director of the Science Education Centre has agreed to promote our activities. This is excellent news.

The image is from the department's website.

Thursday 19 July 2007

Earthlearningidea is now in Canada

We have heard today from a member of the Geological Survey of Canada. He assures us that details of our exciting project will be circulated widely throughout Canada in September.

We shall be publishing one new earth-related activity in the months from September to December and then one a week will be produced for 2008, the International Year of Planet Earth. As you can see from the previous posts, we are gradually spreading across the globe but we still need to reach lots more teacher-trainers in all countries. Please help us.

Wednesday 18 July 2007

Earthlearningidea has reached the States!

A link to Earthlearning idea will be posted on the Earth2Class website. Earth2Class is a science/maths/technology resource for teachers, students, the general public and geoscientists. It is a collaboration among researchers at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Columbia University curriculum and technology integration specialists from Teachers College, Columbia University and Colegio Bandeirantes, Sao Paulo, Brazil, and classroom teachers from New York, New Jersey and elsewhere.

Tuesday 17 July 2007

Earthlearningidea is spreading further

Our global earth-related teaching ideas have now been introduced to the International Council for Associations for Science Education (ICASE), the Association of Geoscientists for International Development (AGID), the members of the European Geosciences Union (EGU) sub-committee on Education and lots of other interested organisations.

The editor of 'Earth Science Ireland' has also expressed interest in ELI and has accepted an article for publication in the autumn issue.

Please help us to contact as many teachers or teacher-trainers across the world as possible. More activities will be published soon.

Monday 18 June 2007

Kathmandu International Study Centre, Nepal

We have received the following positive response from the Kathmandu International Study Centre. "Many thanks; Earth Learning Idea seems very exciting especially as you will be using the International Year of Planet Earth and publishing one activity per week. The sample activity, 'Quake Shake' was spot on for here, where we have an earthquake drill every term. Keep up the good work; it is imaginative and I think will meet a need in many poor countries like ours. Poverty doesn't only mean money, it means poverty of experience, learning, thinking ability - - - even books."

Thursday 7 June 2007

New Link on Earth Learning Idea website

We have added another link on our website to the free online Open University resources. There is quite a lot of Earth Science and Environmental material here which will be of interest to subscribers of Earth Learning Idea.

Tuesday 5 June 2007

Thanks for positive comments

Thank you for the positive comments Pete and for the ideas for further development of Quake Shake. Using objects of varying shape to investigate stability will lead to yet more fruitful discussion amongst pupils. Hopefully, each activity we publish will generate some good ideas which we intend to add in a 'blog feedback' file to each activity.

Thanks also Dawn for your encouraging comments about Earth Learning Idea. It is great to know we have the support of the Earth Science Teachers' Association.

Saturday 2 June 2007

Quake Shake - will my home collapse?

Our first sample activity can now be viewed on our website. The activities page can be found here.

It is a simple investigation into why some buildings collapse when an earthquake strikes and why some do not.
It requires minimal equipment and will lead to lots of discussion.

Would this work for you? Please let us know what you think by emailing us (info@earthlearningidea.com) or by clicking the 'comment' link below.

Sunday 6 May 2007


We're nearly ready to launch our exciting project which will share Earth-related teaching ideas across the world.

Our website is in development; we shall be storing the activities there.

This blog will keep you informed about what's going on and let you know when each activity is published. In the right hand column, you can subscribe to the blog via email or RSS reader (click here to find out more about RSS).

Please let us know if you have any thoughts or comments either by emailing us, or by clicking the 'comment' link below.