Monday 31 March 2008

Another Earthlearningidea - Earthquake through the window

Our latest activity 'Earthquake through the window - what would you see, what would you feel?' is asking pupils to picture for themselves what an earthquake through the window might look like. Through discussion, pupils will be able to suggest answers to questions such as, what would you see, what would be happening on the ground, what would be happening to buildings and trees, what would people be doing, what would it be like inside this building, how would you be feeling, what might have caused the earthquake - - ?
Please try this out with your pupils and let us have your comments and feedback.

Monday 24 March 2008

How to weigh a dinosaur

Click here to view this latest Earthlearningidea.
Dinosaurs sometimes left footprints in wet mud or sand, which hardened to leave trace fossils. We can work out how heavy the dinosaur was, if we can compare the footprint with the mark made by a known weight in the classroom. The relationship between pressure, force and area can be used to estimate the mass of a two-legged dinosaur from the area and depth of one of its fossilised footprints.
Do try this out with your pupils and let us have your results.

Extension - Quake Shake - will my home collapse?

Professor James Jackson from the University of Cambridge has added this interesting addition to the extension notes on this activity. He has attached an extract about the liquefaction of the Ganges plain in the 1934 Bihar earthquake; this gives you a taste of what is to come - -

“. . . . As the rocking ceased . . . water spouts, hundreds of them throwing up water and sand, were to be observed on the whole face of the country, the sand forming miniature volcanoes, whilst the water spouted out of the craters, some of the spouts were quite five feet high. In a few minutes - as far as the eye could see - was a vast expanse of sand and water, water and sand. The road spouted water and wide openings were to be seen across it ahead of me, and my car sank, while the water and sand bubbled and spat, and sucked, till my axles were covered. ‘Abandon ship’ was quickly obeyed, and my man and I stepped into knee deep water and sand and made for the shore.”
From the Bihar-Nepal earthquake of 1934, Memoirs of the Geological Society, India, 73, 391 pp,1939 (p34).

Monday 17 March 2008

A valley in 30 seconds - rocks pulling apart

Another Earthlearningidea using an empty box to investigate faulting. This activity models how tensional forces can cause fractures in rocks, sometimes creating rift valleys like the one in Iceland in the photo. This activity could be used to extend a physics lesson on forces or to aid understanding of surface features such as fault scarps (steep slopes along a fault plane) and rift valleys.
Click here to view a short video clip of the activity or see the post below.
Please let us have your thoughts and comments.

Video; A valley in 30 seconds - pulling rocks apart

If you cannot view YouTube videos, then click HERE.

Landslide through the window

The Year 9 science pupils of Rangi Ruru Girls' school in Christchurch, New Zealand have tried out this activity. Click here to view the comments of their teacher.
Thank you very much for this feedback.

Wednesday 12 March 2008

First Earthlearningidea in Norwegian

Our 'Mighty river in a small gutter' activity can now be accessed in Norwegian. Click here to view it. Other activities will be published in Norwegian as soon as they are translated.

We shall be pleased to publish our ideas in other languages too - - just let us have the translations.

Tuesday 11 March 2008

Earthlearningidea across the world

As you can see from the map, this blog has had 3364 visitors from 88 countries; the darker the green, the more hits, but what about the countries we haven't reached - white on the map? Can you spread the ideas to parts of Africa and Asia? No-one in China has seen the fantastic ideas we have to offer. Is there anyone out there who can translate the activities into other languages - - Urdu, Mandarin? As you know, we already have Spanish translations and soon, we shall have a Norwegian page too.
We are finding it difficult to reach the places where the ideas could be most effective and, possibly, life-changing. Please help us!

Monday 10 March 2008

Landslide through the window

This latest activity is a 'thought experiment' imagining how different landslides might affect the view through the window. Pupils are asked to describe the view through the window if a sudden landslide were to strike. Of course, the answers depend on whether the view, and your building, is hit by a landslide or is being carried along on a landslide. Pupils are encouraged to imagine both scenarios by answering a series of questions. If you want to know what those questions are then click here to view the activity.

Monday 3 March 2008

The meeting of the dinosaurs - 100 million years ago

What happened next? The ground near your school is being dug up to build a new football pitch. As the old buildings are removed, the footprints shown on this map are discovered in the rocks below. You know that 100 million years ago, this area was a mudflat on the edge of a lake. Dinosaurs came down to the lake and left their footprints in the mud. The footprints became fossils and are preserved as fossil tracks in the mudstone. What do you think you will see as more of the old buildings are removed? Click HERE to view the activity in English or Spanish.
Please let us have your comments and thoughts about this activity.