Monday 26 October 2009

Manila Flood - 26th September 2009

What was it like to be there - the Manila flood in the Philippines, 26th September 2009. This is an Earth science teacher's eye witness account of surviving the worst flood for more than 40 years and no-one was prepared. This experience has galvanised the teacher's commitment to educate the next generation in understanding how the Earth and its sub-systems work. He says, "With climate change becoming more evident each passing day, we really have to get our act together."
This has been published as an extension to our Earthlearningidea 'Flood through the window'.
If you have personal experiences of natural hazards, please send them to us so that everyone can understand what it is really like to live through such an event.

Monday 19 October 2009

What is a fossil?

Which of the following are fossils? 4000 year-old human footprint, a squirrel killed on the road, 3500 million year-old cell filaments, a petrified tree stump, the trail of a 530 million year-old trilobite, dendritic mineral growths, a beach pebble with holes bored by modern marine organisms? Find out by trying 'Fossil or not?' Earthlearningidea.

Wednesday 14 October 2009

Important note - 'Make your own rock'

Following problems with the use of plaster of Paris, we have added safety guidelines into this activity - 'Make your own rock'. Builders' cement powder is alkaline and should not be used.

Monday 12 October 2009

Make your own rock!

Have you tried this Earthlearningidea? 'Make your own rock' is an activity in which pupils investigate how loose sediment may be stuck together to form a 'rock'. To become hard rocks, most sediments need to be cemented together. Pupils will be able to demonstrate how 'rocks' are made by compacting and cementing loose sand, devise a fair way of testing the strength of their 'rocks' and be able to explain that the strength of the rock may depend as much on the cement that holds the particles together, as it does on the composition of the particles themselves.
Click here to access other innovative teaching ideas.

Tuesday 6 October 2009

How to get drinking water

Mary from New Mexico made the following, very good additions to our latest Earthlearningidea 'Water, water everywhere but not a drop to drink' -
"I often use this as a 'challenge' activity, where student teams compete to see who 'best' cleans the water. I offer the students a choice of possible items to filter and let them design their own filters using different layers. The biggest challenge is getting the blue food coloring out of the water. This exercise really works well with the cut off bottles as funnels. If you have a microscope, students can easily see some of the small organisms in the water and you can incubate your own by putting grass clippings in water and letting it sit."
These are positive and enhancing comments which we have published in our 'Extension Ideas'. Thank you Mary!
We shall be very pleased to receive any other suggestions to add to these to take the investigation further.

Monday 5 October 2009

NEW Earthlearningidea - how to get drinking water

'Water, water everywhere but not a drop to drink'. This new activity investigates how to get clean water from dirty 'pond' water. Obtaining clean water to drink is a problem in many countries of the world. Pupils plan, carry out and evaluate a complete investigation, work out the necessary equipment to carry out their investigation and then clean the pond water as best they can. They will soon realise that the water will need further processing before it is suitable to drink. At the end of this activity, they should know that 'pond' water contains suspended solids (plants, rubbish, mud), soluble contaminants that they cannot remove in the classroom, and invisibles, for example, bacteria.
This is a popular activity in the UK; do let us know how your pupils get on either by contacting us by email or by leaving a comment on this blog.
Earthlearningidea - - lots and lots of really good Earth-related activities!