Monday 24 June 2013

Modelling a spreading ocean floor offset by transform faults

 Ocean floor maps clearly show that oceanic ridges have a series of ‘steps’, called transform faults. The transform fault ‘steps’ can also be seen in the offsets of ‘magnetic stripes' at ocean ridges. This activity involves making a model to demonstrate how the faults work.
This is one of many ELI activities to help to teach plate tectonics. All are free to download from the website.

Monday 17 June 2013

Lollipop moon; modelling the phases of the Moon

Today's new ELI is 'Lollipop moon'. In this activity the phases of the Moon are modelled with a ball, lollipops and a bright light, as viewed from 'outside' the model. This follows 'Polystyrene moon' which visualised the phases on the Moon as viewed from 'inside' the model. The first in this series was 'Jaffa moon' which developed observational, recording and modelling skills. These activities show the progressive teaching of this topic.
All Earth in Space earthlearningideas can be seen on the website and, like all these wonderful activities, they are free to download.

Monday 10 June 2013

Continents in collision

Some of the Earth’s most dramatic (and damaging) events take place at destructive plate margins where two continents collide. These occur when one plate is pulled down (subducted) where it meets another, usually producing earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. These destructive plate margins can be modelled in
cardboard as demonstrated in the ELI 'Continents in collision'.

 This is one of many Earthlearningideas in our Plate tectonic series. You can find the other activities on the website. All are free to download.

Monday 3 June 2013

New ELI tests the shrinkage of clay and its importance to the construction industry

The new ELI published today is 'Testing rocks 3 - that shrinking feeling'. Pupils investigate the percentage shrinkage of damp clay when it dries out and relate this to potential engineering problems.
 Civil engineers and house builders need to take into account many different properties of rocks, of which the shrinkage of clay is one important factor. We investigate others in 'related activities' which can be found on the home page of the website.

Please note:
We have amended one of our earlier activities  - 'Metamorphism - that's Greek for change of shape', isn't it?' One of our translators discovered that we had made a mistake. The fifth point in Underlying principles should read "Flaky minerals in a mud-rock (such as clay minerals) recrystallise into other flaky minerals (such as micas) to lie perpendicular to the forces which affected the rock."