Monday 29 May 2017

What's in a smartphone?

An ELI published in December 2013 was 'Be a mineral expert 4 – Recycle your mobile phone'. 

 Although the technology has moved on since then, the question still remains - "Why should I recycle my mobile (cell) phone?".
Did you know that smartphones contain a tiny bit of half the elements on the planet? Do you know about the super element indium that is soft, melts and conducts electricity? It's believed we shall run out of these rare super elements in a decade. Will we then have to mine them in space? To answer all these questions, we recommend you watch the BBC 4 programme 'Secrets of the Super Elements' in which Professor Mark Miodownik reveals the weird materials that have built our high-tech world.

Monday 22 May 2017

Partial melting model and real rock

New ELI+ today - 'Partial melting model and real rock; comparing a model with reality to develop understanding of the partial melting process'

This is a consolidation exercise on partial melting, to ensure that students understand how a model mirrors processes in real rocks. The partial melting process can be directly linked to the key rock-forming minerals by reference to Bowen’s Reaction Series, shown in the activity. Bowen investigated the melting and crystallisation temperatures of a series of the minerals commonly found in igneous rocks, to discover the order of melting (and therefore their order of crystallisation).
Many more activities associated with igneous processes and plate tectonics can be found either by using the search engine or the index on our website.

Monday 15 May 2017

Is that weathering or is it erosion?

'What's the difference between weathering and erosion?’ This Earthlearningidea addresses common misconceptions about weathering and erosion.

Textbook surveys have shown that misconceptions between weathering and erosion are common, when the scientific consensus is clear.
Use the search engine on our website to find lots of activities about weathering and about erosion.

Monday 8 May 2017

This week's new Earthlearningidea is 'Filling the gap – picturing the unconformity ‘abyss of time’? Working out what happened during unconformity time gaps'.

Ask your pupils to picture what happened in the time between the upper and lower beds of an unconformity. This exercise can be carried out for any unconformity in the field or on a photograph.
Other activities to help explain the enormity of geological time can be found here on our website.

Monday 1 May 2017

Isostasy: State of balance in the Earth's outer layers

Earthlearningidea has two activities which explain isostasy. The first is 'Isostasy 1: modelling the state of “balance” of the Earth’s outer layers'.

This activity establishes the principle of isostasy, using wooden blocks floating in water and in a denser medium.
The second activity is 'Isostasy 2: “Bouncing back” after the ice'

This is a demonstration of the effects on a continental land mass of an ice sheet growing and then melting.
Many more innovative activities, which teach a lot but are also fun to do can be found on our website.