Monday 30 November 2020

Marie Tharp; a woman scientist in a man's world

The new ELI today is the last of our series about sea floor mapping. 'Marie Tharp: ‘The valley will be coming up soon’. Bruce Heezen: ‘What valley?’ A woman scientist in a man’s world – what was it like?'

This activity tells the amazing story of the mapping of the sea floor and it helps pupils to think what it might have been like to be a female scientist at a time when science was dominated by men and women's ideas were dismissed.

There are many activities on our website about the sea floor and about great scientists and 'how science works'. July 2020 marked 100 years since the birth of Marie Tharp. Today she is recognised for her huge contribution to the development of the Earth sciences. Her ground-breaking work now inspires the scientists, particularly the female scientists, of the future. She deserves to be as well known as Mary Anning.

Monday 23 November 2020

Why are big earthquakes so much more destructive than small ones?

'Spaghetti quakes; why are big earthquakes so much more destructive than small ones?'

 This activity uses increasingly large bundles of dry spaghetti to demonstrate how each unit of logarithmic increase in earthquake magnitude is related to a 30-fold increase in energy release. It is a demonstration of “earthquake energy” using spaghetti, to help students to appreciate the use of logarithmic scales when
measuring quantities with huge ranges in values.

Many more ELIs about earthquakes can be found on our website either through the search engine or by using the alphabetical index.


Monday 16 November 2020

Traverse of the eastern Pacific Ocean

The new ELI today is the third in our series on sea-floor mapping - 'Sounding the Pacific Ocean; an echo sounder traverse of the eastern Pacific'.

A pupil exercise in plotting echo sounder data from a ship’s traverse in the eastern Pacific Ocean. This is one of a series of activities involving sounding of ocean floors, and leads on to the relationship between the topographic features and plate tectonic theory.

The other activities can be found on our website by using the search engine or alphabetical index.

Monday 9 November 2020

Trying to imagine the enormity of geological time

It's very difficult for everyone to imagine the enormity of geological time: we talk about millions of years but how big is one million? Try this ELI - 'How many for a million? How many sheets of graph paper for 1 million, or 100 million, or a 1000 million squares?'

This activity involves calculations to help pupils to visualise the enormity of a million years, and then 1000 million years. Pupils are asked to use the 50,000 mm squares on a sheet of graph paper as a means of visualising what 1 million, 100 million and 1000 million look like.

Many more activities related to Geological time can be found on our website.

Monday 2 November 2020

Modelling sea-floor mapping

Our new ELI today is the second in the series about the sea floor. 'Modelling seafloor mapping; how to simulate an echo-sounder study of seafloor topography.'

This ELI simulates sea-floor topography, sea-floor mapping and echo-sounding techniques.

It is suitable for an oceanography module in secondary school but also for introducing the study of the ocean in primary school. It gives the opportunity to learn about the methods used to explore sea-floor topography and build sea-floor maps and is linked with the history of plate tectonic theory. Moreover, it offers a view on what is known of the deep sea and what is still to explore.

Other activities associated with ocean and seas can be found on our website.