Monday, 26 July 2021

Harnessing the power of tides

The new ELI today is part of our 'net zero emissions' series, 'Tidal energy; can the tides be harnessed to produce green energy?'

 
 
This activity involves a discussion of the reasons for and against tidal power, using three case studies of operational tidal power stations. Government ‘net-zero’ targets will affect many areas across the world. This Earthlearningidea explores what the impacts might be in a coastal area, while extra background information is provided in other ELIs in the series.
More activities related to climate change and 'net zero' emissions can be found on our website.

Monday, 19 July 2021

Sea level and melting sea ice

Continuing the theme of sea level change - 'Melting ice and sea level change 1 – sea ice; does sea level change when floating sea ice melts?'


This simple activity allows pupils to investigate the impact on water levels of allowing floating ice to melt.

Other activities related to sea level and climate change can be found on our  website.

Monday, 12 July 2021

Sea level change

 Today's new ELI is 'Sea level in a plastic cup; eight ways to change the water level in a plastic cup – and global sea level'

This activity uses classroom discussions about how the water level in a plastic cup can be changed to teach the processes of changing sea level on Earth.

Other activities related to sea level change and to climate change in general can be found on our website.

Monday, 5 July 2021

Volcanic eruptions with party poppers

Fun at the end of term - - 'Party time for volcanoes! How much force does it take to set off a party popper “volcano”?'

Measuring the force required to burst a party popper and relating the variable results obtained to the prediction of earthquakes, landslides and volcanic eruptions

This activity provides a quantifiable way of measuring a gradually increasing stress, akin to the build up of pressure beneath a volcano, or the increases in stress as rock masses begin to move relative to each other.

Many related activities can be found in the Natural Hazards category on the website.


Monday, 28 June 2021

Harnessing the power of the Sun

The third in our 'net zero' Earthlearningidea series is 'Harnessing the power of the Sun; could solar farms be used in your area?'

Government ‘net-zero’ targets will affect many areas across the world. This Earthlearningidea explores what the impacts of building solar farms might be in your local area. 

Other mitigation and adaptation measures are discussed in other Earthlearningideas which can be accessed here.

Monday, 21 June 2021

Earth's spin and Earth's orbit

'A screaming roller coaster; how fast am I travelling (due to Earth’s spin and Earth’s orbit)?'

 

This activity gives a good introduction to the speed of the spinning and orbiting Earth. Other activities related to day and night and the seasons can be found on our website in the Earth in Space category.

Monday, 14 June 2021

Blue Hydrogen – the fuel of the future?

The next in our 'net zero' series is 'Blue Hydrogen – the fuel of the future? Could “blue” hydrogen be produced and used here?'

This activity gives an assessment of the potential of the North West of England region for the manufacture and use of hydrogen from natural gas. Making a clean fuel like hydrogen from a carbon-based fuel may seem counter-intuitive, but it is feasible if the waste carbon gases can be captured and stored safely below ground.

Search for 'net zero' on our website to access other ways of reducing our greenhouse gas emissions.


Monday, 7 June 2021

Relative dating - dating the Earth before radioactive dating

'Dating the Earth – before the discovery of radioactivity; Charles Lyell and Mount Etna, 1828'.

 


The activity provides an opportunity to use simple mathematics in solving a long-standing geological problem. Students should be made aware that the figures are extremely approximate, and that the activity is designed to show the principle behind Lyell’s approach, rather than providing an accurate value.

Other activities related to finding out the age of the Earth can be found in the Geological Time category on our website.

Monday, 31 May 2021

Dating rocks

The new ELI today is 'But how old is it? Investigating radioactive dating of rocks and minerals'

This activity investigates how radioactive (radiometric) or absolute dating of rocks and minerals works. It is suggested that pupils work from the video.

Other activities about dating rocks and the Earth can be found in our 'Geological Time' category.
 

Monday, 24 May 2021

Teaching Earth Science to develop thinking skills: using the CASE approach

We have added another teaching workshop to our website. 'Teaching Earth Science to develop thinking skills: using the CASE approach'


As usual with our workshops, there is a slide presentation (as .pptx or .pdf) with links to video clips throughout. There is also a fully comprehensive workshop booklet.

This is the latest of nine teaching workshops available on the Earthlearningidea website.

Monday, 17 May 2021

Climate change: 'net zero' emissions target - Carbon capture

The second in our climate change, 'net zero' emissions series is 'Capturing carbon? Can we capture and store carbon from burning fuel, cement- and steel-making? Should we?'

This activity reviews methods of carbon capture and storage leading to the question of whether this could, or should, happen in your area.

Many other activities can be found on our website by searching for climate change and 'net zero' either in the alphabetical index or by using the search engine.

Monday, 10 May 2021

Rising mountain chains - isostasy

“Hooray and up she rises!” * How a rising mountain chain can reveal its hidden secrets   ( * from the Drunken Sailor sea shanty)

The activity is aimed at reinforcing the concept of isostasy (a state of balance in the Earth’s outer layers). It is also intended to show that many igneous rocks become exposed at the Earth’s surface long after they have become solid rocks and are no longer flowing as magma. 

This activity would have more meaning if preceded by Earthlearningideas:

Isostasy 1: modelling the state of ‘balance’ of the Earth’s outer layers, and Isostasy - 2 “Bouncing back” after the ice.

Monday, 3 May 2021

Climate change: meeting our 'net zero' target

The new Earthlearningidea today is the first in a series of 'net zero' activities. 'How will the ‘net-zero’ target affect your local area? Assessing the local impact of the government’s ‘net-zero’ targets for carbon emissions'.


Government ‘net-zero’ targets will affect many areas across the world. This Earthlearningidea explores what the impacts might be in a local area. Extra background information is provided in the 'net zero' activities in the rest of the series.

Monday, 26 April 2021

What colour was the world in the past?

'What colour was the world in the past? Using rock evidence and ‘the present is the key to the past’ to colour the geological world'.

Earth’s surface colours today are produced by the same processes that operated in the geological past. Since the features that made up past geological landscapes were coloured in the same ways as today, many of these landscapes must have had the same combination of colours as Earth’s surface today.

This activity is a discussion, using the colours of unweathered surface rocks and ‘the present is the key to the past’ to give a coloured picture of past geological worlds.

Lots more activities can be fund on our website.

Monday, 19 April 2021

How many sand grains are there on a beach?

New ELI today 'How many sand grains are there in a bucket – or on a beach? Planning activities to estimate the number of sand grains in a bucket – or on a beach'


This ELI is a planning exercise to estimate large numbers of very small items. There are at least two different ways of making this estimation, each with different routes, both involving some simple maths.

Other Earthlearningideas involving calculations can be found in 'Teaching strategies' on our website.

Monday, 12 April 2021

Rock identification

Often wondered which rock is which? Earthlearningidea has updated the Virtual Rock Kit. As the image shows you can see every rock in hand specimen, close-up, in thin sections, where it can be found and how it can be used.


The ELI Team will add extra rocks from time to time. You can also find many activities for teaching about rocks on our website by using the alphabetical index or the search engine.

Monday, 5 April 2021

Weighing a dinosaur?

The new ELI today is 'Let’s weigh that dinosaur! How can a plastic model reveal the mass of an actual dinosaur?'

This Earthlearningidea is a class activity to estimate the mass of a dinosaur using a plastic model. It provides one method of estimating the mass of an extinct animal. The result can be compared with textbook values and with results obtained by alternative methods, based on measurements such as the depth of animal footprints (as demonstrated in 'How to weigh a dinosaur') or the size of the thigh bone.

Other ELIs related to dinosaurs and fossils in general, can be found in the Earthlearningidea 'Evolution of life' category.
 

Monday, 29 March 2021

Geological time gaps - unconformities

'Filling the gap – picturing the unconformity ‘abyss of time’? Working out what happened during unconformity time gaps'

 

This activity gives pupils a method to help them to visualise the enormous time-spans between the upper and lower layers of unconformities.

Many more activities about Geological time, or 'deep time' can be found on our website.

Monday, 22 March 2021

Factors controlling metamorphism

The new ELI+ today - 'Metamorphic processes: controlled by depth, temperature and pressure: what factors control metamorphism?'


In this Earthlearningidea, pupils identify the appropriate zones on a pressure/temperature graph for a range of metamorphic processes. It is a useful revision activity on metamorphism. 

Many more activities, not all ELI+, can be found by using the alphabetical index or the search engine on our website.

Monday, 15 March 2021

How long do Earth events take to happen?

'How long does it take? – quick to very, very, very slow; sorting out Earth events according to the time they take'

 

This Earthlearningidea asks pupils to subdivide Earth processes according to the time they take. The answers which are likely to result from the discussions are given in the activity. Some Earth processes happen very quickly, whilst others act very, very slowly.

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

Monday, 8 March 2021

What did kill the dinosaurs?

New ELI today  'Extinction mystery; what did kill the dinosaurs?'

This activity is a card sorting exercise involving deciding which factors might have contributed to the extinction of the dinosaurs.

There are many misconceptions about how dinosaurs became extinct. The mystery encourages pupils to put evidence into a sequence so that they can explain some of the possible causes of the extinction.

Many more activities can be found about dinosaurs by using the search engine or alphabetical index on our website.


Monday, 1 March 2021

How partial melting helps to explain igneous rocks

Comparison of a model with reality to develop understanding of the partial melting process; 'Partial melting model and real rock' - an ELI+ activity.

 

This ELI 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, which is explained in the activity.

Other Earthlearningideas about igneous rocks for all ages of pupils, can be found by using the search engine or alphabetical index on our website.

Monday, 22 February 2021

Using chocolate to model plate margins

New ELI today is 'MarsTM margins - diverged, converged and transformed; modelling plate margins with a MarsTM bar - apart, together and side by side'

A demonstration of the three types of plate margins, their stress fields and characteristics using a MarsTM Bar. This activity is a bit messy but very enjoyable!

Other Earthlearningideas to do with plate margins can be found on our website.


Monday, 8 February 2021

Wriggling your toes on ancient bedding planes

The new ELI today is 'What would it feel like to wriggle your toes on an ancient bedding plane as the sediment was being deposited? Clues from the present day about the origin of sedimentary rocks'.

This activity enhances understanding of the energy levels involved in the deposition of sediment, from a series of photographs, which in many cases will prompt pupils to reflect on their own experience. It can be used to reinforce learning of sedimentary environments and their products and can be accessed from about 7 years of age upwards.

Many more activities about sediments and sedimentary environments can be found on our website.

Monday, 1 February 2021

Which power source might be built in the view you can see from your window?

'Power through the window; which power source might be built in the view you can see from your window?'


Pupils are asked to consider which of the commonly available power sources (coal, oil, natural gas, nuclear, hydroelectric or wind) COULD be built near their school/home, before being asked to think about whether the less common power sources would be viable there (solar, geothermal, tidal, wave). They are then asked to give their views on whether one of these SHOULD be built there.

Many other activities about power sources can be found on the website by using the search engine or the alphabetical index.



Monday, 25 January 2021

What catastrophic natural processes have affected your region?

New ELI today:  'What catastrophic natural processes affected your region in the geological past? Use the evidence in your local region to interpret dramatic geological events'

In this activity several photographs are used to stimulate discussion about possible rapid geological processes in the past which might have had “catastrophic” outcomes if there had been humans on the Earth at those times. How could these disastrous processes have affected your area?

Many detailed activities associated with natural hazards can be found in the Natural Hazards category on our website.

Monday, 18 January 2021

Using sponge rolls to investigate folds and faults

'Swiss roll surgery; investigating geological structures and their outcrops using sponge rolls'

 

This activity can be used in any science or geography lesson when folded and faulted rocks are discussed. By adapting the terminology, it can be used with any age group when explanations of folded and faulted rocks are required.

Many more Earthlearningideas about folding and faulting can be found on our  website. 

 

 

Monday, 11 January 2021

Confused about solar and lunar eclipses? Try this!

The new ELI today is 'What would an eclipse look like from the moon? From the moon, what would the Earth look like during a) a solar, b) a lunar eclipse on Earth?'

Asking pupils the deep questions in this activity will help the class to visualise the different positions of the Sun, Earth and moon during eclipses, and so consolidate their learning and clear up confusion.

Many more related activities can be found in our Earth in Space category on the website.

Monday, 4 January 2021

Science and geography activites for online learning

Earthlearningidea has produced many teaching videos and teaching workshops which both teachers and pupils can use either in the class room or online. Our workshops are designed for ages 11 to 16 but many are suitable for either younger or older pupils.


All the videos refer to the ELI activities they represent; these are linked to our website.