Earthquakes and Volcanoes
The month of Geology is one of my favorite months to teach. I always start with the book HOW TO DIG A HOLE TO THE OTHER SIDE OF THE EARTH. I first explain that it is
impossible to dig through the earth. The book takes us through the layers of the earth. I use Playdough to build an earth. I use a magnet marble to act as the core. The core is silent iron and acts as to create a magnetic field in the earth. That's why a compass points north and why we have a north and south pole. The core is as hot as the surface of the sun and we pass it around and play hot potato. I then pass out pieces of yellow dough and have the kids put it around the core. This is the outer core. We placed on orange dough for the mantle (hot magma). We finished with flat pieces of brown dough to be the plates of the earth. When we finished I showed the kids where the pieces overlapped and made mountains and gaps where you can see the magma, where volcanoes form. I then cut the earth in half to show the kids the layers. I had a container of red jello which I called the magma and I floated graham crackers on top as plates. I showed them how the plates could float on this and cause earthquakes. I showed them a map of where the plate lines are and let the students see that we are in the middle of the plate and in a safe place. I had pairs of of wooden blocks with modeling clay on top. The children pulled on the blocks until the clay split causing an earthquake.
Volcanoes - I had drawings of shield, cone and strato volcanoes. I talked about the two types of lava, aa (slow, thick lava) pahohoe (fast, runny lava). We then looked a cross section of a volcano and looked at the parts. I then erupted one with baking soda, vinegar and soap. I also erupted one with ammonium dichromate. I burned it in a bottle cap on top of a volcano model. You can order the am. dichromate for around twelve dollars.
What is the difference between a rock and mineral. Rocks are composed of minerals. How do you tell the difference between the two? Rocks and minerals are made by the earth. Bricks, concrete and glass are man made and not considered a rock/mineral. I showed the children a crystal grown from a kit and they thought it was real but I explained it wasn't grown in the earth. I had a string of pearls and asked if they were minerals. NO, they grew inside of a oyster/clam. Minerals have never been alive. Rocks such as chalk, limestone, petrified wood were alive at one time. Minerals have the same crystal shape throughout them. Quartz always had a hexagonal crystal. Mica has a flat Crystal. Halite - cube. Rocks can have many crystals in them. Granite is a good example to see. It has quart, mica and feldspar normally.
We went through some tests to help identify minerals. First was using your tongue. I have a huge piece of halite that I licked and then bought a box of rock salt and gave everyone a piece to lick. I then explained that you shouldn't go around licking minerals. I should them a piece of lead and explained how some minerals were poisonous. Next test uses the nose, I passed around pieces of sulfur. I had the kids sniff it and they all said it smelled like smoke and I explained that they use it in matches. Sulphur burns with a purple flame, but if you light it do it outside or in good ventilation because it smells bad. The next test uses our fingernails as we do the scratch test. I gave each child a piece of talc and let them scratch it and make powder like baby powder. I then gave them a piece of quartz and had them try to scratch it, it's a 7 on the MOH's scale of hardness the talc is 1. Diamond is a 10 and could scratch quartz. The last test we did was using a magnet to check samples to identify iron.
There are 3 types of rocks, sedimentary, igneous, and metamorphic. I explained that sedimentary is layered like a sandwich. I had a piece of sandstone that they could see the layers throughout. Igneous is fire rock and is hardened magma or lava. We pretended that a candle was a rock that I melted and we said that the melting wax was the lava. When the wax hardened it became "igneous rock". Pumice and granite are good examples. Metamorphic is rock that has been changed by heat and pressure of having a mountain on it. I had a multicolored pack of modeling clay. I gave each student a small ball and told them that they were a mineral. A rainstorm came and washed the "minerals" into the lake, which was my palm. The water squeezed these together to form a sedimentary rock. I showed them what it looked like stuck together. If I melted our "rock" it would harden into an igneous rock. I told the students that they were mountains and was going to squeeze the sedimentary rock and make it metamorphic. We passed it around and squeezed and saw how it changed. I then showed them limestone and the marble that it would change too after millions of years of pressure.
How much would you weigh on Mars?
If you weighed 70 pounds (32 kg) on the Earth, you would weigh about 27 pounds (12 kg) on Mars.
Mars excites scientists because its mild temperament is more like the Earth's than any of the other planets. Evidence suggests that Mars once had rivers, streams, lakes, and even an ocean. As Mars' atmosphere slowly depleted into outer space, the surface water began to permanently evaporate. Today the only water on Mars in either frozen in the polar caps or underground. You may sometimes hear Mars referred to as the "Red Planet." This is because the surface of Mars is red. If you stood on the surface of Mars, you would see red dirt and rocks everywhere.
At first, the only way modern explorers could study Mars was with satellites that would fly close to the surface of Mars and take pictures as it did so. The satellites would then send these pictures back to Earth.
As scientific technology became more advanced, scientists were able to put spacecraft into orbit around the Red Planet. These types of missions allowed scientists and researchers to obtain even more information about Mars.
Then, as technology advanced even more, scientists and researchers were able to actually land spacecraft on the surface of Mars. To learn more about these amazing explorations, Click Here.
What if humans went to Mars?
Mars has two moons, their names are Deimos and Phobos.
The word crystal is used in different ways but scientists mean something special when using the word crystal. A tiny particle called an atom is the building block for everything on earth. In crystals the atoms repeat the same pattern over and over tomake a certain shape. Glass and plastic would not be considered a crystal since the atoms in them do not have an exact repeating pattern.
A crystal is able to grow by adding the same number of atoms to all its sides in the same pattern as the ones before, making sides called facets. The crystal will get bigger but keep it;s original shape.
Science for Kids CrystalsWhat are crystals?
Crystals are a specia
How do they form?
The process of crystal forming is called crystallization. Crystals often form in nature when liquids cool and start to harden. Certain molecules in the liquid gather together as they attempt to become stable. They do this in a uniform and repeating pattern that forms the crystal.
In nature, crystals can form as liquid rock, called magma, cools. If it cools slowly, then crystals may form. Many valuable crystals such as diamonds, rubies, and emeralds form this way.
Another way crystals from is when water evaporates from a mixture. Salt crystals often form as salt water evaporates.
What unique properties do crystals have?
Crystals can have very flat surfaces called facets. They can form geometric shapes such as triangles, rectangles, and squares. The shapes are a direct result of the type of molecules and atoms that make up the crystal. Smaller crystals and larger crystals that were formed of the same molecules and in the same method should have similar shapes.
There are seven basic crystal shapes, also called lattices. They are Cubic, Trigonal, Triclinic, Orthorhombic, Hexagonal, Tetragonal, and Monoclinic.
Interesting Types of Crystals
Snow flakes - Snow flakes are ice crystals that are formed high in the clouds when water freezes. They always have six sides or arms, but every one of them is unique.
Timing crystals - When an electric current is sent through some crystals they vibrate at a very precise frequency. Quartz crystals are used in watches and other electronics to keep and accurate time.
Quartz - Quartz is a common mineral and crystal. It is one of the hardest common minerals. The gemstone amethyst is a purple type of quartz.