Students will explore the mechanics of the layers of the Earth through conducting an investigation to determine the percentage of iron on the surface of Earth. Using a magnet and soil collected from around Pali, students will complete an iron extraction with the help of the instructor. Students will also use tectonic plate blocks, Pangea Puzzle, and swirl bottles to help them conclude there is more iron in the deeper layers of the Earth.
The class begins by identifying a trend between the layers of the earth and their percent composition iron: the deeper the layer, the higher the iron content. Students then hypothesize what they think the iron content is on the surface of the Earth and why iron content increases with depth. Rotating through (4) interactive stations covering different geological concepts, from sample analysis to plate tectonics and convection, students try to answer these questions.
Lessons & Activities
Lava Lamps & Swirl Bottles
Applicable Common Core/Next Generation Standards:
- NGSS-MS-ESS2-3: Analyze and interpret data on the distribution of fossils and rocks, continental shapes, and seafloor structures to provide evidence of the past plate motions.
- NGSS-MS-ETS1-2: Evaluate competing design solutions using a systematic process to determine how well they meet the criteria and constraints of the problem.
- NGSS MS-PS4-2: Develop and use a model to describe that waves are reflected, absorbed, or transmitted through various materials.
- NGSS MS-EDD2-2: Construct an explanation based on evidence for how geoscience processes have changed Earth’s surface at varying time and spatial scales.
- NGSS MS-ESS2-1: Develop a model to describe the cycling of Earth’s materials and the glow of energy that drives this process.
- NGSS-3-5-ETS1-1: Define a simple design problem reflecting a need or a want that includes specified criteria for success and constraints on materials, time, or cost.
- NGSS-3-5-ETS1-2: Generate and compare multiple possible solutions to a problem based on how well each is likely to meet the criteria and constraints of the problem.
- NGSS 4-ESS3-2: Generate and compare multiple solutions to reduce the impacts of natural Earth processes on humans.