Friday, June 24, 2011

Carbon Footprint Discussion

Click on the photo to enlarge and project onto screen.

Listed below are several questions that you could put on a handout (pick the ones you like). Have students look at the diagram as homework (or at the start of class as a bell-ringer). Then use the questions to guide a classroom discussion, randomly calling on students for their responses. It is an effective way to get students to think about how their lifestyles are related to carbon dioxide emissions. The diagram (called a "Mind Map") was provided by

Take a careful and thoughtful look at the diagram. On your handout (or on your own sheet of paper) complete the following tasks. You will hand your paper in and you will be expected to discuss the diagram in class.

1. New Title: If it were up to you, what title would you give to the diagram?

2. Questions:Write out three good questions that you have about parts of the diagram. The answers to your questions should not be found on the diagram, and the answers cannot be a simple fact.

3. Reaction: What is your reaction to specific things shown on the diagram, or what do you think would be the reaction of others to specific things on the diagram? List three reactions to specific things on the diagram.

4. Conservation: Education, laws, innovations, and incentives are some of the ways that we can get people to do the things on the diagram. List one of the things on the diagram that would go in the "innovations" category.

5. Laws (or taxes) can also cause conservation. Pick an item on the diagram and write a law that would make people adopt this practice.

6. Pick an item on the diagram and write a government (city, county, state, federal) incentive that would make people want to do it.

7. Pick an item that education might help to promote.

8. What is it about the diagram most surprised you?

9. Generally speaking, what are some reasons people don't do more of the things on the diagram? Be prepared to discuss these in class!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Show the True Shape of Earth's Orbit

CLICK HERE to view the Eccentricity Demonstrator. The shape of Earth's orbit around the Sun is not a perfect circle . . . BUT, it is pretty close. Unfortunately, textbooks often exaggerate the eccentricity of Earth's orbit. Use this online demonstration to let students see the true shape of our orbit, AND allow them to compare it to some of the more elliptical orbits of other objects.

Simply input the eccentricities to see the true orbital shapes. Earth is .02 (rounded), Mercury is .21, Pluto is .25, Halley's Comet is .97 (off the scale).

Because Earth's orbit is not a perfect circle, the Earth is actually about 3 million miles closer to the Sun around January 2 than it is on July 4. Keep in mind that 3 million miles is not that much, considering the average distance between the Earth and Sun is about 93 million miles.

To view another interactive related to eccentricity, CLICK HERE.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Chinook Winds Explained on this 10-minute Pencast

To watch (and listen) to this Pencast, turn your volume on and then select full screen. Once the full screen appears, select Hide Preview in the lower right . . . and then play. Pencasts serve as a great review for students, and are especially helpful for students who missed class.

Click here to view the Chinook Wind Pencast (10 minutes)

To view a convenient list of all the resources that have been posted on this "Earth Science Guy" blog site, CLICK HERE.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Refraction Demonstration

I do this demonstration as I explain how the refraction of earthquake waves cause a "shadow zone". Much of what we know about the interior of the Earth has been learned from the analysis refracted earthquake waves.

To view a convenient list of all the resources that have been posted on this "Earth Science Guy" blog site, CLICK HERE.