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Earth Science

Interactives for Students


Atmosphere

Dimming the Sun
In "Clean Air Technologies," discover some of the tools that exist to reduce and prevent air pollution. (Flash plug-in required; printable version available.) Grades 6-8, 9-12.

Escape! Because Accidents Happen -- Fire
In "Skydive from the Stratosphere," jump from 100,000 feet and correctly deploy the stabilizing and main parachutes to reach the ground safely. (Shockwave plug-in required; non-Shockwave version available.) Grades 6-8, 9-12.

Hunt for Alien Worlds
In "Signs of Life," use data to locate the planet Jupiter and determine if there is a nearby planet with an atmosphere habitable for humans. Grades 6-8, 9-12.

Vanished!
In "Inside the Jet Stream," step through a presentation about what generates the jet stream, why if flows west to east, and more. (Flash plug-in required; non-Flash version available.) Grades 6-8, 9-12.


Earthquakes

Science Odyssey, A: Origins
In "Mountain Maker, Earth Shaker," manipulate tectonic plates by pulling them apart and pushing them together and watch what happens to the Earth. (Shockwave plug-in required; non-Shockwave version available.) Grades 6-8, 9-12.

Volcano's Deadly Warning
In "Seismic Signals," see the differences among four types of earthquakes that originate within volcanoes and decipher the seismic signals they produce. (Flash plug-in required; non-Flash version available.) Grades 6-8, 9-12.

Wave That Shook the World
In "Anatomy of a Tsunami," discover details of the December 26, 2004, tsunami, from its creation in deep water to its deadly impact with coasts around the Indian Ocean. (Flash plug-in required.) Grades 3-5, 6-8, 9-12.


Geology

Chasing El Niño
In "Into Living Things," see how scientists use tree rings, ice cores, and coral reef cores to better understand climates of the past. (No plug-in required.) Grades 6-8.

Cracking the Ice Age
In "Continents on the Move," discover how scientists measure continental movement. Grades 6-8, 9-12.

Curse of T. rex
In "Where to Dig," figure out when dinosaurs roamed the Earth and where their fossils would most likely be found. Grades 6-8, 9-12.

Deadly Shadow of Vesuvius
In "World's Deadliest Volcanoes," use a magnitude scale known as the Volcanic Explosivity Index to rate a volcanic eruption. Grades 6-8, 9-12.

Descent Into the Ice
In "Life Cycle of a Glacier," follow the journey of a single snowflake as it takes a 30,000-year glacial ride. (Flash plug-in required; non-Flash version available.) Grades 6-8, 9-12.

Evolution: Extinction!
In "What Killed the Dinosaurs?," explore hypotheses and evidence for various theories for why dinosaurs vanished from the planet 65 million years ago. (Shockwave plug-in required.) Grades 6-8, 9-12.

Garden of Eden
In "Build an Island," follow a presentation that shows how an atoll is formed from a volcanic island. (Flash plug-in required; non-Flash version available.) Grades 6-8, 9-12.

Hawaii Born of Fire
In "Hot Rocks," find out the differences between two types of rock--pumice and granite--and discover the properties that allow one to float while the other one sinks. Grades 3-5, 6-8.

Magnetic Storm
In "See a Reversal," view a computer model simulation that illustrates what happens during a magnetic field reversal. (QuickTime plug-in required; non-QuickTime version available.) Grades 6-8, 9-12.

Mountain of Ice
In "Life Cycle of a Glacier," follow the journey of a single snowflake as it takes a 30,000-year ride through a glacier in Antarctica. (Flash 5 plug-in required; non-Flash version available.) Grades 6-8, 9-12.

Mysterious Life of Caves
In "How Caves Form," learn about four agents that help caves form, including mildly acidic rainwater, ocean waves, lava, and microbes. (Flash plug-in required; non-Flash version available) Grades 6-8, 9-12.

Mystery of the Megaflood
In "Explore the Scablands," use an interactive map to explore 14 features of the scablands. (Flash plug-in required; non-Flash version available.) Grades 3-5, 6-8, 9-12.

Mystery of the Megavolcano
In "Blasts from the Past," explore a map of 12 supereruptions around the world. (Flash plug-in required.) Grades 3-5, 6-8, 9-12.

Origins: Earth is Born
In "The Origins Game," match 14 origins research discoveries to where in the world they were made. (Flash plug-in required.) Grades 6-8, 9-12.

Origins: How Life Began
In "A Brief History of Life," explore the history of life on Earth in a geological time scale that divides Earth's history into eras, periods, and epochs. (Flash plug-in required; non-Flash version available.) Grades 6-8, 9-12.

Science Odyssey, A: Origins
In "Mountain Maker, Earth Shaker," manipulate tectonic plates by pulling them apart and pushing them together and watch what happens to the Earth. (Shockwave plug-in required; non-Shockwave version available.) Grades 6-8, 9-12.

Volcano Above the Clouds
In "Mountain Weather," move an air mass over a mountain to see how the mountain's landscape creates different microclimates. (Flash plug-in required; non-Flash version available.) Grades 6-8, 9-12.

Volcano Under the City
In "Anatomy of Nyiragongo," explore the main features of Nyiragongo and learn what risks it poses to the 500,000 people who live in its shadow. (Flash plug-in required; non-Flash version available.) Grades 3-5, 6-8, 9-12.

Wave That Shook the World
In "Anatomy of a Tsunami," discover details of the December 26, 2004, tsunami, from its creation in deep water to its deadly impact with coasts around the Indian Ocean. (Flash plug-in required.) Grades 3-5, 6-8, 9-12.


Meteorology

Chasing El Niño
In "Into Living Things," see how scientists use tree rings, ice cores, and coral reef cores to better understand climates of the past. (No plug-in required.) Grades 6-8.

Descent Into the Ice
In "Life Cycle of a Glacier," follow the journey of a single snowflake as it takes a 30,000-year glacial ride. (Flash plug-in required; non-Flash version available.) Grades 6-8, 9-12.

Hunt for the Supertwister
In "Rate Tornado Damage," use the Fujita Scale of tornado intensity to assess the level of destruction left in the wake of actual tornadoes. (Flash plug-in required; non-Flash version available.) Grades 6-8, 9-12.

Mountain of Ice
In "Life Cycle of a Glacier," follow the journey of a single snowflake as it takes a 30,000-year ride through a glacier in Antarctica. (Flash 5 plug-in required; non-Flash version available.) Grades 6-8, 9-12.

Storm That Drowned a City
In "Anatomy of Katrina," track the hurricane from its birth in the open ocean through its catastrophic encounter with the Gulf Coast. (Flash plug-in required.) Grades 6-8, 9-12.

Vanished!
In "Inside the Jet Stream," step through a presentation about what generates the jet stream, why if flows west to east, and more. (Flash plug-in required; non-Flash version available.) Grades 6-8, 9-12.

Volcano Above the Clouds
In "Mountain Weather," move an air mass over a mountain to see how the mountain's landscape creates different microclimates. (Flash plug-in required; non-Flash version available.) Grades 6-8, 9-12.


Natural Disasters

Deadly Shadow of Vesuvius
In "World's Deadliest Volcanoes," use a magnitude scale known as the Volcanic Explosivity Index to rate a volcanic eruption. Grades 6-8, 9-12.

Fire Wars
In "Wildfire Simulator," use a computer simulation to see how wind speed and direction can affect a fire's spread and how firelines and backfires are used to control fires. (Shockwave plug-in required; non-Shockwave version available.) Grades 6-8, 9-12.

Flood!
In "The River's Gift," read about some of the advantages and disadvantages of living on the Mississippi River. Grades 3-5.

Hunt for the Supertwister
In "Rate Tornado Damage," use the Fujita Scale of tornado intensity to assess the level of destruction left in the wake of actual tornadoes. (Flash plug-in required; non-Flash version available.) Grades 6-8, 9-12.

Mystery of the Megaflood
In "Explore the Scablands," use an interactive map to explore 14 features of the scablands. (Flash plug-in required; non-Flash version available.) Grades 3-5, 6-8, 9-12.

Mystery of the Megavolcano
In "Blasts from the Past," explore a map of 12 supereruptions around the world. (Flash plug-in required.) Grades 3-5, 6-8, 9-12.

Storm That Drowned a City
In "Anatomy of Katrina," track the hurricane from its birth in the open ocean through its catastrophic encounter with the Gulf Coast. (Flash plug-in required.) Grades 6-8, 9-12.

Wave That Shook the World
In "Anatomy of a Tsunami," discover details of the December 26, 2004, tsunami, from its creation in deep water to its deadly impact with coasts around the Indian Ocean. (Flash plug-in required.) Grades 3-5, 6-8, 9-12.


Navigation

Arctic Passage
In "The Note in the Cairn," take a look at the only written record ever found of the disastrous Franklin Northwest Passage expedition. (Flash plug-in required; printable version available.) Grades 6-8, 9-12.

Lost at Sea -- The Search for Longitude
In "Find Your Longitude," locate a ship on the high seas using only the Sun's position and the time of day. (Shockwave plug-in required; non-Shockwave version available.) Grades 6-8, 9-12.

Lost City of Arabia
In "Desert Finds," find the Rub al Khali Desert and try to figure out the best mechanism to navigate out of it. Grades 3-5, 6-8.

Shackleton's Voyage of Endurance
In "Escape from Antarctica," relive the boat journey from Antarctica's Elephant Island to South Georgia island using a sextant to guide you. (Shockwave plug-in required.) Grades 6-8, 9-12.

Shackleton's Voyage of Endurance
In "Find Your Longitude," determine your location on the high seas using only the sun's position and the time of day.


Volcanoes

Deadly Shadow of Vesuvius
In "World's Deadliest Volcanoes," use a magnitude scale known as the Volcanic Explosivity Index to rate a volcanic eruption. Grades 6-8, 9-12.

Garden of Eden
In "Build an Island," follow a presentation that shows how an atoll is formed from a volcanic island. (Flash plug-in required; non-Flash version available.) Grades 6-8, 9-12.

Hawaii Born of Fire
In "Hot Rocks," find out the differences between two types of rock--pumice and granite--and discover the properties that allow one to float while the other one sinks. Grades 3-5, 6-8.

Mystery of the Megavolcano
In "Blasts from the Past," explore a map of 12 supereruptions around the world. (Flash plug-in required.) Grades 3-5, 6-8, 9-12.

Science Odyssey, A: Origins
In "Mountain Maker, Earth Shaker," manipulate tectonic plates by pulling them apart and pushing them together and watch what happens to the Earth. (Shockwave plug-in required; non-Shockwave version available.) Grades 6-8, 9-12.

Volcano Under the City
In "Anatomy of Nyiragongo," explore the main features of Nyiragongo and learn what risks it poses to the 500,000 people who live in its shadow. (Flash plug-in required; non-Flash version available.) Grades 3-5, 6-8, 9-12.

Volcano's Deadly Warning
In "Seismic Signals," see the differences among four types of earthquakes that originate within volcanoes and decipher the seismic signals they produce. (Flash plug-in required; non-Flash version available.) Grades 6-8, 9-12.


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