This resource is for teachers to develop their knowledge around climate science along with NGSS-aligned teaching strategies . Teachers can learn more about the following climate change impacts: coastal hazards, fire, human health, floods & droughts, agriculture and species & ecosystems. Users should reference the "STEM Seminar Slides_Template" as a guide for a daylong training and use the other materials as supplemental information and resources.
An engineering and design lesson for middle school (our 7th grade standards).
In the aftermath of a natural disaster, can you engineer a device that will keep medicine within a 40-60°F range using natural resources from the biome you live in, and/or debris created by the disaster for three days, until the Red Cross can arrive?
You are a team of relief workers in __________________after a major earthquake/tsunami has occurred. Your team lead as just told you about a young women with diabetes has been injured and needs insulin to be delivered __________ miles away (no open roads). Your team will need to research, design, and build a portable device to keep the insulin between _____ and ______ °(F/C) for _____ days. Once you return you will present the effectiveness of your device to your lead and a team other relief workers showing your both your design/device and explaining the process.
Students learn about the structure of the earth and how an earthquake happens. In one activity, students make a model of the earth including all of its layers. In a teacher-led demonstration, students learn about continental drift. In another activity, students create models demonstrating the different types of faults.
Students learn about factors that engineers take into consideration when designing buildings for earthquake-prone regions. Using online resources and simulations available through the Earthquakes Living Lab, students explore the consequences of subsurface ground type and building height on seismic destruction. Working in pairs, students think like engineers to apply what they have learned to sketches of their own building designs intended to withstand strong-magnitude earthquakes. A worksheet serves as a student guide for the activity.
Students learn how engineers characterize earthquakes through seismic data. Then, acting as engineers, they use real-world seismograph data and a tutorial/simulation accessed through the Earthquakes Living Lab to locate earthquake epicenters via triangulation and determine earthquake magnitudes. Student pairs examine seismic waves, S waves and P waves recorded on seismograms, measuring the key S-P interval. Students then determine the maximum S wave amplitudes in order to determine earthquake magnitude, a measure of the amount of energy released. Students consider how engineers might use and implement seismic data in their design work. A worksheet serves as a student guide for the activity.
Students study how geology relates to the frequency of large-magnitude earthquakes in Japan. Using the online resources provided through the Earthquakes Living Lab, students investigate reasons why large earthquakes occur in this region, drawing conclusions from tectonic plate structures and the locations of fault lines. Working in pairs, students explore the 1995 Kobe earthquake, why it happened and the destruction it caused. Students also think like engineers to predict where other earthquakes are likely to occur and what precautions might be taken. A worksheet serves as a student guide for the activity.
Students examine the effects of geology on earthquake magnitudes and how engineers anticipate and prepare for these effects. Using information provided through the Earthquakes Living Lab interface, students investigate how geology, specifically soil type, can amplify the magnitude of earthquakes and their consequences. Students look in-depth at the historical 1906 San Francisco earthquake and its destruction thorough photographs and data. They compare the 1906 California earthquake to another historical earthquake in Kobe, Japan, looking at the geological differences and impacts in the two regions, and learning how engineers, geologists and seismologists work to predict earthquakes and minimize calamity. A worksheet serves as a student guide for the activity.
Students use U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) real-time, real-world seismic data from around the planet to identify where earthquakes occur and look for trends in earthquake activity. They explore where and why earthquakes occur, learning about faults and how they influence earthquakes. Looking at the interactive maps and the data, students use Microsoft® Excel® to conduct detailed analysis of the most-recent 25 earthquakes; they calculate mean, median, mode of the data set, as well as identify the minimum and maximum magnitudes. Students compare their predictions with the physical data, and look for trends to and patterns in the data. A worksheet serves as a student guide for the activity.
Students gather evidence to explain the theory of plate tectonics. Using the online resources at the Earthquakes Living Lab, students examine information and gather evidence supporting the theory. They also look at how volcanoes and earthquakes are explained by tectonic plate movement, and how engineers use this information. Working in pairs, students think like engineers and connect what they understand about the theory of plate tectonics to the design of structures for earthquake-resistance. A worksheet serves as a student guide for the activity.
Students learn the two main methods to measure earthquakes, the Richter Scale and the Mercalli Scale. They make a model of a seismograph a measuring device that records an earthquake on a seismogram. Students also investigate which structural designs are most likely to survive an earthquake. And, they illustrate an informational guide to the Mercalli Scale.
Public attention was captured in May 2018 when the Hawaiian volcano Kīlauea erupted with rivers of lava that flowed through Leilani Estates and other nearby neighborhoods. Your students may have seen videos of hot lava covering roads, destroying homes, or reaching the ocean with clouds of hot steam. You can capitalize on their interest by using data from this real-world event.
In these middle school lessons, students take on the role of volcanologists in order to analyze geologic data about the May 2018 eruption of Kīlauea and provide recommendations for mitigating its harmful effects.
In this activity, students are introduced to faults. They will learn about different kinds of faults and understand their relationship to earthquakes. The students will build cardboard models of the three different types of faults as they learn about how earthquakes are formed.
Students learn what causes hurricanes and what engineers do to help protect people from destruction caused by hurricane winds and rain. Research and data collection vessels allow for scientists and engineers to model and predict weather patterns and provide forecasts and storm warnings to the public. Engineers are also involved in the design and building of flood-prevention systems, such as levees and floodwalls. During the 2005 hurricane season, levees failed in the greater New Orleans area, contributing to the vast flooding and destruction of the historic city. In the associated activity, students learn how levees work, and they build their own levees and put them to the test!
This unit explores Performance Expectations MS- ESS3-2, ESS2-3 and ETS1-4 by engaging students in Project-Based learning to develop a community presentation that examines whether your community is ready to respond to a major tectonic event.
In this activity, students will learn about the Richter Scale for measuring earthquakes. The students will make a booklet with drawings that represent each rating of the Richter Scale.
Wildfires are a contributing factor to greenhouse gas emissions. Scientists estimate that wildfires emitted 8 billion tons of CO2 per year for the past 20 years. Wildfires have risks and benefits that humans are impacted by. In this storyline, students will learn about the risks and benefits of wildfires, the science behind how fire occurs and the conditions that make a fire catastrophic. Students will evaluate local/regional fires to determine how human activities contribute to wildfires. Students will research how forest management decisions are made to decrease the negative impacts of wildfires and to decrease the amount of CO2 that is emitted from those fires.
Sea level is rising due to climate changes that result from increased emissions of greenhouse gases. In this storyline, students will explore mechanisms of sea level rise and the impacts on Indigenous peoples along with other groups such as urban communities. Natural hazards such as erosion, storm surges, and flooding are intensified by sea level rise. The effects on natural resources, the economies built from those natural resources, and land usage in general can be predicted by utilizing current and historical data.
Los incendios forestales son un factor que contribuye a las emisiones de gases de efecto invernadero. Los científicos estiman que los incendios forestales emitieron 8 mil millones de toneladas de CO2 por año durante los últimos 20 años. Los incendios forestales tienen riesgos y beneficios que afectan a los seres humanos. En este caso, los estudiantes aprenderán sobre los riesgos y beneficios de los incendios forestales, la ciencia detrás de cómo ocurren los incendios y las condiciones que hacen que un incendio sea catastrófico. Los estudiantes evaluarán los incendios locales / regionales para determinar cómo las actividades humanas contribuyen a los incendios forestales. Los estudiantes investigarán cómo se toman las decisiones de manejo forestal para disminuir los impactos negativos de los incendios forestales y disminuir la cantidad de CO2 que se emite por esos incendios.
Students learn about seismology by using a sample seismograph constructed out of common classroom materials. The seismograph creates a seismogram based on vibrations caused by moving a ruler. The students work in groups to represent an engineering firm that must analyze the seismograph for how it works and how to read the seismogram it creates.
Students learn about tornadoes, the damage they cause, and how to rate tornadoes. Specifically, students investigate the Enhanced Fujita Damage Scale of tornado intensity, and use it to complete a mock engineering analysis of damage caused by a tornado. Additional consideration is given to tornado warning systems and how these systems can be improved to be safer. Lastly, students learn basic tornado safety procedures.
Students will analyze data of tornadoes throughout the United States. They will create a bar graph of the number of tornadoes for the top ten states in the country and then calculate the median and the mode of the data.
Students learn about tsunamis, discovering what causes them and what makes them so dangerous. They learn that engineers design detection and warning equipment, as well as structures that that can survive the strong wave forces. In a hands-on activity, students use a table-top-sized tsunami generator to observe the formation and devastation of a tsunami. They see how a tsunami moves across the ocean and what happens when it reaches a coastline. They make villages of model houses to test how different material types are impacted by the huge waves.
There is a 40% chance that the lower ⅓ of the of the Cascadia subduction zone will rupture in the next 50 years, generating a large earthquake and ensuing tsunami. In this project, students will work collaboratively to design and test a model of a vertical evacuation structure. They will evaluate the performance of their models and propose further modifications to improve their design. Students will then make a scale drawing and a model to apply math concepts of scale to designing and creating an ideal model of a vertical evacuation structure. Finally, students will present their findings and proposed final design to their peers and an adult audience. The entire process takes about 2 weeks, and was expanded to include more information and activities with earthquake/tsunami prediction and application of scale. The unit is a great fit for standards within Earth Science (specifically plate tectonics and human mitigation) as well as Engineering and Design standards.
Students will be exploring the idea of ecosystems and wildfires. They will become familiar with what an ecosystem is and how to keep them healthy. Students will also see the positive and negative effects of wildfires on ecosystems. Also how wildfires influence the local government and federal government when it comes to land management.
In this activity, students will learn about how tornadoes are formed and what they look like. By creating a water vortex in a soda bottle, they will get a first-hand look at tornadoes.