The 21st century thus far has spawned some massive earthquakes around the globe; as of this writing, Japan alone has seen 19 earthquakes of magnitude 7.0 and above in the last ten years. The island nation is located in the infamous Ring of Fire, a volatile region that rims the Pacific Ocean for roughly 25,000 miles and is notably home to 452 volcanoes and 90% of our planet’s earthquakes. Japan lies on the edge of the junction to three tectonic plates – the Philippine, Pacific, and Eurasian Plates – which continuously shift and grind over and under one another.
Like all disasters, the Japanese earthquake and tsunami have an effect on populations far from the stricken geographic region. Millions of people around the world are moved emotionally by the tragedy, and donate to Japanese relief efforts to signify their support and human solidarity. Traces of radiation were found on planes from Japan at O’Hare Airport in Chicago, docks and vessels were destroyed on the coasts of California and Hawaii due to waves caused by the tsunami, and the destruction from the earthquake and tsunami will have economic repercussions worldwide. And according to NASA, the March 11 earthquake was powerful enough to shift the Earth’s mass so that our planet spins a bit faster, thus reducing the length of each day by 1.6 microseconds. Thus the scope of one event – an earthquake – has created a ripple effect of significant proportions throughout the world.
This week’s Joann’s Picks column on the Gateway’s home page, is featuring all-new resources on earthquakes. Peggy’s Corner examines additional earthquake resources including Musical Plates, What’s Shaking? and a Whole lot of Quakin’ Goin” On. Both columns stress the value of presenting topics throughout the disciplines. Additional resources on the topic are presented and discussed on the Gateway’s Facebook and Twitter pages. Be sure to visit those pages regularly.
Discussions continue on last week’s theme of Disasters on both pages. All of the weekly Gateway columns and resource selections are archived on the following blog site: http://thegatewayto21stcenturyskills.blogspot.com/.
Resources covered in this week’s columns include:
Subjects: Geology, Earth science
Using an earthquake machine (materials list is included in the resource), the teacher can demonstrate how the machine’s sliding motion mimics the intermittent fault slippage that characterizes the earthquake fault zones. This demonstration of seismology for teachers and students can be used to expand lessons in earth science, physics, math, social studies, and geography. This activity was produced by the U.S. Geological Survey, a science organization that provides all types of information to scientists, policymakers, and others. Additionally, the USGS helps to help educate the public about natural resources, natural hazards, geospatial data, and other issues through lesson plans, maps, and data.
Building Structure Exercise: Designing Structures To Perform Well During an Earthquake
Subjects: Engineering, Geology, Physical science
Did you ever notice that after an earthquake some structures have a lot of damage while others have little? There are different factors that affect how structures perform during an earthquake. In this activity, students will learn about the effect of different variables on building performance during a simulated earthquake. They’ll learn about what physical forces are at work during an earthquake, and brainstorm ways to strengthen the buildings to withstand an earthquake. This activity was produced by MCEER Information Systems, a national center dedicated to the creation and development of new technologies to equip communities to become more disaster resilient in the face of earthquakes and other extreme events.
You Don’t Need a Seismograph to Study Earthquakes
Subjects: Geology, Physical science
Earthquakes are difficult to predict, and most of our scientific investigation occurs after the event. This lesson will help students to understand earthquakes. Students will simulate p waves (longitudinal) & s waves (transverse) using a slinky and rope. They will simulate one of the three types of lithospheric boundaries and investigate plate tectonics at some select web sites. This lesson is aligned to national education standards, and was produced by PBS NewsHour, which covers national and international news. NewsHour also provides educational resources for both teachers and students.
About The Gateway to 21st Century Skills
The Gateway has been serving teachers continuously since 1996. It is the oldest publicly accessible U.S. repository of educational resources on the Web and the oldest continuously operating service of its kind in the world. The Gateway is sponsored by the National Education Association (NEA) and supported by over 700 quality contributors. The Gateway to 21st Century Skills is the cornerstone of the Global Learning Resource Connection (GLRC) which is a JES & Co. program.
About Joann Wasik- Author of Joann’s Picks
Joann is the Metadata Cataloger for The Gateway for 21st Century Skills. Her primary responsibilities for The Gateway include locating and cataloging standards-based K-12 lessons and activities for The Gateway, as well as writing the “Joann’s Picks” weekly column. Before joining The Gateway in 2006, Joann had been involved with numerous projects at the Information Institute of Syracuse at Syracuse University, including virtual reference with the Virtual Reference Desk (VRD) project; virtual reference competencies and education with the Digital Reference Education Initiative (DREI) project; and metadata cataloging with the Gateway for Educational Materials (GEM). Her previous experience also includes technology training and positions in academic libraries. She also conducts freelance research for business and educational clients. Joann holds B.A. and M.A.T. degrees in English from Boston College, and an M.L.S. degree from Syracuse University.
About Peggy James- Author of Peggy’s Corner
Peggy received her B.S. in Molecular and Cellular Biology from The University of Arizona, and continued on to earn her M.Ed. from the U of A as well. She has taught Physical Science and Chemistry at the high school level. She is working toward her endorsement in Gifted Education, and has been actively involved in coaching and volunteering in Odyssey of the Mind and Academic Decathlon. She has a passion for teaching critical thinking and creativity in the classroom. She has done work evaluating and aligning lesson plans to standards as a curriculum consultant with the National Education Association Health Information Network. She is very excited to help create a collaborative environment for educators to discover new resources that will enhance their teaching!
About the GLRC
About JES & Co.
JES & Co., a publicly funded 501(c) (3) education research organization, is a leader in research and deployment of education programs based on open standards. With 20 years of experience in interoperability and portability of educational resources, organizations around the world come to JES & Co. for leadership and guidance on education programs and initiatives. Since its establishment in the early 1990s, JES & Co. has led and managed The Achievement Standards Network (ASN), The Partnership for 21st Century Skills, The Gateway to 21st Century Skills (formerly known as GEM), the Dell Academy, the Intel Student Certification Program, and Microsoft’s Partners in Learning. For more information about JES & Co. or the Global Learning Resource Connection, visit www.JESandCo.org.