Get down to earth in this old-fashioned roadside attraction while exploring wind and water erosion, the properties and characteristics of water, practical applications of geology and other forces of nature that have worked to form West Virginia over the years.
Concepts: geology, meteorology, erosion, physics, and hydrology
1. Have students name at least three ways the exhibits in Earth City help demonstrate how water and/or wind work to carve away and build up the landscape of West Virginia.
2. Our planet holds many fascinating mysteries. While in Earth City, have your students explore the exhibits to try to uncover these three mysteries: 1) musical stones (core samples); 2) the age of a tree; 3) fluorescent (glowing) rocks.
3. In Earth City, there is a water table with red tabs. Have students use the red tabs to make the water flow in a certain path and/or to change the water levels on the table by damming it up. As an added component, have students quickly release a dam they build and make observations about what happens to the water on the table and in the tub into which the water drains. This may lead to a discussion about the importance of dams in West Virginia and how quickly areas could be affected if a dam were to burst.
Build a small dirt mound using soil from the school grounds. Place the mound in an out of the way place near the playground. Students can keep a weather log each day and mark the erosion of the dirt mound once a week for a month. Compare the extent of erosion with the weather logs and discuss the connection.
Have students make a “paper usage log” and log the type and amount of paper they use for a week. After a week, have them brainstorm creative ways to reduce and reuse that paper usage (i.e. reusing paper towels or repurposing used notebook paper). Have students add a “reduce” and “reuse” section to their log. For an additional week have them log the creative ways they reduced their amount of paper usage or reused paper. Discuss other consumable materials that they can reduce, reuse or recycle and the ultimate long-term benefits to our planet.
Students can research an earth science-related current event and create a lesson for the class that can help their classmates better understand the topic and why it is important. The lesson can be a hands-on activity or a presentation using PowerPoint and/or other technology.
Click here for Earth City WV 21st Century Content Standards and Objectives