Essential Science for Teachers: Earth and Space Science
Earth and Space Science consists of eight one-hour video programs accompanied by print and Web materials that provide in-class activities and homework explorations. Real-world examples, demonstrations, animations, still graphics, and interviews with scientists compose content segments that are intertwined with in-depth interviews with children that uncover their ideas about the topic at hand. Each program also features an elementary school teacher and his or her students exploring the topic using exemplary science curricula.
1. Earth’s Solid Membrane: Soil—How does soil appear on a newly born, barren volcanic island? In this session, participants explore how soil is formed, its role in certain Earth processes, its composition and structure, and its place in the structure of the Earth.
2. Every Rock Tells A Story—How can we use rocks to understand events in the Earth’s past? In this session, participants explore the processes that form sedimentary rocks, learn how fossils are preserved, and are introduced to the theory of plate tectonics.
3. Journey to the Earth’s Interior—How do we know what the interior of the Earth is like if we’ve never been there? In this session, participants examine the internal structure of the Earth and learn how it is possible for entire continents to move across its surface.
4. The Engine That Drives the Earth—What drives the movement of tectonic plates? In this session, participants learn how plates interact at plate margins, how volcanoes work, and the story of Hawaii’s formation.
5. When Continents Collide—How is it possible that marine fossils are found on Mount Everest, the world’s highest continental mountain? In this session, participants learn what happens when continents collide and how this process shapes the surface of the Earth.
6. Restless Landscapes—If almost all mountains are formed the same way, why do they look so different? In this session, participants learn about the forces continually at work on the surface of the Earth that sculpt the ever-changing landscape.
7. Our Nearest Neighbor: The Moon—Why is the Moon, our nearest neighbor in the solar system, so different from the Earth? In this session, participants explore the complex connections between the Earth and Moon, the origin of the Moon, and the roles played by gravity and collisions in the Earth–Moon system.
8. Order out of Chaos: Our Solar System—Why do all the planets orbit the Sun in the same direction and why are the planets closest to the Sun so different from the gas giants farther out? In this session, participants gain a better understanding of the nature of the solar system by examining its formation.
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