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Hi TFF friends, I long hesitated wether to post it or not and where to post it but as i think it is worthy to share you this special news, i will use this thread to do so. 2 years ago, the Kumamoto Montana Natural Science Museum Association (kmnsma) , an association composed of the Museum Of the Rockies, the Carter county museum, Mifune Dinosaur Museum, Goshoura cretaceous museum, Kumamoto city museum, Aso volcano museum (whose goal is to develop and expand a sustainable U.S./Japan museum network that will promote educational learning and community engagement through the sciences of paleontology, geology, and astronomy) launched the idea to develop a joint educational program which could be use in the US and in Japan. After 2 years of development, we are proud annouce you that we've finished the educator guide for 5-6 grades. We published it online, where you can download it for free at the following address. It is a little bit heavy (31Mo). http://mifunemuseum.jp/kmnsma/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/2018-MOR-Text-Book_web-File.pdf If you are interested in our projects, do not hesitate to visit the association website at http://mifunemuseum.jp/kmnsma/?page_id=9 And do not hesitate to leave a comment about the educator guide. David Edit: sorry for the change font.
For the last 2 years, I have been in charge of replenishing fossils into a "dig" pit at a local nature center/ zoo. Last fall, just before freeze up, I was approached by an individual as I was burying fossils. After explaining what I was doing and showing her the variety of fossils being planted in the pit, she informed me that she was a local teacher in charge of the advanced earth science curriculum and appreciated what I was doing. After we talked a bit more, it was obvious that she incorporated fossils heavily into her learning lessons. She just didn't have many to show the students. I then volunteered to provide her with specimens that coincided with her lectures. I was surprised by the list that she then provided me: I chatted with the two other life and earth science teachers at my school and they were both very excited about this opportunity as well. Here is what our wish list looks like, and then you can let us know what is actually possible :-) 1. 10 sets of loose fossils that are common in Minnesota (we could put 1 set at each table for students to look at) and then 1 glued down identified set (could be diorama like or could be organized by time period or both). 2. Index fossils or rocks with index fossils in them that students could have to put in order from oldest to youngest. 3. Organisms that are related but lived in different places at the same time or organisms that were related but lived in different time periods (so they can see the evolving features). 4. Organisms that would help us show how Minnesota's environment was changing over time. (from similar location, but in different layers of rocks). 5. A few larger fossils that help us show students that not all animals and plants were so small back then. I know this is a big list, and I am not sure what is really possible, but these were some of the ideas that we talked about when we met. We will appreciate anything you are able to share with us. We are so so excited that you are offering to help us make this unit more engaging for our students. Here are some of our science standards so you can see where our ideas are coming from: 1. Explain how the fossil record documents the appearance, diversification, and extinction of many life forms. 2. Use internal and external anatomical structures to compare and infer relationships between living organisms as well as those in the fossil record. 3. Recognize that variation exists in every population and describe how a variation can help or hinder an organism's ability to survive. 4. Recognize that extinction is a common event and it can occur when the environment changes and a population's ability to adapt is insufficient to allow its survival. 5. Interpret successive layers of sedimentary rocks and their fossils to infer relative ages of rock sequences, past geologic events, changes in environmental conditions, and the appearance and extinction of life forms. I hope these help you to understand where we are coming from. All of us are also very interested in coming out to tour the barn. We will put our heads together and come up with a few dates that might work for the 3 of us and then send them your way. Thanks so much! Alissa Naymark Well, I opened my mouth and now I must produce!!!!! #1 and #5 were easy to take care of. #3 is partially done in that I do not have fossils, let alone index fossils for some of the Periods that are younger than Devonian. Any suggestions of inexpensive index fossils? I do have Cambrian, Ordovician, Devonian, and Mississippian covered. In addition, I would appreciate thoughts on how to accomplish #3 and #4? I do have some ideas, but am interested in what others think. In closing, I will post one project I put together tonight. In this scene, bivalves are seen burrowing through the sand. Attached to the rocky substrate are both brachiopods and barnacles. To be learned from this creation is the theory that brachiopods likely had intense competition for anchoring spots when barnacles came into existence and flourished. Yet the bivalves, in a different sandy niche, continued to prosper. Then comparisons can be made with today's situation of Zebra mussels and the indigenous mollusks that they are destroying. Ironically, they use the mollusks as a place to attach choking the life out of them. Revenge for the brachiopods!!!