Monday, January 31, 2011

Nonrenewable Energy

Except for the sun and the occasional meteorite falling to Earth from space, the Earth contains all of the natural resources that humans and animals use to survive. Some of those resources feel abundant, like we will never run out of them, while others feel less stable. Nonrenewable resources are a type of resource that is limited in our Earth and mostly refer to the energy source known as “fossil fuels.” There is only a certain amount of fossil fuels in the Earth and humans are using them at a much faster rate than they can be replaced. There will be more fossil fuel in time, but it will take another several million years for it to form, which will probably not do the human population much good. But how much time do we have before we run out? This is a question that is unanswered and hotly debated in the scientific community. I believe that your generation will be the one to come up with the answer.


Go to the following website:

Answer the following questions in your own words. Please use examples from your own life to back up your answers.

1- What is energy? (Do not say “the ability to do work”)

2- What is the difference between potential and kinetic energy?

Give two examples from potential and two examples from kinetic energy in your real life.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Layers of the Earth!

Recently, we've talked about the inner layers of the Earth and that scientists believe that there is a solid core surrounded by a liquid outer core. We also know that the solid crust sits on top of a semi-liquid layer called the asthenosphere which allows the tectonic plates to move and shift over time. This shifting of tectonic plates is responsible for earthquakes, many volcanoes, and the formation of mountain chains. But how do scientists know about the middle of the Earth when we have only traveled a few miles below the surface?


Go to the following website: Seismic Waves

Read the page and go through the activity, answering the questions and checking your answers.
Write a short (a couple of sentences) explanation of how scientists know about the layers of the Earth.

Monday, January 3, 2011


Today we talked about igneous rocks, the type of rock that forms when rock matter is melted down and then cooled. Igneous rock can form underground but when it comes out of the ground it forms volcanoes. The largest mountain in the world, if you’re looking at it from the bottom of the ocean floor, is Mauna Kea, an island in Hawaii (source). Whenever a volcano erupts it produces lava, which cools into different types of igneous rock.


Research one of the following volcanoes and, in your own words, tell the story of how it erupted and what consequences it’s eruption had on the local environment. We will be using Wikipedia today (and today only!).

Mount Vesuvius

Mount Etna

Mount Tambora


Mount Pelee

Mount St. Helens

Mount Pinatubo