Rocks

Drilling to Antarctica’s Rock Core

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In this video adapted from ANDRILL, a student, a teacher, and a geologist describe a research project in Antarctica designed to answer questions about how our planet has changed over time and predict how it might look in the future. Drilling through an ice sheet and into the sea floor hundreds of meters below, ANDRILL project scientists collect long core samples of sedimentary rock. They then analyze the samples to learn what they can about the environmental conditions that existed when the rock layers were formed.

This video is available in both English and Spanish audio, along with corresponding closed captions.

Nature | Diamond Formation

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An expert describes the carbon composition of diamonds, as well as the conditions necessary for diamond formation in this video segment from Nature.

Moon Rocks | STEM in 30

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Twelve men have walked on the Moon. While the rest of us remain Earth-bound, we’re able to learn about the Moon from the rocks these 12 astronauts brought back for scientific study. We have also found lunar meteorites here on Earth—meteorites produced by impacts hitting the Moon. This episode of STEM in 30 will explore Moon rocks and what they can tell us not only about the Moon but also about our own planet.

Mountain Bike

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This DragonflyTV segment demonstrates why the biking terrain in Moab, Utah varies so widely by trail even though it's all sandstone. It also illustrates how friction effects biking.

Rare Earth Elements

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In this video excerpt from NOVA: "Hunting the Elements," New York Times technology columnist David Pogue learns about a set of elements commonly referred to as rare earths. Hear how rare earths are often used in technological applications and visit a rare earth mining site to learn more about where they are mined. Discover that rare earths are not really that rare and explore how their atomic structures make them nearly indistinguishable from one another.

This video is available in both English and Spanish audio, along with corresponding closed captions.

All of the -ITES (Minerals Rap)

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Gems and minerals aren’t just beautiful— they’re inside your cell phone, critical to your plasma TV...and they’re running out!

The California Academy of Sciences' Teen Advocates for Science Communication volunteers decided to flip the popular Kanye West song “All of the lights” into “All of the -ites”—a music video highlighting the science behind malachite, azurite, graphite…you get the point.

Examining the Evidence: How Did a Group of Dinosaurs Die?

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Examine the explanations and evidence for how dinosaurs died in this video from NATURE: Raising the Dinosaur Giant. The fossil remains from several titanosaurs (long-necked, extremely large dinosaurs), were recently found in Argentina. Watch as scientists look for clues about how these animals died. The support materials section contains teaching tips and a handout to help engage students in forming arguments from evidence.

Making North America | Geology of the Manhattan Skyline

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Discover why schist, a type of rock that underlies New York City's Manhattan borough, allows skyscrapers to soar, and learn why it’s present along the entire East Coast, in this video from NOVA: Making North America: Origins. Schist is composed largely of platy crystals. It is tough and solid enough to support the foundations of tall buildings. It starts out as mud that hardens under intense heat and pressure. The Manhattan schist layer comes near the surface in midtown and downtown, making these locations ideal for builders looking to attach skyscraper foundations firmly into bedrock. This resource is part of the NOVA: Making North America Collection.

Mineral Dependence: Gemstones to Cellphones | Smithsonian Science How

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Discover unusual rocks called pegmatites, considered "Nature’s Giant Treasure Chests." Meet Dr. Michael Wise, geologist at the National Museum of Natural History. How would your life be different without these unique rocks? Pegmatites boast much larger mineral crystals than other rocks because of the conditions under which they form. Take a closer look at garnets, tourmalines, and other minerals that come from pegmatites. Find out how you depend on pegmatites for everyday uses, such as operating your cellphone.

St. Helens: Out of the Ash | The Volcanic Eruption of Mount St. Helens

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In May of 1980 Mount St. Helens grabbed the world’s attention by putting on a volcanic display never before witnessed in modern times. Today, it still fascinates millions. People from around the globe are drawn to the Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument. KSPS's St. Helens: Out of the Ash provides eyewitness accounts of the volcanic eruption at Moutn St. Helens and explores the effects of the eruption and the changes that have occurred to the mountain and its surrounding areas ever since. 

Teach students vocabulary related to volcanoes, the different types and features of volcanoes, and the geological and societal effects of volcanic eruptions with these video segments and accompanying learning gudie. Visit KSPS Education for additional educator resources.

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