Rocks

Copper | Raw to Ready: Mack Truck

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This clip from Raw to Ready: Mack Truck focuses on how early experiments with the telephone led to a search for an alternative to the iron and steel cables being used at the time. Rust was a constant problem and highly conductive copper was the ideal alternative, however the technology didn't exist to manufacture copper strong enough for overhead lines. Thomas Doolittle introduced a new process to compress and strengthen copper. Today over half the copper extracted from the earth becomes wire and makes up the Mack Truck's drive-by-wire technology.

The Grand Canyon: Evidence of Earth's Past

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The Colorado River in Grand Canyon National Park has cut a vertical path through rock that dates from the Precambrian period (nearly two billion years ago) to the Permian (250 million years ago). As presented in this video segment adapted from NOVA, each of the exposed rock layers, or strata, tells the story of another time period. Through careful study of these layers, scientists can describe how the area's climate has changed, how this affected the environment, and how some of the previous inhabitants looked and behaved.

Nature | Aging Diamonds?

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In this video from Nature, geological detectives use ancient diamonds to learn more about Earth's inner layers.

Rocks and Minerals | Science Trek

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This video segment from IdahoPTV's Science Trek defines the different types of rock and how they are formed. Learn about the ways rocks are classified and find out all the ways rocks can be changed. This resource is part of the Idaho Collection.

The Geology of Coal

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In this video, a geologist describes how coal, a sedimentary rock, was formed when organic materials piled up in swamps millions of years ago. Over time, heat and pressure transformed the buried materials into peat and into various forms of coal. The geologist shows samples of low- and high-sulfur coal. High-sulfur coal contains a lot of pyrite, which is a mixture of sulfur, iron, and traces of other minerals. As long as it is underground, this mixture causes no environmental problems. But when it is exposed to air through mining, the pyrite rusts and forms sulfate salts on the coal's surface that can contaminate water.

This resource is part of the Water Solutions collection.

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

The Amazing Life of Sand | Deep Look

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There's a story in every grain of sand: tales of life and death, fire and water. If you scooped up a handful of sand from every beach, you'd have a history of the world sifting through your fingers. From mountain boulders to the shells of tiny ocean creatures, follow the journey that sand takes through thousands of years across entire continents to wind up stuck between your toes.

Dinosaur Train | Discovering Minerals

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Watch as the Pteranodon family discovers minerals when they are exploring in a cave. Mr. Pteranodon explains the difference between rocks and minerals: while rocks are made up of many materials, minerals are made of the same material all the way through.

The Value of Copper

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In this video excerpt from NOVA: "Hunting the Elements," New York Times technology columnist David Pogue visits the New York Mercantile Exchange to learn about copper's essential role in human civilization. Find out about the valued properties of copper and its many applications, including electronics and building materials. Hear about the global copper market and discover how copper is such an important metal that its price can be used to gauge economic health.

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

Making North America | Uncovering Layers of the Grand Canyon

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Follow along with host Kirk Johnson as he explores the layers of rock that make up the Grand Canyon, in this video from NOVA: Making North America: Origins. Many geologists think that the Grand Canyon is the best place in the world. Its exposed rock layers allow them to see hundreds of millions of years back in time, revealing a story about what the surface was like as each rock layer formed. By analyzing the rock, mineral, and fossil contents of the layers, scientists know that what is today the North American continent was covered by desert sands, shallow seas, and more in its distant past. This resource is part of the NOVA: Making North America Collection.

Max's Diary: Paleontology | KIDS Clubhouse Adventures

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Max’s imagination takes viewers on amazing adventures. In this segment of KIDS Clubhouse Adventures, the volcano Max made in his sandbox suddenly erupts! While investigating the scene, Max discovers the bones from two dinosaurs!

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