From the core of the Earth to its surface is the geosphere. It may seem
that islands, deserts and mountains are the most stable features of the
Earth, but they are all constantly changing.
A Rock and a Hard Place
Volcanoes and earthquakes can radically change the appearence of the
land over hours or days. Erosion caused by wind, water and glaciers can
change the Earth's surface over much longer periods of time.
What geologic features exist in your area? Is the land near your house
hilly, mountainous, or flat as a pancake? Is there a volcano or beach nearby?
Living things such as corals cause changes in the geosphere by making islands
where before there was only ocean.
When water flows through soil and rocks, contaminants are removed. Purer
water collects in large underground pools. Much of the water that we drink
comes from these pools, so rocks and soil are an essential part of the water cycle.
Natural gas, oil, and coal, come from the geosphere. Although relatively
cheap, they have a drawback: pollution of the atmosphere.
What energy sources could serve as alternatives to these fuels? What are
the pros and cons of using these alternatives?
The following environmental educational activities were developed by
students participating in the museum's UniTY