A Rock and a Hard Place

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.

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 program:


Do you know how the Water Cycle works?

Continental Drift

Rock Links

United States Geological Survey


Volcano Watch

Earthquake Maps

A-Z Index

Add an Idea


Student Projects

Teacher's Guide


Miami Museum of Science / Science Learning Network
© 1998 Miami Museum of Science