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Science 7/8 Update: Earthquake-resistant towers


Students in Science 7/8 are studying a comprehensive unit on plate tectonics.  They have started by learning about earthquakes, and how seismologists use earthquake waves to study the interior of the earth.  Currently, 7th & 8th graders are using real engineering techniques to build earthquake-resistant towers out of toothpicks.  The towers will be tested on an earthquake simulation table that models real earthquake waves.  Next, students will be creating an earth’s interior art project as part of our arts and science integration.  After the art project, students will be studying Pangaea and will piece together the continents as they appeared 200 million years ago using the same evidence used by real scientists.  This will immediately be followed by the processes of plate tectonics, i.e., continental drift, seafloor spreading, convection in the mantle, etc., to help explain how the continents could have moved from the Pangaea formation to their current positions.  Finally, the unit will conclude with the different types of plate boundaries and their affect on shaping the earth as we know it today.
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