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Tag: geology

Curiosity Challenge: “How Do Volcanoes Erupt?”

A spectacular eruption in Stromboli, Italy. Image via Places Under the Sun. “Why Do Volcanoes Have Lava?” — Alondra Sanchez, 6 “Why Do Volcanoes Erupt?” — Darcy Baker, 6 “How Do Volcanoes Erupt?” — Sara Solomon, 9 “What’s In a Volcano?” — Schnaubelt Baronvil, 10 A volcanic eruption is probably the most dramatic event that occurs in nature.  Imagine living next to a mountain that’s normally peaceful and calm.  Then, one day, the ground shakes, the mountain explodes, hot ash rains from the sky, and a wave of hot molten rock comes downhill–right towards you!  The giant clouds of ash belched up by the volcano block out the sun, sometimes for so long that the entire region’s climate changes.  It’s no wonder that most ancient cultures thought that volcanoes were controlled by gods.  We now know a great deal about volcanology–the science behind volcanoes–but we’re still in awe of these… Read More

Curiosity Challenge: Weather and Animals in Antarctica

“What’s the weather like in Antarctica?” — Aaliyah Bester, 7 “How do animals survive in the Antarctic?” — Josephine Sawyer, 8 My friend Rachel stands on the bottom of the world with the Geographic South Pole marker! Courtesy of Rachel Bowens-Rubin. The Antarctic is a really “cool” place–both because of how neat it is, and because it’s so cold!  In fact, the coldest temperature ever recorded on Earth was −89.4 °C (−128.9 °F), at the Vostok Station in Antarctica.  I’ve been hearing a lot about Antarctica lately because my friend Rachel has just returned from a trip to the South Pole, which is right in the middle of the continent.  Rachel is an astrophysicist, which means that she studies the physics of stars and planets by looking at them through a telescope.  She was using a telescope at the South Pole to search for special waves in space that might… Read More

Catching a Sea Perch

    by Eric Bender The underwater remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) run by offshore industry or the Navy or scientists are usually big brawny fellows, designed to grab a valve on an oil platform at the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico or scan remote areas of the Pacific sea floor or pluck cargo from the Titanic. But you can build a model ROV that fits inside a milk crate and zooms through water in basically the same ways. That’s exactly the role of MIT’s Sea Perch project, which builds these small educational wet wanderers, and exactly what teams of middle and high schoolers accomplished Wednesday at the MIT Museum. At the start, about half the kids said they were enthusiasts for science and engineering, and the other half cheerfully said they had been forced to come by their parents. Ably led by Kathryn Shroyer, mechanical engineer and Sea Grant… Read More

A Brief History of Earth Day: a View from 28,000 Miles

We’re now 16 days away from the Science Festival, and my attempt at a daily countdown has gone woefully awry. Ah, well. We’re excited about the countdown here in the festival office. Our program guides are starting to make the rounds, and we’re working hard to get them out to you through as many different avenues as possible. Our event highlight of the day is the Earth Day Celebration at the EcoTarium on Friday, April 19th. A Brief History of Earth Day: a View from 28,000 Miles by: Alex Dunn We all know Earth Day as a day that promotes positive behavior, raises awareness for critical global issues and builds community. The first Earth Day celebrations occurred in cities and towns across the U.S. on April 22, 1970. Attributed to the support of Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson, those first Earth Day “protests” bottled the fire of the 1960s, bringing together… Read More