Tagged: volcanoes

Penshurst Volcano Discovery Centre and Mt Rouse


Today we visited the Penshurst Volcano Discovery Centre to learn about our local volcanic history and the formation of our landscape. After completing a worksheet at the Discovery Centre we went up Mt Rouse to this quarry site, which clearly shows the two eruptions – a scoria layer on the bottom and a basalt lava flow on the top (with soil and vegetation above that layer). We learnt about Maar volcanoes, formed when magma erupts into a water table and massive amounts of steam are produced, blowing material out of the crater. Tower Hill is an example of a Maar volcano. Mt Rouse is a scoria cone, produced when lots of gases shoot material into the air, where it cools and falls into a cone shape. Mt Eccles is a fissure volcano, formed when lava escapes from a split in the earth’s crust.

Year 8 students finished their Earth Science Assessment tasks today. Kirsten’s My Studiyo Rock Quiz  and Maddy’s My Studiyo Rocks! are great examples of student-created, online tasks. Georgia produced an excellent video using Photostory that is available at TeacherTube.

After walking down Mt Rouse we had a BBQ lunch and planted about 1,000 trees at Green’s Lane, Hawkesdale. One of my students asked “Why are we planting trees?”

  • To reduce erosion – the tree roots hold the soil together
  • To provide habitat for insects, birds, reptiles, mammals and other organisms
  • To provide shade and shelter for stock
  • Trees use carbon dioxide to produce oxygen and store carbon
  • Trees add value to farms
  • Trees reduce salinity by lowering the water table
  • Trees reduce evaporation from the creek and keep the water cooler
  • Aesthetic reasons – they look nice!

Please leave a comment below telling me two things you learnt at the Volcano Discovery Centre and what you enjoyed most about the day.


Top Ten Volcano sites


Image Source

To celebrate Earth Science week I have compiled a list of my top ten sites for learning about volcanoes:

  1. Volcano Live web cam List of links to 23 web cam sites at volcanoes around the world.
  2. How Volcanoes Work, sponsored by NASA
  3. Virtual Volcano Explorer from Discovery Channel
  4. Forces of Nature from National Geographic
  5. Interactive Volcanoes
  6. Volcano Project by Oregon State University
  7. Volcanoes On-line – an Oracle ThinQuest project – by students for students
  8. Global Volcanism Program by the Smithsonian Institute
  9. This Dynamic Planet by USGS – Science for a Changing World
  10. Volcanoes for Kids – images, different types, how they form and erupt.

Maybe you know of another great site to learn about volcanoes? Just add it to the comment section below.

Earth Science Week – Hong Kong Geopark

Elly and volcano

Today we had an exciting opportunity to link up with Ng Young C. Y., a Hong Kong national who is a driving force behind the establishment of the Hong Kong Geopark. He is an expeerienced presenter, member of and advisor to  numerous committees and boards of management for conservation of geologically significant areas. Young had lots of information about the difficulties establishing a geopark in a metropoliton area, wonderful images of the park and it’s significant features and ways they market the geopark using appropriately named dishes of food (such as the tempura prawn volcano!).

Students learnt about the igneous rocks that we passed around, drew a labelled cross-section of a volcano and were able to ask questions about the geology of the park. We also look forward to tomorrow’s presentation by Ian Lewis about caves, sink holes, fossils, volcanoes and bats. Ian is an ex-teacher, geologist and member of the Kanawinka Global Geopark committee. He was born on the side of a volcano, loves caves and diving and will be sharing lots of his photos and knowledge about all things volcanic!

Our Dynamic Planet

Photo Source

This week and next week we welcome Kelly Tolsher, student teacher from Ballarat University, into our classroom. Kelly will be taking year 7 and year 8 science classes as part of her third year teacher training. She will be starting a unit on Earth Science with each class. You can access the following Digilearn activities at school:

Shaping the Land

Tectonic Boundaries

Journey to the Centre of the Earth

The following links are internet resources that are accessible both in and outside school:

Down To Earth – Download four rich earth science interactive educational resources including “Undercover”, “Rock Back in Time”, “Paleotraveller” and “Metals Matter”.

A problem-based learning activity – Hands On Oil Exploration.

Evolving Planet – Take a tour through time – visualize millions of years of evolution in just a few clicks!

Forces of Nature (Tornadoes, volcanoes, earthquakes and hurricanes) interactive site to build your own volcano.

Volcano Explorer – Explore a virtual volcano.

Extreme Science – Eathquakes, volcanoes and more.

Dynamic Earth – Interactives to show the structure of the earth, plate tectonics and continental drift.

National Geographic has excellent photo galleries about plate tectonics.

Kanawinka Geopark

Yesterday the Warrnambool Standard reported that, after more than two years, UNESCO has declared an area of land from Colac to South Australia as Australia’s first Geopark. The volcanic features of the area, including Tower Hill, Mt. Eccles, Lake Condah and Camperdown’s crater lakes will be marketed as Kanawinka Geopark, which may increase tourism in the area. Geoparks are one step down from World heritage listing and are awarded to regions of geological significance which incorporate human economic development. You can find out more at the following sites:

Volcanoes Discovery Trail

ABC news article

Kanawinka wiki

Kanawinka webquest