Interpreting Live Data

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SWBAT interpret real time data regarding geological events.

Big Idea

How can you interpret live geological data?


10 minutes

I started off by reminding my students of our previous lesson, Plotting Earth Data, where we used historical data to create our own maps.  Today, we would be using live data about volcanoes and earthquakes that might have happened as recently as today.  This lesson could easily be modified to include weather and climate data, rather than seismic events, to address 3-ESS2-2.

I demonstrated the process using Popular Mechanics Quake Tracker on my iPad because my students have Chromebooks and can't run the app, and I find it to be pretty hard to get meaningful data from anyway.  I showed my students how to look for the key to understand the what the map is showing, and to pay attention to the different parts of the interface so they you can interact with the program efficiently.


40 minutes

I sent my students Interpreting Live Data through Google Classrooms because it was a simple way to get students both the links and provide them the questions they should answer.  If I didn't have Google Classrooms, I would have probably emailed my class the questions and links, and let them respond in the email.  If all else failed, I would have put the links on my link page and gave students hard copies.  Anything to prevent them from having to type URL's!


15 minutes

While most students finished on time, I had several students that needed additional class periods to finish, so our closure occurred on a later date. 

The vast majority of the class stated on the final question that there was no way to predict where a earthquake or volcano would occur.  Even though I haven't taught any formal probability lessons, I decided I could use tiles in a pouch as an analogy.  I placed lots of green tiles and one red in a pouch, and did 20 draws.  By the 20th, they could predict that I would probably draw a green tile, even if there was a chance I'd draw green.

I projected one of the earthquake maps, and asked where more earthquakes occurred in the last two weeks, the Atlantic or Pacific coast, then in the last 2 years.  I then stated, rather than asked, that yes, earthquakes are certainly more likely to occur on the Pacific Coast.  I sent them back to the internet to discover reasonable explanation why.