Sunday, February 26, 2012

Create a Virtual Volcanic Eruption

A couple of years I posted a list of five good resources for teaching about volcanoes. Last week, through Ask a Tech Teacher, I discovered another resource to add to that list. The Discovery Channel's Volcano Explorer provides a small simulation that students can use to design a volcanic eruption. Using the Volcano Explorer students choose the magma viscosity and gas content to create a virtual volcanic eruption. When students make their selections the Volcano Explorer provides a short explanation of how those settings will affect the shape of the volcano and its eruption.

Applications for Education
Discovery's Volcano Explorer could be a nice little simulation to use in an elementary school science lesson. While students won't experience the fun mess of the baking soda and vinegar eruptions that we did as kids, the Volcano Explorer does provide some direct explanation and visuals of magma and gasses in action.