Volcanic Eruptions at Genius Hour


The students in Ms. Maria Nash's First Grade at Hardin Park have "Genius Hour" every other Friday. During this time, students explore a topic that is of interest to them. To read more about the concept behind Genius Hour, visit http://www.geniushour.com/.

One of the groups of inquisitive minds in Ms. Nash's class decided to do their Genius Hour project on volcanoes. When Mr. Terry Gunnell-Beck, the first grade teacher assisstant, contacted the Geology Department at AppState for some teaching ideas, Mr. Brian Zimmer jumped at the chance to visit the classroom and share his passion of volcanoes with the group.

Mr. Zimmer's "volcano workshop" included a slide presentation of what a volcanologist does, his research and volcanoes around the world that he has viisited. The students then contrasted the properties of different vulcanic rocks (pumice, basalt and granite) and looked at some tools vulcanologists use. The grand finale came as an activity in which students modeled a vulcanic eruption using sand, wax and water. There were shrieks of excitement as the students crowded around the apparatus and watched the red lava erupting through the sand (original source for this activity: Royal Chemistry Society).

Ms. Marta Toran (GES Outreach Coordinator) helped create the materials and to facilitate the lesson in Spanish. The teaching resources are available for teachers in both English and Spanish. For the modifiable versions please contact Ms. Toran (toranml@appstate.edu).

We want to thank Mr. Gunnell-Beck and Ms. Nash for reaching out and inviting us to participate in this special session, and their students for their enthusiasm and great questions!

Watch the excitement here...


Published: Feb 10, 2016 1:14pm