January: The Process and Nature of Science February: Evolution March: Physics and Technology April: Energy Resources May: Sustainability and the Environment June: Ocean and Water July: Astronomy August: Weather and Climate September: Biodiversity and Conservation October: Geosciences and Planet Earth November: Chemistry December: Science and Health Year of Science 2009 home page
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Geosciences and Planet Earth
Virtual Rock Lab


Rocks and minerals form the basic materials of the solid Earth. Their characteristics strongly influence surface processes and therefore understanding their properties is vital to our understanding of physical geography. Click here to visit the Virtual Rock Lab to learn more.



This lab activity simulates the rock cycle with a piece of chocolate instead of actual rock.
Image credit: Ayelie, Creative Commons

Fun Videos

Ring of Fire

Join Dr. Richard Alley, as he takes you on a musical review of subduction and the Pacific Ring of Fire.

Visit the Fun Zone

Try these games and get some dirty under your nails!

Image courtesy of: Volcano World

Sliding Puzzle Game: Help put Rocky, the volcano, back together

Mission Planet: Explore the planet earth with National Geographic. You will be executive producer for Planet Earth and will have to help manage seven film crews across the globe to acquire never before seen footage for this groundbreaking new series.

GeoGames: Test your knowledge of the Planet Earth! Place continents, bodies of water, or mountains on the map.

Image courtesy of: BBC.

Volcano Explorer: Volcanoes are pressure valves that release energy deep within the Earth. Visit this site to create your own volcano and learn more about these powerful forces.

GLOBE Geography Quiz: Get your thinking cap on! Take this quiz to identify countries and US states by using your knowledge of the terrain and location.

Respond to a disaster: As the newly appointed chief of the Emergency Management Agency for Bluebear County, it's your job to handle an eruption of the fictional Mount Spur. Are you up to it?

Virtual Oil Well: Your late Aunt Thibodeaux saved her pennies and invested wisely. She also purchased the mineral rights to an eight mile square of land, So here's your chance to strike it rich! Your objective is to find oil before the money runs out, and the fact is, finding oil can be an expensive proposition. Almost everything you do costs money.

Earth Gauge Kids

Goody Gold Digger: Be an archaeologist and dig up buried treasure!

"Who am I" Rock Game: Can you identify the different types of rocks?

Hit Songs: Here are hit songs, mainly from the 60's and 70's, with geologic terms in them. Find the missing geology word in the lyrics.

Calling all artists!


Grab your pencils, paints, and creative minds! We are looking for your best and brightest original artwork to highlight the exciting science done on the JOIDES Resolution scientific ocean drilling ship.

Send in a drawing, painting or other artwork featuring the JR and its work. Winning classrooms and schools will be visited by JR crew and staff! Enter today.

Deadline: November 10, 2009.

Puzzled about Geoscience?

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Complete this puzzle and see layers of history.

Check out a picture of an organ that is different than you are use to.

Complete this puzzle before the volcano erupts!

Kids Zone


Exploring with Curious George: PBS offers the how-to for focused investigations that let children make their own discoveries about recycling, wind, water drops, and the properties of soil and sand.

Gem-O-Matic: A diamond in the rough? Let's find out. Use the online tumbler to see what kind of amazing gem will BE created.

Copycat: Follow the pattern and challenge your memory.

Coloring book: Here are some cool coloring pages for you to print out.



They say "diamonds are a girl's best friend" - though I can't say I've ever met one who agrees.

Shaped like small diamonds, these zines introduce these ideas and a few others besides. Click here for a printable PDF that contain six of these mini-zines per sheet (marked by red lines).

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