Hi all,

Let me reinforce Ann's comments.  We've stopped using images of a 
boiling pan of water to talk about convection (and convective heat 
transfer) because of the very widespread and hard to dispel 
misconception that the mantle is a liquid.


At 08:42 AM 4/6/2010, Bykerk-Kauffman, Ann wrote:
>Hi Folks,
>There are great ideas and they look like a lot of fun, but beware of 
>the possibility of teaching misconceptions. The plates do NOT ride 
>on horizontal mantle currents like rafts on a river; the rolling 
>students demonstration could give students this hard-to-shake misconception.
>Ann Bykerk-Kauffman
>Dept. of Geological and Environmental Sciences
>400 W. 1st Street
>California State University, Chico
>Chico, CA  95929-0205
>[log in to unmask]
>-----Original Message-----
>From: Stella Heenan [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
>Sent: Tuesday, April 06, 2010 6:10 AM
>To: [log in to unmask]
>Subject: Re: Foam Plate Tectonics Learning Activity
>Larry Braile has a quite detailed write up for modelling faulting and
>tectonic boundaries using different foam blocks and sheets:
>Basic suggestions students have done in our classrooms for modelling:
>same thickness of flexible foam for collision boundaries - model uplift,
>folding and mountain building
>different thicknesses of foam for subduction zones (thinner tends to
>subduct under thicker)
>thread two sheets up through a small gap between two desks for a
>spreading ridge
>flexible long sheets (like camping mattresses) draped over the backs of
>crouched students - when the students roll, the plate above them moves
>laterally - models convection cells
>In all scenarios, features can be stuck or drawn onto the foam, e.g.
>volcanoes, quake epicentres, magnetic striping, land masses.
>All of these can work as discovery tasks: provide instructions of what
>to do, and students observe what happens.

Randall M. Richardson, Professor
Department of Geosciences, Gould Simpson 208
1040 E. 4th Street
University of Arizona, Tucson  AZ  85721-0077
(520) 621-4950 (O); (520) 621-2672 (Fax)