Teaching Aid Wish List: January 2019



  • Anyone want to suggest a different new teaching aid model? Don't let me win by default (although it will still get created and made available).



  • Many geoscience classrooms could aid from easily accessible analogue models for teaching geodynamic processes. Extension and compression sandboxes are excellent tools for allowing students to visualize thrust vs. normal fault development. These are generally constructed out of wood or metal and are therefore cumbersome and difficult to use and replace. A functional 3D printed version would be fantastic and would allow these useful teaching tools to grace many more classrooms.

    Here are some examples of these analogue models in action.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E3ApcYTCExE
    https://serc.carleton.edu/NAGTWorkshops/structure/visualizations/sandbox_movies.html



  • Thanks @JShukle! I will look into this a bit more. I first need to see what educational standard this could help teacher meet (e.g., Next Gen. Sci. Std.) if it is to be prioritized. I will do this very soon.



  • January results are in! We have a winning model related to Earth Sciences. JShukle's suggestion of an expansion sandbox to examine fault development. I think this could be used to address NGSS HS-ESS1-5, Earth's Place in the Universe: Evaluate evidence of the past and current movements of continental and oceanic crust and the theory of plate tectonics to explain the ages of crustal rocks.
    Creating the mechanism for this is going to be a fun challenge. The final product will likely need to just have sheets of acrylic plastic ("Plexiglass") added to the sides. To the lab!



  • Woohoo! Can't wait to see what you guys come up with!



  • The geological expansion fault line model is currently being spec'ed out for production. Look for concept renders later this month.



  • We have a preliminary render of the sliding sandbox geological fault simulator! Things are looking good to have this out in early March.



  • The geologic fault line simulator is being printed right now! At least the prototype is. Check out our Instagram page for up-to-the-minute updates as this progresses this weekend!



  • Can't wait!



  • What stretchy material do you suggest we use for the floor of each simulator? Ace bandage?



  • Good news and bad news with the geological fault simulator model.
    Good news first: the main body printed out and the threaded insert as well. They slot together beautifully.
    The bad news is that the extruder nozzle on my printer is clogged. I tried clearing it a few times but no go. So, new nozzle will arrive tomorrow and I will continue the prints and updates then.



  • From lnstagram:alt text
    Here is where the geological fault simulator stands, up to the moment that a clogged nozzle interrupted progress. Resuming the prototype printing tomorrow!





  • I found a spare nozzle and we are back in business printing up the prototype! Look for a finished product around midnight, assuming that I get out to the workshop tonight to cut the two pieces of acrylic for the side windows.
    I need to go dig up some sand to try it out. In a thunderstorm forecast for tonight. With 50 -- 70 mph winds. But then, ..., For Science!



  • The geology model is almost done! The 3/16" acrylic plastic slotted into the sides beautifully. I am currently printing the very last part, the big chunky screw that moves the middle plate. There is still a chance that I will have video up before the end of the weekend.
    Geology_prototype_almostdone1.jpg



  • The screw mechanism worked out very well. I tested it and it needs a few refinements before this is ready to push out to everyone. It should still be available in March, though.
    Geology_prototype_1.jpg



  • Looking great! Prepping my sand mixtures now ...

    Since, many people may not be familiar with the awesomeness of geologic sandbox models, and their use in the classroom, I collected some youtube links to show how amazing these models can be.

    Extensional normal faulting:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4atbjy4AgQg

    Fold-thrust belt development:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YtSkShrAQv0

    A simple example of how to demonstrate normal faulting with accessible and inexpensive materials (once you have a sandbox) is given by this video from the West Virginia University Dept. of Geology.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E3ApcYTCExE

    Here is their description of materials they used for representing structural layers with different strength properties:
    "The sediments are a mix of sands, flour, cornmeal, and cocoa powder. The basal layer is a loose sand to resemble a detachment surface. The base of the box has a doubled-up elastic (Ace) bandage which distributes the extension semi-evenly."

    The typical classroom scenario with these models is to use a simple extensional model (like the WVU one above) to demonstrate formation of the Basin and Range province of the western US.
    alt text
    alt text
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    Students quickly get a sense of how extensional stress (pulling apart) in Earth's crust can break (fault) the brittle upper layers, while ductile lower layers (coarse sand, ace bangage) just stretch. They also get a sense of how rotational fault blocking (domino faulting) can generate characteristic parallel mountain ranges within the landscape.

    A good activity is to have the students tape acetate sheets on the outside of the acrylic and trace the layering and faulting at different points in the extensional process. This works just as well within PPT too, just have the students take pictures at various time points and trace the features digitally.

    Having the ability to print out as many sandboxes as desired means you don't have to rely on an single sandbox for all students to crowd around in class! Plus, students quickly compare results from different models with different setups.



  • Success! Added a ductile mantle and we have a nice fault line. Watch for a full video on the SoS YouTube channel.
    E4BD0328-7A80-4D5D-BB74-A2B95A2FA108.jpeg



  • Awesome! This looks great!



  • We have a working prototype now. Working on the documentation and lesson plan ideas now. On track for an early March release.


 

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