Digging In

In this unit, the students will be introduced to the science and engineering practices they will be using during the year. Starting with this first unit, the students will also begin practicing the reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills they will use during the year.

Page Contents

Build a Better Boat
The Lava Flow Challenge
The Basketball Court Challenge
Digging In Review
Quizlet Flash Cards

Why Do Ships Float?

Build a Boat Quiz

Click here for the Build a Boat Quiz

Claims, Evidence, Reasoning - Writing about Science

The Lava Flow Challenge

Slow Lava Flow - Kilauea Volcano, Hawaii

Fast Lava Flow - Kilauea Volcano, Hawaii


Lava Flow Challenge

In the Lava Flow Challenge your group is tasked with the job of helping a town near an active volcano develop a system for determining if and when they should evacuate during a volcanic eruption.
Your job is to
  • design a method for measuring the rate at which lava flows.
  • use dish soap to simulate lava

Online Stopwatch

Get a Stopwatch like this or make your own! At: Online Stopwatch


  • How does your data compare with that of the rest of the class?
  • How could the method of measuring lava flow be improved?

Lava Flow Challenge Quiz

The Basketball Court Challenge

What is Weathering?

What is Erosion?
  • the movement of soil or other materials from one place to another

Erosion Walk

  • With your group, walk around outside and identify at least four different examples of erosion. Describe the erosion and explain what you think might have caused the erosion

Erosion Case Studies

  • You will read several Case Studies about Erosion. Use the Erosion Case Study sheet to record information about each of the case studies.
  1. Read the case study (or case studies) your teacher assigns you.
  2. For each case study you are assigned, identify what happened and why. Describe the case you are reading about well enough so others can learn from what you write.
  3. Make a list of the causes of erosion that you have read about.
  4. Identify an example of erosion you saw on your erosion walk that is similar to the erosion you read about. Use the case you read about to give you ideas about what caused the erosion you observed.

Investigating Factors that Affect Erosion

We will complete two investigations to find out more about erosion. You will need a place to record your data. Use the following links to see a sample of the data table.

  • After conducting the two experiments about erosion, click here to answer the experiment questions.

My Dad's an Alien

Basketball Court Challenge Quiz #1

Erosion Control Conclusion


Key words
Definitions, facts, examples

Scientific Method Flashcards- Online flashcards and games
Do you have an iPhone or iPod Touch? Use the Touchcards app to study your Quizlet flash-cards. For the Skills and Processes unit use the code - 1057741 to access the virtual cards.