[meteorite-list] Elementary school presentation tips?
From: Walter Branch <branchw_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Date: Tue Feb 14 12:44:01 2006
Apologies for typos. I am writing this between patients.
Done this many times. It's fun. Here is what I suggest.
Kids that age are very visual and active. One neat thing to do is to have
some "volunteers" act out the positions of the planets, including the
asteroid belt. If you have enough room, have them "orbit" the sun. It
shows them that the universe is not statis and things do change "up there".
No need to go into detail on Kepler's laws of motion, however. It also is a
chance to demonstrate how collisions among asteroids can produce meteorites
here on earth.
If you can, ask the teacher beforehand and see who the students are who are
not interested in science type stuff and get them involved in the solar
If anyone has seen the "Mad Mission to Mrs" at the visitors center at the
Kennedy Space Center, you know what I am talking about!
Another thing you could do is to take along an empty pop bottle (1 or 2
liter size) to demonstrate how asteroids can become breciaas and how
different inclusions can end up in different materoites. Pour in some sand,
mix some different rocks, more sand, etc. Make sure the rocks end up so the
kids can see them through the plastic. Ad lib as needed but keep the
language simple. You want to show them that meteorites are made up of
Pass around some material but be careful. Dont' pass around sharp
Sikhote-Alin shrapnel or really fragile stuff. I once passed around a Riker
mount with the most beautiful large slice of Allende in it and when it
returned, the Allende was broken. Lesson learned. I never have been able
to replace it (sigh...)
While the kids are looking at it, explain in simple terms the fusion crust
and why it is so heavy for it's size but keep it simple.
If you can, bring in some meteorwrongs and explain the differences. At my
last talk, the kids were prepared and brought in several "meteorites" of
their own. Be respectful and polite and let them down easy if they bring in
some rocks for you to examine.
If you can, give away small samples with a brief, simple one-page write up.
Gear some of this for their parents, with web site URLs etc. Keep it
simple. I did one last week with a picture of meteor crater, which is
always an attention-getter.
Kids also remember things more easily if you can somehow relate the
discussion back to themselves. You can expliai that much of the "stuff"
found in meteorites is the same "stuff" in their bodies. The iron and
calcium is the same iron and calcium in the blood and bones. Again, keep it
simple so don't use words like nucleosynthesis.
Hope this helps. Have fun and remember it is more important that with that
age group, you promote interest and enthusiasm, rather then trying to force
them to remember a bunch of scientific facts.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Gary K. Foote" <gary_at_webbers.com>
Sent: Tuesday, February 14, 2006 9:52 AM
Subject: [meteorite-list] Elementary school presentation tips?
> Hi Everyone,
> Ron Wesel has been gracious to offer some samples of NWS to me for a
couple of class
> presentations I will make on meteorites this coming month. I've been
reading all the
> books and think I know it all now [HA!]
> Ron and a few others had some good advice [thanks everyone], but I wonder
if anyone else
> can offer me some tips on making a good, lasting impression on 8 year
> Meteorite-list mailing list
Received on Tue 14 Feb 2006 12:43:51 PM PST