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University of Nebraska–Lincoln

Transportation Systems Engineering

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Lesson Overview
Lesson Title:

Mr. John Spehn (Primary)
Mr. Nicholas Reding

Brief Description:
In this lab students will analyze and collect data of the 4 factors that affect lava flow: Temperature, Thickness, Volume and Slope. Once data is analyzed, students will apply knowledge of the data to engineer a solution for a model town that will experience a lava flow.

Topics Introduced:
Properties of Lava

Transportation, Distribution, and Logistics Curriculum Framework Components Addressed:
Health, Safety and Environmental Management
Suggested Grade Levels:
6th Grade
7th Grade
8th Grade

Standards Taught:
8.1.1 Science 2010
8.1.3 Science 2010
8.4.2 Science 2010
5.1.2 Science 2010

Lesson Information
Learning Expectations:

Students will collect and analyze data of a simulated lava flow and it's properties; temperature, slope, volume and thickness, and apply these properties to understand the factors that affect a lava flow and how to engineer a solution.

Plan Of Action:

Title: Measuring Viscosity with a Volcanic Eruption
Concept: how volume, slope temperature and thickness of lava affects the area covered by lava (lava flow).
Terms/Vocabulary: flow, fluid, lava, liquid, magma, movement, slope, surface area, viscosity, volcano, volume
Exploration/Data Collection by the Students:
(SAY) Today you will be experimenting with how volume, slope, temperature and thickness of lava affect the surface area covered by lava. (As necessary, make sure students understand the three factors: volume, slope, temperature and thickness(amount of salt in the liquid)). We will use liquid soap to represent volumes of lava. Some groups will investigate how volumes of lava affect the spread over a flat surface. Some groups will experiment with lava thickness and how that affects the area covered. Other groups will investigate the affect of various sloped surfaces on the lava spread. For all groups, your lava (soap) will flow over a transparency with1-cm squares printed on it. You will record the surface area that your lava covers by pouring it onto the grid transparency and counting the covered squares. Partial squares should be added up to whole squares using your best computation..
1. Demonstrate the general procedure by placing a grid transparency on an overhead projector and pouring a small amount of liquid soap on it. Tell the class that they must figure out on their own how to find the surface area that the liquid covers by using the 1-cm2 squares. Point out that a partial square must be accounted for. Remind students that the surface area is the total area that the soap covers and in this case equals the area of the two-dimensional squares it covers.
2. Assuming a class of 20, divide students into 4 groups of 5 students.
3. Assign each group with one of the investigations (Volume, Slope, Lava Thickness, Temperature)
4. Ask groups to give examples of physical properties we could test. Let them share until Volume, Thickness, Temperature come up. Also add in slope because it’s important when designing a city near a volcano.
5. Hand out the worksheets to the assigned groups (Volume, Slope, Lava Thickness, Temperature) which provide detailed experiment instructions. Direct students to follow the written procedures. Direct students to record their data on the table template on their worksheets. Direct students to answer any questions on the bottom of the worksheet and to complete the conclusion question.
6. Give students time to perform the experiments. Help with any problems or questions.
7. For Part 2, have students share their group data by writing it in tables on the Smartboard/White Board. Large Post-it paper will work too.
8. Students will share their data with the class. On the back side of each students worksheet, have students also write down the relationship between surface area and the other factors that they did not test in their experiment by examining data provided by the other groups. If students do not observe a relationship guide them to it.
Concept Invention/Using Students Data to Invent/Discover the Concept
1. Lead a class discussion to review the results of all the groups. Discuss any unexpected results.

- What properties of lava affect the area it covers?
-What properties of lava make it cover more area?
-Instead of saying “are that lava covers, is there a scientific term we can use? Lava Flow
Introduce the vocabulary/terms: Lava Flow (Viscosity may be brought up by students)
-What properties of lava decrease a Lava Flow?
-Based on your data from the experiment, are all volcanoes equally dangerous?
-How could the topographic conditions surrounding a volcano help in planning for a lava flow?
-How could potential lava eruptive volumes help in planning for a lava flow?
-How could examining the lava types of a potential eruption help in planning for a lava flow?
- How could the work of engineers be used to solve this problem?

Applying/Expanding the Concept
1. While keeping students in same groups, pickup materials and clear lab tables. Encourage students to keep their worksheets out to guide them in engineering a solution to the upcoming eruption.
2. Inform students they will know apply the concepts of lava flow to a scale model eruption.
3. Give each group a scale village model that has been laminated and is scattered with buildings and homes
4. Inform the students that the number on the top of the building indicates the lives that will be lost if lava comes into contact with the building
5. Give the students the properties of the lava and location that the lava flow will originate on the map. For the majority of groups use 25ml of lava. Inform the students that the Lava is thin and at room temperature.
6. The model village will also have large and small hills that will influence the lava flow. Underneath the model will be small wooden objects to provide the incline in certain places.
7. Inform the students that their goal is to use their class data and conclusions about factors that affect lava flow and apply those to engineer a solution to minimize human fatalities in this model. Groups will be given an amount of sticky tack and Popsicle sticks to divert the lava flow into a safe location. Students within their groups will designate high risk areas to divert the lava flow and predict possible complications.
8. Students will then calculate the number of fatalities and any possible alternatives can be tested with additional time.
Evaluation (Formative/Summative)
-To evaluate students understanding about lava flow and the properties of a liquid that affect viscosity: students will be informally evaluated through their discussion and conclusions within the lesson. Students will also be required to write an overall conclusion addressing the following concepts:
• What are the factors that affect lava flow?
• How can understanding the properties of lava help engineers when proposing safety guidelines?
• How many lives, if any were lost after your engineered solution?
• Any unexpected results? And discuss what caused them.

Data Set Used:

Data will be collected by students. For students who are absent, the following data can be used.

Volume Group:
3ml - 7 cm2
6ml - 10cm2
9ml - 15cm2

Temperature Group
Cold - 10cm2
Room - 15cm2
Warm - 21cm2

Slope Group
Flat - 9cm2
Medium - 14cm2
Steep - 21cm2

Thickness Group
Thin - 18cm2
Medium - 14cm2
Thick - 8 cm2

Materials Needed:

-Several bottles of liquid soap (dyed red for lava)
-At least 20, 15ml graduated cylinders
-Plate warmer
-4 Scale model cities (Provided)
-Data collection worksheets (Provided)
-Smartboard document, power point or transparency of file to project (Provided)
-dowel rod
-several 25-50 ml beakers

Preparation Period:

For preparation:

-Assemble four stations for data collection: Lava Temperature, Thickness, Volume and Slope.

-Produce copies. Each student in group will have a data collection sheet that is for the station. For example, for a classroom that is 20 students: Students will be split into 4 groups of 5, and 4 copies of the volume group, temperature group, slope group and thickness group will be made.

-Each station needs various equipment explained on the station worksheets. (Graduated cylinders, grid paper overhead transparencies, several beakers, ice, hot plate)

-Clean town scale models with water

Implementation Period:

45-60 minute period.

Possible extensions: 5-20 minutes

-Discovery Channel-Understanding Lava Flow Video > 5min

-Analyze and share group techniques to stop the lava flow in their model. All groups can walk around and view other groups to observe other groups abilities to prevent the lava flow from reaching structures. > 20 min

Science, Math, Engineering and / or Technology Implications:

Students will use collected scientific data to engineer a solution for a scale model of a volcanic eruption.

Unexpected Results:

1.) Be careful when heating the liquid soap with the plate warmer. If liquid soap is heated too hot it will harden in the bottom of the beaker

2.) In the temperature group, be sure to keep the cold liquid soap in a fridge for several hours.

3.) Be sure to have many paper towels on hard. Liquid soap will spill and stain with the orange food coloring.

4.)When measuring and pouring liquid soap, be sure to completely empty the graduated cylinders as much as possible. There will always be a volume of soap left in the graduated cylinder that will not pour.

Considerations for Diversity in Education:

1.People have preconceptions about how the world works. We interpret things based on what we already know.

2.Learning with depth of understanding enables people to adapt to new solutions.

3. Students with experience living or who have traveled near volcanoes will be able to describe their experience.

Lesson Files
Smartboard Document
Smartboard document for introdcution
[size: 8247737] [date uploaded: Apr 03, 2012, 10:59 am ]

Lava Thickness
Lava Thickness Lab Sheet for Data Collection group
[size: 14192] [date uploaded: Apr 03, 2012, 11:00 am ]

Lava Volume
Lava Volume Lab Sheet for Group Data Collection
[size: 14558] [date uploaded: Apr 03, 2012, 11:01 am ]

Lava Slope
Lave Slope Data Collection Worksheet for Group Data Collection
[size: 12656] [date uploaded: Apr 03, 2012, 11:01 am ]

Lava Tempertature
Lava Temperature Data Collection Sheet for Temperature Group
[size: 15229] [date uploaded: Apr 03, 2012, 11:02 am ]

Volcanic Eruptions Video
Video of Volcanic Eruptions
[size: 2496715] [date uploaded: Apr 03, 2012, 11:03 am ]

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