Implementing OpenSciEd 6.4 Plate Tectonics and Rock Cycling

Implementing OpenSciEd 6.4 Plate Tectonics and Rock Cycling

Tue, October 18 4:00 PM - Tue, November 1 2022 6:00 PM


  • Marcia Garrett
  • Wendy Whitmer


Explore the question: What causes Earth’s surface to change? Mountains move! And there are ocean fossils on top of Mt. Everest! In this plate tectonics and rock cycling unit, students come to see that the Earth is much more active and alive than they have thought before. The unit launches with documentation of a 2015 Himalayan earthquake that shifted Mt. Everest suddenly to the southwest direction. Students also discover that Mt. Everest is steadily moving to the northeast every year and getting taller as well. Students wonder what could cause an entire mountain to move during an earthquake.

Students investigate other locations that are known to have earthquakes and they notice landforms, such as mountains and ridges that correspond to earthquake patterns. They read texts, explore earthquake and landform patterns using a data visualization tool, and study GPS data at these locations. Students develop an Earth model and study mantle convection motion to explain how Earth’s surface could move from processes below the surface. From this, students develop models to explain different ways plates collide and spread apart, ultimately explaining how Mt. Everest could move all the time in one direction, and also suddenly, in a backward motion, during an earthquake. The unit ends with students using what they have figured out about uplift and erosion to explain how a fossil was found at Mt. Everest without having to dig for it.

Participants should create an account with OpenSciEd in order to access the materials. The Zoom link will be sent out to participants the week before Session 1. Asynchronous course material will be hosted on Canvas, and participants will receive a link to the Canvas course at Session 1.

These courses are focused on Washington State educators' needs and standards, and all session times listed are Pacific Time.


  • Tue, October 18 2022
    4:00 PM - 6:00 PM
  • Tue, November 1 2022
    4:00 PM - 6:00 PM


Event # 149190

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Monday Oct 17, 2022 4:00 PM
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Professional Hours

Clock Hour Number: OLAG0113
6.00 Clock Hours $23.00
6.00 STEM




K-12 Teachers