Bring the museum to your classroom free on January 12

Hey teachers–would you like your students to experience the Rice Museum for free from the comfort of your own classroom?

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On Thursday, January 12, we will be participating in an interactive livestream event through FieldTripZoom. Curator Leslie Moclock will take your students on a tour of our phenomenal collection of petrified wood. You’ll learn all about how wood fossils form and what they can tell us about Earth’s history, from ancient life to modern mountain building.

This presentation addresses topics including ancient life, fossilization, regional geography, climate, and volcanoes. It’s geared for earth science students in grades 4-6 but those who are a little younger or a little older can appreciate it as well.

Join us next Thursday to delve deeper into Earth Science!

What: Phenomenal Petrified Wood (Grades 4-6)

Where: Your classroom, tuning into the Rice Museum via Field Trip Zoom

When: Thursday, Jan 12. Live sessions at 8:10 AM, 9:10 AM, and 12:10 PM (Pacific time)

How: If your district, classroom, or homeschool group is not subscribed to FieldTripZoom, you can access this program via a free trial. Simply send an email to freetrial@fieldtripzoom.com and request the Rice Museum’s program for January 12. (After following the link, you will have to scroll down to find our museum’s program details.)

If you are already subscribed, just log in to your account and select our program from the Zone Calendar.

FieldTripZoom partners with museums and other educational institutions all over the US to facilitate unique live and interactive educational experiences between educational content providers and K-12 educators, students and homeschoolers. We are pleased to host this opportunity on their platform.

Volcano Watch and Educational Resources

Interested in volcanoes? The staff at the Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks and Minerals are fascinated not only by volcanoes but the geology of them as well. We’ve put together a collection of online resources to help you learn more about active and inactive volcanoes.

United States Geological Survey Volcano Hazards Program

Mount St. Helens Eruption - credit Simple English Wikipedia.The United States Geological Survey features a Volcano Hazards Program website with an interactive map displaying volcanoes worldwide and their active status, from dormant to high red level warnings. You will also find the latest news on volcanoes, especially those in North America and the United States. Recent reports and photographs of the Kilauea Volcano in Hawaii are fascinating as the lava moves down roads and into agricultural areas on the big island of Hawaii.

You will find Webcams, educational information on US volcanoes, Podcasts and Videos, Elevated Volcanic Activity Updates, Monitoring data, and an amazing Photoglossary with photographs and definitions of volcanic terms.

For the locals living in and around the Rice Museum, the Cascades Volcano Observatory keeps us informed as to activity in the Cascade Mountains from Washington to Northern California. They reported in February on a new study that designates the at-risk areas of Washington State and Oregon.

Washington State lahar-hazard zones contain an estimated 191,555 residents, 108,719 employees at 8,807 businesses, 433 public venues that attract visitors, and 354 dependent-care facilities with individuals who will need assistance to evacuate during an emergency. Mount Rainier lahar-hazard zones contain the highest percentage of assets, followed by Mount Baker, Glacier Peak, Mount St. Helens and Mount Adams. Residential populations within lahar-prone areas increased between 1990 and 2010, mainly in the Mount Rainier lahar-hazard zone, with some communities doubling and tripling their at-risk population. Many of these new residents may be unaware of the lahar threat.

See the Simplified Hazard Maps for the Cascade Volcano area for fascinating details on the Volcano Hazard Zones. Continue reading

Villarrica Volcano Eruption

Chile’s Villarrica volcano erupted recently with dramatic lightning strikes and lava shooting into the night sky causing approximately 3,000 people to evacuate the area, and others to rush to study the dramatic volcanic eruption. The eruption is predicted to last several days and possibly several weeks.

Villarrica is one of the most active and dangerous volcanoes in Chile among more than 2,000 volcanoes in the Andes cordillera. About 90 volcanoes remain active.

Villarrica, Pucón, Cile  (AP Photo/Aton Chile)

Considered one of the most active volcanoes in the Andean Mountains, natives call the volcano Rucapillán which means “House of the Spirit.” Continue reading

Popocatepetl and Colima Volcanoes in Mexico Erupting

A webcam focused on Mexico’s volcano, Popcatepetl captured ash erupting, erupt ash from the snow covered upper slopes today. This is one of two active volcanoes in Mexico, the other being Colima with two explosions over this past weekend with ash plumes reaching an estimated 10,000 feet/3km into the skies over the volcano.

It’s been over 100 years since Colima was the site of a large eruption so researchers are studying reports as people prepare to evacuate if the volcano continues to show activity.

According to reports from CENA PRED Mexico, the translated report for the recent activity on Popcatepetl states:

In the last 24 hours the monitoring system of Popocatepetl volcano registered 57 exhalations accompanied by emission of steam, gas and ash. The most significant was presented at 06:57 and recorded 57 minutes of tremor. During the night glow was observed over the crater.

Over a 24 hour period on January 4, CENA PRED reported the Popocatepetl volcano was under a “yellow” alert as they reported “113 low-intensity exhalations” and explosions of “low to intermediate intensity. Continue reading