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Journey to the Centre of the Earth: Workshop by Reniscience Education

December 17, 2014 • Posted in: News, Workshops

While the 1864 novel introduced to children a completely spectacular image of the underground and of what the Earth is made up of, the reality is quite different. However, it isn’t of importance that the Earth’s core isn’t as exciting as that imagined by characters, Alex and Professor Lidenbrock, the Earth’s core is still extraordinary. Off course, one does not expect the same hospitality from the planet like in the science fiction novel.

This month’s agenda compromised of a virtual journey to the centre of the Earth. Our students are aware of what is extant above the Earth’s surface, but this workshop took them below it to discover what lies beneath.

Purvi Vora and Sangita Kapadia of Reniscience Education made this workshop just as entertaining as the far fetched novel with some fantastic activities.

The wonderful duo of Reniscience Education introducing the concept of the Earth as an onion consisting of various layers.

The wonderful duo of Reniscience Education introducing the concept of the Earth as an onion consisting of various layers.

Just like one peels an onion, the students began with the Earth’s surface and kept going down one layer at a time. Beginning with the crust, the students worked their way down, through the Mantle and Outer Core, to the Inner Core. However, what is the fun of all this without the use of some gruesome mathematics and conversions. To explain to the students just how gigantic our planet is, Purvi and Sangita gave the students a scale to use. Every 100 kilometers was to be represented by 1 millimeter. The students were given the information on each of the four layers of the Earth and were meant to plot a diagram on that basis. Mathematics and art, when combined, assuredly take a copious amount of time. However, a little later than planned, we had some happy successful students and our diagrams ready.

The layers and the scale to be used for the activity. This kept the students busy much longer than expected!

The layers and the scale to be used for the activity. This kept the students busy much longer than expected!

One of the students' diagram.

One of the students’ diagram.

Next came the most entertaining part of the workshop. The students were given different coloured atta to make a model of their earth’s layers. Each group used their diagram to come up with their model.

Modelling the dough to create the layers of the planet.

Modelling the dough to create the layers of the planet.

Now that the students knew every layer, it was time to learn the significance of each of them. Each layer of the Earth is unique due to its composition and placement and the students were filled in about each layer. The students were surprised to learn about the birth of the planet and how every layer was formed. The Earth’s size, temperature, pressure, components and every other aspect fascinated the students. This fun-filled weekend was nothing short of Alex’s adventurous journey in Journey to the Centre of Earth, we say!

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