Project Description

Natural Disasters

Explore the scientific processes behind the explosive energy of nature’s fury.

  • Level: Available for Level 3 to Level 6.

  • Duration: Available in a 60 or 90 minute format. We recommend a 90 minute format if budget and timetabling constraints allow.

  • Numbers: Each workshop can cater to a maximum of 30 children. However, smaller groups have better access to equipment and the facilitator.

  • State: VIC, NSW, ACT & QLD

Learning Outcomes

  • What is a natural disaster, and what are the effects of a natural disaster?

  • Be aware of the natural disasters that affect us locally in Australia, as well as around the world. Consider drought and the impact on living and non-living aspects of the environment.

  • Extreme weather is the cause of many natural disasters.

  • The Earth’s rotation on its axis causes regular changes including day and night, the seasons, climate and weather.

  • Understand some basic weather processes and cycles including the water cycle, and convection currents.

  • The formation of hail and snow in blizzards and storms.

  • Simple understanding of how tornadoes and hurricanes form.

  • Simple understanding of earthquakes, and that earthquakes can cause tsunamis.

  • How are significant geological events measured?

  • Explore ways that scientific understanding can assist in natural disaster management to minimize both long- and short-term effects, including a 60 second warning.

Activities

  • Discussion of the types of natural disasters and their effects with a focus on the natural disasters that affect us locally in Australia.

  • Demonstration of the water cycle.

  • Demonstration of the Earth spinning on its axis to cause day and night, and revolving around the Sun to cause the seasons. Discussion of how the spinning of Earth affects the atmosphere, climate, and the weather, including extreme weather.

  • Exciting demonstration of convection currents in air.

  • Students create a blizzard, and erupt a flurry of snow powder.

  • Students create a hurricane and tornado in a bottle.

  • Slinky demonstration of earthquake seismic waves.

  • Demonstration of a Seismograph model to measure and record the smallest disturbance in the form of waves.

  • Students release a chemical volcanic disturbance underwater to model a tsunami.

90 minute workshops also include these activities:

  • Students model convection currents in water.

  • Cloud in a bottle demonstration.

Victorian Curriculum Links

  • Scientific understandings, discoveries and inventions are used to inform personal and community decisions and to solve problems that directly affect people’s lives (VCSSU073)

  • Earth’s rotation on its axis causes regular changes, including night and day (VCSSU061)

  • Sudden geological changes or extreme weather conditions can affect Earth’s surface (VCSSU079)

  • Earth’s surface changes over time as a result of natural processes and human activity (VCSSU062)

  • Use a range of methods including tables and column graphs to represent data and to identify patterns and trends (VCSIS069)

  • Compare results with predictions, suggesting possible reasons for findings (VCSIS070)

NSW Curriculum Links

  • Investigates regular changes caused by interactions between the Earth and the Sun, and changes to the Earth’s surface (ST2-10ES-S)

  • Selects and uses materials, tools and equipment to develop solutions for a need or opportunity (ST2-2DP-T)

Australian Curriculum Links

  • Scientific understandings, discoveries and inventions are used to inform personal and community decisions (ACSHE083)

  • Earth’s rotation on its axis causes regular changes, including night and day (ACSSU048)

  • Sudden geological changes or extreme weather conditions can affect Earth’s surface (ACSSU096)

  • Earth’s surface changes over time as a result of natural processes and human activity (ACSSU075)

  • Use a range of methods including tables and column graphs to represent data and to identify patterns and trends (ACSIS057)

  • Compare results with predictions, suggesting possible reasons for findings (ACSIS216)

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SCHOOL FEEDBACK

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Mad About Science Electricity session was amazing… I learnt plenty myself!

December 10, 2014

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Fantastic instruction to students. Relatable activities that are easy for teacher to replicate. Simple activities with big WOW factor. Great opportunity for professional development.

Georgina Garner March 5, 2019

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Another great incursion from Mad About Science.  We wouldn’t use anybody else for our school science workshops!

February 16, 2018

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