Lesson: Possible Locations

Contributed by: Adventure Engineering, Colorado School of Mines

Photo shows a girl in a hard hat looking closely at rocks and a puddle in a cave. Two maps of the roughly oval State of Alabraska showing cities, infrastructure and geological formations and materials.
Students work with scales and maps
copyright
Copyright © (girl in cave photo) Jason Walz, National Park Service, and (maps) Adventure Engineering, Colorado School of Mines http://www.nps.gov/wica/photosmultimedia/Cave-Photos.htm

Summary

Continuing the Asteroid Impact challenge, students use their knowledge of scales and areas to cut out rectangular paper pieces to represent caverns to scale with the maps. They place the paper cutouts on the maps to determine the best locations.

Engineering Connection

Engineers often propose multiple solutions to a problem. Then they analyze each solution and select the one that best meets the criteria for success.

Pre-Req Knowledge

Understanding of length, width and area; abilitly to read a map.

Learning Objectives

After this lesson, students should be able to:

  • Explain that the same area can be represented by various shapes.
  • Determine the length and width of a rectangle when given the area of a rectangle.
  • Apply a map scale to create a cavern area.
  • Synthesize multiple pieces of information and make a decision based on all the information.

More Curriculum Like This

Possible Locations

Students use their knowledge of scales and areas to determine the best locations in Alabraska for the underground caverns. They cut out rectangular paper pieces to represent caverns to scale with the maps and place the cut-outs on the maps to determine feasible locations.

Middle School Activity
Topo Map Mania!

Students learn to identify the common features of a map. Through the associated activities, students learn how to use a compass to find bearing to an object on a map and in the classroom.

Middle School Lesson
What Is GIS?

In this lesson, students learn the value of maps, how to use maps, and the basic components of a GIS. They are also introduced to numerous GIS applications.

Middle School Lesson
Projections and Coordinates: Turning a 3D Earth into Flatlands

Students learn about projections and coordinates in the geographic sciences that help us to better understand the nature of the Earth and how to describe location.

Educational Standards

Each TeachEngineering lesson or activity is correlated to one or more K-12 science, technology, engineering or math (STEM) educational standards.

All 100,000+ K-12 STEM standards covered in TeachEngineering are collected, maintained and packaged by the Achievement Standards Network (ASN), a project of D2L (www.achievementstandards.org).

In the ASN, standards are hierarchically structured: first by source; e.g., by state; within source by type; e.g., science or mathematics; within type by subtype, then by grade, etc.

  • Fluently add, subtract, multiply, and divide multi-digit decimals using the standard algorithm for each operation. (Grade 6) Details... View more aligned curriculum... Do you agree with this alignment?
  • Solve real-world and mathematical problems involving area, volume and surface area of two- and three-dimensional objects composed of triangles, quadrilaterals, polygons, cubes, and right prisms. (Grade 7) Details... View more aligned curriculum... Do you agree with this alignment?
  • Know the formulas for the volumes of cones, cylinders, and spheres and use them to solve real-world and mathematical problems. (Grade 8) Details... View more aligned curriculum... Do you agree with this alignment?
  • Develop and communicate an evidence based scientific explanation around one or more factors that change Earth's surface (Grade 5) Details... View more aligned curriculum... Do you agree with this alignment?
  • Analyze and interpret data identifying ways Earth's surface is constantly changing through a variety of processes and forces such as plate tectonics, erosion, deposition, solar influences, climate, and human activity (Grade 5) Details... View more aligned curriculum... Do you agree with this alignment?
  • Gather, analyze, and communicate data that explains Earth's plates, plate motions, and the results of plate motions (Grade 7) Details... View more aligned curriculum... Do you agree with this alignment?
Suggest an alignment not listed above

Introduction/Motivation

The teams identify some possible cavern locations in the state of Alabraska. To do so, the students first cut out pieces of paper to represent the cavern on the map.

Lesson Background and Concepts for Teachers

Refresh your knowledge on how to use a map scale.

Associated Activities

  • Possible Locations - Students apply their knowledge of scales and areas to make rectangular paper pieces representing caverns to scale with the maps. They place them on the maps to determine the best locations

Attachments

Assessment

Review students' answers on the Possible Locations Worksheet to gauge their comprehension of the material and concepts covered.

Lesson Extension Activities

Have students compare the sizes of different states in the U.S., or compare the sizes of different countries in the world.

Copyright

© 2013 by Regents of the University of Colorado; original © 2005 Colorado School of Mines

Supporting Program

Adventure Engineering, Colorado School of Mines

Acknowledgements

Adventure Engineering was supported by National Science Foundation grant nos. DUE 9950660 and GK-12 0086457. However, these contents do not necessarily represent the policies of the National Science Foundation, and you should not assume endorsement by the federal government.

Last modified: June 15, 2017

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