Through this earth science curricular unit, student teams are presented with the scenario that an asteroid will impact the Earth. In response, their challenge is to design the location and size of underground caverns to shelter the people from an uninhabitable Earth for one year. Driven by this adventure scenario, student teams 1) explore general and geological maps of their fictional state called Alabraska, 2) determine the area of their classroom to help determine the necessary cavern size, 3) learn about map scales, 4) test rocks, 5) identify important and not-so-important rock properties for underground caverns, and 6) choose a final location and size.
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 Standard Network (ASN), a project of JES & Co. (www.jesandco.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.
Click on the standard groupings to explore this hierarchy as it applies to this document.
- Common Core State Standards for Mathematics: Math
- 3. Fluently add, subtract, multiply, and divide multi-digit decimals using the standard algorithm for each operation. (Grade 6)  ...show
- d. Use ratio reasoning to convert measurement units; manipulate and transform units appropriately when multiplying or dividing quantities. (Grade 6)  ...show
- 6. 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)  ...show
- Next Generation Science Standards: Science
- Define the criteria and constraints of a design problem with sufficient precision to ensure a successful solution, taking into account relevant scientific principles and potential impacts on people and the natural environment that may limit possible solutions. (Grades 6 - 8)  ...show
- Lesson 1 and activity: What's the Problem?
- Lesson 2 and activity: How Big?
- Lesson 3 and activity: Scaling the Map
- Lesson 4 and activity: Possible Locations
- Lesson 5 and activity: Rocks, Rocks, Rocks
- Lesson 6 and activity: Ranking the Rocks
- Lesson 7 and activity: Drum Roll Please
- Lesson 8 and activity: Testing the Caverns
© 2013 by Regents of the University of Colorado; original © 2005 Colorado School of Mines
Adventure Engineering, Colorado School of Mines
Last modified: October 2, 2015