Key Earth Science Links
Karst (sinkholes, caves, chemical weathering) key links
Living with Karst, American Geological Institute, Environmental Awareness Series. AGI provides a colorful, easy-to-read booklet which defines karst and outlines the environmental issues in karst landscapes. Comes with a poster. Check out the Environmental Awareness Series Page for more details. Powerpoint slide shows and images are available to supplement the booklet. Most information is free or discounted to teachers.
Sugar cube karst. Barb Mieras, Geological Society of America. This activity uses a pile of sugar cubes and warm water to simply show solution karst formation. For grades K-3. Comes with goal, objective, background materials, and procedures.
Caves. Scholastic.com Online Theme Unit. Provides introduction to caves, caves in the United States, around the world and cave animals. Provides brief ideas for exploration of caves on the web and in the classroom including a sugar-cube and clay activity. Students place sugar cubes in clay that will become a cave when they dissolve with warm water.
National park Service offer two online Teacher's Guides, the Teacher's Guide to Ozark National Scenic Riverways which covers a variety of topics including cultural history, springs, caves, wildlife, evolution and more, and our older online Teacher's Guide to Caves and Groundwater, "More Than Skin Deep". Both contain information, classroom activities and hand-outs, generally suitable for grades K-8 or homeschoolers.
Make stalactites and stalagmites. Science kids.com. Activity in which students use a glass jar, thread, baking soda or Epsom salts to make stalactites and stalagmites.
Reaction rates. NASA. Students measure rates of dissolving crushed and uncrushed antacid tablets. This can be used as an analogy to cave and karst formation.
- The effect of temperature on the rate of dissolving. Texas Instruments. Middle School lab activity in which students collect data on sugar cube dissolution in boiling water as an analogy to chemical weathering. Provides full activity with data sheets, lab design, etc. This can be used as an analogy to cave and karst formation.