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Summary Page: Natural hazards - lessons from Iceland
Term 3 starting 30 August 2018.



Photo: Olikristinn (Own work) CC BY-SA 3.0 - Source.

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A 2018 trip.

On this field trip you will travel to Iceland, land of volcanoes and get up close to a magma drilling project. Did you know a possible solution to global energy problems is to drill directly into magma chambers? Think about how this could be done without starting an eruption that might kill people.

Like New Zealand, Iceland sits astride a tectonic plate boundary and experiences lots of earthquakes. However, Iceland is also over a volcanic hot spot so it has many more volcanoes and volcanic eruptions than New Zealand. Because of its vulcanism, Iceland has huge potential for generating electricity from its geothermal energy reserves.

During this field trip you will get up close to Iceland's biggest volcanoes and the many weird volcanic features on its landscape. You will also visit the Krafla magma drilling project which is part of a plan to generate geothermal power and also reduce volcanic hazards in the surrounding area. Enrol now.

To prepare for this field trip, LEARNZ content will support inquiry into:

  • natural hazards - earthquakes, tsunami, volcanoes, and landslides
  • the tectonic plates of New Zealand and Iceland
  • the natural hazards of New Zealand and Iceland
  • volcanic eruptions - magma, ash, lava flows
  • the Krafla magma drilling project
  • geothermal power
  • preparing for natural hazards
  • responses to natural hazards
  • reducing volcanic hazards

During this field trip you will:

  • see Shelley's tweets on twitter
  • meet scientists from Iceland, UK and New Zealand
  • fly to Reykjavik, the capital of Iceland
  • go to Akureyri and explore its volcanic landscape
  • explore the volcanic field at Krafla
  • compare Krafla with New Zealand's volcanic plateau
  • get up close to the magma drilling project at Krafla
  • take a ferry ride to Heimaey and climb Eldfell
  • find out more about lava flows as a hazard
  • look out over old lava flows and see where it is safe to build
  • go to Eyjafjallajökull, a caldera covered in ice
  • learn about Iceland's 2010 volcanic eruption and look for its signs on the landscape
  • find out more about volcanic ash as a hazard
  • work out what Iceland's lessons are for New Zealand

After the field trip, challenge yourself to:

  • work out which natural hazard is the greatest risk to you where you live, and what the impacts would be
  • make your home more resilient to natural hazards
  • find out the location of your nearest active volcano
  • find out about the latest eruption of your nearest active volcano
  • assess your own risk from an eruption of your nearest volcano
  • find out more about interesting careers in earth science and natural hazards
  • find out how much power your electricity company gets from renewable sources like hydro, wind and geothermal

The LEARNZ Team think that joining NZASE and staying connected through NZ Science Teacher will help you become a better teacher of science.

Where you will go

Travel to Iceland, an island of volcanoes near the North Pole. Iceland, like New Zealand, is on a tectonic plate boundary so is geologically very active. Indeed, Iceland is being torn in half by the separation of the Eurasian Plate and the North American Plate. Over the past 500 years scientists say that Iceland's volcanoes have erupted one-third of the world's lava. There are 30 active volcanic systems and 13 have erupted since humans arrived there. The 1783-84 eruption killed one-quarter of Iceland's people. A 2010 eruption disrupted air travel in Europe for several weeks. A more recent eruption series that started in 2014 was preceded by an earthquake swarm. As in New Zealand, Iceland's organisations and people continue to learn how best to prepare themselves for the next natural hazard event.

Teacher comments about previous LEARNZ Natural Hazards field trips

"The videos and background material on the Alpine Fault were useful to the students in their studies of Achievement Standard 1.1 - extreme natural events." Michele Larnder from Westlake Girls' High School

"We live in a geothermal area so its relevance to our community makes this field trip appropriate. The field trips are a shared social experience that provides the opportunity for students to encounter and explore novel things in an authentic New Zealand setting." Ngareta Te Whau from Malfroy School.

"It (the virtual field trip) allowed our students to be involved and part of something that wouldn't be attainable in a normal classroom setting. It totally enhanced my learning programme and enabled me to get support and guidance using the NZ curriculum." Pauline Craven from Whakatane High School.

Go to more comments from teachers about related LEARNZ field trips.

Learning Areas/Levels

Science: Planet Earth and Beyond Levels 2-8, Nature of Science Levels 2-8, Earth and Space Science Levels 7-8; Social Sciences: Geography Levels 6-8; Social Studies: Place and Environment Levels 2-5

  • Vision, Values, Key Competencies, Principles, Literacy and Numeracy

    By their nature, LEARNZ field trips integrate with the higher levels of the NZ Curriculum. Participation encourages development of the Key Competencies around Thinking, Using language, symbols and text, Managing self, Relating to others, and Participating and contributing. Teachers indicate this in testimonials. LEARNZ field trips have support and activities for Literacy, with opportunities to develop skills in Listening, Reading and Viewing and in Speaking, Writing and Presenting. More about LEARNZ as a Reading Resource and student writing opportunities with LEARNZ. Select LEARNZ field trips have support and activities for Numeracy, encouraging the development of skills in Number and Algebra, in Statistics and in Geometry and Measurement.

  • ESOL

    As well as providing visual and audio material and access to real experiences, LEARNZ links well to ESOL Principles, especially Principle 3 Maintain and make explicit the same learning outcomes for all the learners. How can I make the lesson comprehensible to all students? How can I plan the learning tasks so that all the students are actively involved? Do my students understand the learning outcomes? Principle 4 Begin with context embedded tasks which make the abstract concrete. How can I put these concepts into a concrete context?

  • What's in a Field Trip

    Every LEARNZ field trip has its own newly-built, self-contained web site ready for integration into your teaching and learning programme. Teacher Support has curriculum integration, resources, newsletters, support and evaluation. Prepare Students provides opportunities for student inquiry on two sets of image-rich background pages at reading levels 2 years apart, (students can click to have those pages read to them out loud), online interactive and other activities to check students' understanding, and a glossary. During the field trip there are live tweets on twitter, and daily additions such as a diary, video clips, profiles of the experts (ideal careers education), a photo gallery, and ambassador (mascot) page updates. Live web conferences via Adobe Connect enable teachers to managed students putting prepared and spontaneous questions to experts (recorded for replay). After the field trip, teachers are encouraged to take further action with their class in the community or to go on a related field trip, or to invite a guest speaker, or to present what they have learned to a wider group. Teachers also fill in an online evaluation (more about reflective practice), the field trip prize winner is drawn, and the final newsletter is sent. Content remains online for continued use.

  • How teachers use LEARNZ

    View teacher comments in testimonials and in the LEARNZ Group on the VLN. There are two main ways teachers use a LEARNZ virtual field trip with their class. Firstly, a LEARNZ field trip is ideally an immersive, engaging, synchronous, online learning experience with real-time components and a myriad of opportunities for teachers and students. Secondly, and less ideal but still effective, a LEARNZ field trip can be used as a retrospective experience where the resources such as photos, text, activities, videos and audioconferences/web conferences comprise a unique collection of authentic, contemporary New Zealand teaching and learning material.

  • What Now

    Not Registered with LEARNZ? Are you a New Zealand Registered or Provisionally-Registered Teacher? Register free with LEARNZ Now.

    Already Registered with LEARNZ and activated your account? Log in to your personal MyLEARNZ Control Panel and then enrol your classes at no cost in field trips. Note: Enrolment is only needed for the current and future year's field trips.

    Registered but need help? Check your email for activation instructions - contact us if the message did not make it to your email inbox. Log on to MyLEARNZ. Go to Getting Started.

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Shelley the LEARNZ Field Trip Teacher.

Meet Shelley, your LEARNZ Field Trip Teacher

Inquiry Topics: citizenship, earth processes, earth science, earthquake research, earthquakes, fossils, future focus, geohazards, hazards, landslides, plate tectonics, science, scientific research, seismic monitoring, tectonic plates, tsunami, volcanoes

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