Forces of Nature - Day 4

Grade Levels
6th - 9th
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5 pages
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  1. This is a bundle of all of the lessons, labs, PowerPoints, and worksheets for Unit 6: Earth's Systems. The bundle also includes the Unit 6 Test and its answer key. For a walkthrough of the unit, including pictures and videos, please click here.
    Price $14.99Original Price $19.00Save $4.01
  2. This bundle includes an entire year's worth of material. It includes lessons, labs, projects, tests and more. The seven units include are as follows:Unit 1 - Forces and MotionUnit 2 - ChemistryUnit 3 - GeneticsUnit 4 - EvolutionUnit 5- AstronomyUnit 6 - Earth's SystemsUnit 7 - Environmental ScienceT
    Price $100.00Original Price $139.00Save $39.00


Today was the fourth and final day of the Forces of Nature project. And we saved the best for last. Flooding is the most common and most expensive natural disaster in the United States. But there was nothing common about what happened in Oroville, California back in February of 2017. Today’s challenge was based on the near-disaster from last winter. “Dear FEMA, we have a crisis here in Oroville, California and need your response immediately. After about a week of heavy rain, Lake Oroville is at an all-time high water mark. If we don’t drain the lake we are afraid the dam will burst.”

Students entered class today and were presented with a lengthier version of the email above. They were asked to do three things: solve the spillway problem, plan the town’s evacuation, and predict incoming weather patterns. For most groups, it was a close call. The incoming rain storm was 3-4 days away, leaving just enough time to drain the lake. By opening the emergency spillway and leaving the regular spillway on low, they were able to keep the lake’s water level from getting dangerously high. Meanwhile, most they planned an evacuation to nearby cities like Sacramento, Chico, and Yuba City. In real life, the dam in Oroville never burst. It didn’t end up being the disaster that some predicted. But it was a clear example of why we study the topics in Unit 6. Earth’s systems can be a matter of life or death.

For a copy of all of the project materials for Day 4, please click the link above. (To see the project in action, please click here.)

Total Pages
5 pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
45 minutes
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