3D Interactive Teaching: New Real World Globes Accessories

Lesson Plans for Undergraduate-Level Earth and Ocean Sciences

Sarah Bremmer1 and Douglas B. Rogers2
1University of Wisconsin-Madison (sarah.bremmer@wisc.edu ), 2Real World Globes
Real World Globes
Figure 1
18" Earth Topo Globe Standard ™

Easy-to-use dry and wet erase Real World Globes' globes, accessories, and kits add another dimension to geographic and spatial learning. Real World Globes uses real data to accurately represent the physiography and geology of Earth and other planets and promote kinesthetic activities for enhanced student understanding and comprehension.

Figure 2
18" Geological Globe of the World ™
Spatial reasoning and 3-dimensional visualization comprise a significant portion of all geoscience disciplines. Representing spatial relationships of a 3-dimensional and spherical planet is challenging using traditional 2-dimensional maps and images, and often ineffective.

Figure 3
18" Seafloor Magnetic Anomaly Globe ™

(Lesson plan and Accessories Kit available )

Figure 4
Earth Interior Workboard

Figure 5
Unified Geologic Globe of Earth's Moon

Figure 6
Geologic Globe with magnetic assembly option, Earth Interior Workboard, and Schmidt Net Workboards

New Lesson with Globe Overlay: Intro to Earth's Seismicity
Earth Seismicity self-adhesive globe overlay
  • Uses IRIS earthquake data (IRIS data)
  • Overlay available for 18" and 10" globes
Intro to Earth's Seismicity lesson plan

Lesson Objective:

Promote an understanding of Earth's seismicity through observations, interpretations, and open discussions

The students will:
  • Use real geographical, geophysical, and geological data to make scientifically meaningful observations
  • Analyze globes, maps, and graphs, and create cross-sections to visualize data in 3D that is traditionally presented in 2D
  • Plot earthquake foci using analysis of spatial and statistical data
  • Apply observations and insights to develop interpretations and hypotheses
  • Synthesize data and information

Materials Needed:
  • 18" or 10" Real World Globe
  • RWG Earth Seismicity self-adhesive overlay
  • Dry Erase marker
  • Earth Interior work board
  • Colored pencils (purple, blue, green, yellow)

Context for use:

Appropriate for high school and undergraduate-level introductory geology, natural hazards, and other geoscience courses where the students have already had a basic introduction to plate tectonics.

They should already know that Earth is broken into plates that are constantly in motion and that the boundaries of these plates are broadly characterized into three types: convergent, divergent, and strike-slip.

This lesson is intended to be worked by groups of 2 - 4 students followed by an all-inclusive class discussion.

Lesson can be easily adapted to serve both small- and large-enrollment classes, and be used in both lecture and lab settings.

Lesson can be easily combined with other lessons such as:
  • Earth's interior revealed by seismic ray paths (example 1, example 2)
  • Fault planes and focal mechanisms (link)
  • Earthquake cycle: the stick-slip model (link)
  • Teaching latitude and longitude by plotting earthquake epicenters (link)
  • The movement of tectonic plates (link)
  • Using seismic arrival times to locate earthquake epicenters
  • Calculate the maximum magnitude possible of of earthquakes on various faults
  • Euler Poles (link)
  • Activity 1: Observe & Interpret Using the 3D Globe
    Activity: Students are prompted with a series of questions to make observations about the global earthquake data set on their 3D globe, then asked to use their observations to interpret what the data mean and develop hypotheses based on their interpretations.

    • Earthquakes are not randomly located across the globe, they have a characteristic distribution in 3D space that define tectonic plate boundaries.
    • Earthquakes occur because of plate tectonics.
    Figure 7. Topo Globe Standard™ with seismicity overlays applied to Northen Hemisphere.
    Assembly is easy:
    Figure 8. Transparent vinyl and self-adhesive seismicity overlays available. Overlay sections can be placed directly on globe or on clear plastic domes.
    Figure 9. Northern Hemisphere of Topo Globe StandardTM with one vinyl section applied.
    Figure 10. Close-up of earthquake epicenters overlain on globe from Figure 9.
    Figure 11. Adding more sections to the globe. Clear plastic dome in background.
    Figure 12. Students can use dry and wet erase markers directly on the vinyl.

    Further assembly instructions can be found here: Assembling globe and applying overlays
    Activity 2: Create and Interpret Using Graphs & Cross Sections
    Activity: Students plot earthquake foci on a series of cross sections, then answer a set of questions prompting them to tie observations to interpretations.

    • Earthquake foci are related to faults  faults generate earthquakes.
    • Plate boundaries are faults.
    • Earthquake depth and magnitude is strongly governed by tectonic setting
    Figure 13. One of four blank cross section give to students. (Chile trench, Mid-Atlantic Ridge, India-Asia convergent margin, and San Andreas fault). Figure 14. Students will plot earthquake foci on the cross section using figures A and C to guide them. Figure 15. Subsurface structure, printed on transparency, is given to the students, which they will overlay on their cross section.
    Activity 3: Synthesis through Class Discussion

    (Science and Technology Knowledge Center)

    Figure 16. Elastic rebound, stick-slip animation.

    As a class, the students will review what they've done, ask questions, and openly discuss what they've learned about how, where, and why earthquakes occur.

    Purpose: Synthesize information presented in the activities.

    Acknowledgements & References
    I realize this is untraditional, but I'd like to give a huge thank you to my co-author Doug Rogers for allowing me to do this work for RWG. It's been a dream getting to indulge the teacher in me and share my passion for all things earthquake! You've been a pleasure to work with and I thank you for all your encouragement and the generous creative freedom you've given me.

    I need to give another huge thank you to Joe Roubal for putting in a great deal of work to get this project done. Joe is the master behind the scenes who created the earthquake map overlays for me. Thank you Joe!

    Works Cited

    Armijo, R., Rauld, R., Thiele, R., Vargas, G., Campos, J., Lacassin, R., & Kausel, E. (2010). The West Andean Thrust, the San Ramón Fault, and the seismic hazard for Santiago, Chile: WEST ANDEAN THRUST AND SAN RAMÓN FAULT. Tectonics, 29(2), n/a-n/a. https://doi.org/10.1029/2008TC002427

    Combier, V., Seher, T., Singh, S. C., Crawford, W. C., Cannat, M., Escartín, J., & Dusunur, D. (2015). Three-dimensional geometry of axial magma chamber roof and faults at Lucky Strike volcano on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge: MAGMA CHAMBER AND FAULTING AT LUCKY STRIKE. Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth, 120(8), 5379-5400. https://doi.org/10.1002/2015JB012365

    Ds.iris.edu. n.d. IRIS Earthquake Browser. [online] Available at: ds.iris.edu [Accessed 17 November 2020]

    Pfiffner, O. A. (2017). Thick-Skinned and Thin-Skinned Tectonics: A Global Perspective. Geosciences, 7(3), 71. https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences7030071

    Watt, J. T., Ponce, D. A., Graymer, R. W., Jachens, R. C., & Simpson, R. W. (2014). Subsurface geometry of the San Andreas-Calaveras fault junction: Influence of serpentinite and the Coast Range Ophiolite: GEOMETRY OF THE SAF-CF JUNCTION. Tectonics, 33(10), 2025-2044. https://doi.org/10.1002/2014TC003561