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Teaching Resources

Volcanoes and Plate Tectonics

STEM Discipline

Geochemistry

National Middle School Science Standards

Earth Science

Key Terms

igneous petrology, plate tectonics, magma, core, mantle, subduction, spreading seafloor 

Key Concepts:

  • Volcanoes as windows into Earth
  • Dynamics of plate tectonics 
  • Distribution of submarine volcanoes 
  • Formation of igneous materials
  • Technology used by petrologists

Resource Types:

Associated Experts

An ash plume rises from Mount Cleveland volcano in Alaska. NASA image.An ash plume rises from Mount Cleveland volcano in Alaska. NASA image.
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Webcasts (video) and Podcasts (audio) Shows
Printable Lessons
Online Activities
Science Literacy Resources
Posters and Worksheets 
Websites
Videos
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NEXT GENERATION SCIENCE STANDARDS (NGSS)



The Volcanoes and Plate Tectonics teaching resources support students in meeting the following middle school NGSS Performance Expectations:

MS-ESS2

Earth's Systems
  • MS-ESS2-2Construct an explanation based on evidence for how geoscience processes have changed Earth's surface at varying time and spatial scales.
  • MS-ESS2-3Analyze and interpret data on the distribution of fossils and rocks, continental shapes, and seafloor structures to provide evidence of the past plate motions.

MS-ESS3

Earth and Human Activity
  • MS-ESS3-1Construct a scientific explanation based on evidence for how the uneven distributions of Earth's mineral, energy, and groundwater resources are the result of past and current geoscience processes.
  • MS-ESS3-2Analyze and interpret data on natural hazards to forecast future catastrophic events and inform the development of technologies to mitigate their effects.
All Q?rius Resources for These Standards
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Dr. Elizabeth Cottrell leaning on a table in a lab with a machine and laptop computer on it. Other equipment in background.
Elizabeth Cottrell
Geologist, Curator-in-Charge, Rock and Ore Collections
Close-up of Geologist Dr. Benjamin Andrews in a green jacket and hat standing on the summit of a volcano. Clouds are behind.
Benjamin Andrews
Geologist, Global Volcanism Program
Medium shot of geologist Dr. Cara Santelli in white shirt, gray sweater and blue gloves at a microscope in her lab at NMNH.
Cara Santelli
Former Curator of Mineral Sciences
Tags: volcano

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