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Smithsonian Science How Webcast

Volcano Geochemistry - Windows to Earth's Interior

In this video, Smithsonian geologist Dr. Elizabeth Cottrell explains why she calls volcanoes the "lungs of the Earth."


Meet Dr. Elizabeth Cottrell, a geologist at the National Museum of Natural History. Explore volcanoes as windows into the Earth's interior. Understand how you are connected to the interior of the Earth. Uncover the evidence about geologic events contained in volcanic glass. Think about how plate tectonics have gotten us to where we are today. This show aired May 15, 2014.



National Middle School Standards

Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)

Earth Science


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.


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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