A view of the Earth from outer space, with North and South America visible.

A Brief History of Several Billion Years

How did the continents come to look the way they do, and how will they change in the future?

Project Summary

In this project, students partner with staff from a natural history museum or nature education center to develop a physical time line and an interactive virtual museum exhibit that guides users through the history of the Earth’s continental shifts and the mountain ranges that formed on those continents and then predicts how the continents will shift in the future. To do this, students will analyze and apply their knowledge of the geoscience processes that have shaped Earth’s surface.

The product should address the processes that have changed the Earth’s surface, including plate boundary collisions, weathering, and evidence of continental motion. The product should also include an informed prediction of likely geologic shifts in the future.

In the process of developing their product, students should consider how to make this content engaging and accessible to their target audience (visitors to the museum or nature education center) and engage in critique processes with representatives from this target audience or from the partner organization.

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