Earth Processes: Matter Cycling and Energy Flowing
In this series of games, your students will learn about the rock cycle and the water cycle, and their relationship to the flow of solar and geothermal energy. The Earth Processes: Matter Cycling and Energy Flowing learning objective — based on NGSS and state standards — delivers improved student engagement and academic performance in your classroom, as demonstrated by research.
Scroll down for a preview of this learning objective’s games and the concepts they drive home.
Energy flows around Earth from many sources and in many forms. The major sources of energy in the global ecosystem are the sun and the earth’s interior. Closely tied to these energy sources are the two main geological processes: the rock cycle and the water cycle.
Both processes are driven by the cycling of matter like rock, magma, water, ice, gases, and living things and their remains. In the rock cycle, rocks and matter go through uplift, weathering, erosion, deposition, melting, crystallization, and metamorphism as they travel between Earth’s surface and its interior layers. In the water cycle, water particles undergo evaporation, condensation, precipitation, and flow.
As matter travels through these cycles, it can change physically and chemically. A physical change often involves a shift in state of matter, like melting, crystallization, evaporation, or condensation. Deformation is also a physical change, like folding, faulting, breaking, physical weathering, transport, and deposition. A chemical change involves chemical reactions when rock, water, and air come into contact, like the process of chemical weathering.
Solar energy mainly drives the processes that happen at the earth’s surface, like the water cycle, wind, weathering, erosion, and growth. Energy from inside the earth is responsible for internal processes like volcanism, metamorphism, and plate tectonics.
A preview of each game in the learning objective is found below.
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