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Explosion Math

Grade Level Grades 6-8
Resource Type Activity
Standards Alignment
Common Core State Standards, Next Generation Science Standards


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Let’s imagine that you, a self-driving car, Bertie the World’s Fastest Tortoise, and Usain Bolt are all hanging out in the same town listening to Science Friday when a volcano erupts. If you all are 1 km from the volcanic flow, can any of you escape the resulting lava flows from a volcano like Fuego or Kīlauea? Assume when thinking of this scenario that anyone who is in it can maintain their speed, and their escape route is a flat unobstructed route along the way. Could they make it to safely to the evacuation transport waiting for them in the next town 5 km away from Kīlauea’s lava flow? How much of a head start would they need in order to make it to that safe distance from that much faster pyroclastic flow of Fuego in Guatemala?

Investigate different types of volcanic eruptions and linear equations to see if you, a car, Usain Bolt, or a tortoise could survive by simply running away. Teachers, you can find the full resource on Science Friday's website by clicking here.


Understand that solutions to a system of two linear equations in two variables correspond to points of intersection of their graphs, because points of intersection satisfy both equations simultaneously.
Solve word problems leading to equations of the form ?? + ? = ? and ?(? + ?) = ?, where ?, ?, and ? are specific rational numbers. Solve equations of these forms fluently. Compare an algebraic solution to an arithmetic solution, identifying the sequence of the operations used in each approach.
Solve systems of two linear equations in two variables algebraically, and estimate solutions by graphing the equations. Solve simple cases by inspection.
Interpret the equation ? = ?? + ? as defining a linear function, whose graph is a straight line; give examples of functions that are not linear.
Analyze and interpret data on the distribution of fossils and rocks, continental shapes, and seafloor structures to provide evidence of the past plate motions.


December 18, 2018