# Earthquakes!!

#### What do you know about earthquakes?  Let’s find out!

##### 1. Earthquakes usually happen at the edge of tectonic plates.
• Tectonic plates are the outer layer of the Earth.
• They are made of rock and are constantly moving.
##### 2. Earthquakes occur when the plates get stuck, but keep trying to move!
• The tectonic plates are constantly moving but sometimes they get stuck.
• When they get stuck, pressure builds up and the plates will suddenly move.
##### 3. Before an earthquake, foreshocks might occur!
• Foreshocks can be one or more small earthquakes which happen in the lead up to a bigger one, which is known as the main shock.
• Scientists can often use these to predict big earthquakes.
##### 4. After an earthquake, aftershocks are likely to happen.
• An aftershock is one or more small earthquakes after the main one has occurred.
• This is because of the Earth’s crust adjusting to the effect of the main earthquake.
• They can be very dangerous as buildings might already have damage to them from the large earthquake and so it can often cause them to fall.
##### 5. The shock waves that travel through the ground are called seismic waves.
• They are very strong at the centre of the earthquake.
• The waves travel to the surface and this is when the ground shakes and destruction happens.
##### 6. Scientists use the Moment Magnitude scale to measure how strong an earthquake is.
• This scale measures the energy that is released by the earthquake which makes it very accurate.
• In the past, scientists used something called the Richter scale which measured the size of the seismic waves, however, this wasn’t as accurate as it could have been.
##### 7. The place where an earthquake starts is called the hypocenter.
• An earthquake has to start somewhere!
• It is always under ground, below the Earth’s surface.
##### 8. The ground above where an earthquake starts is called the epicenter.
• The epicenter of an earthquake is on the ground directly above the hypocenter.
• The difference between them is the hypocenter is under the ground and the epicenter is above the ground.
##### 9. The strongest ever earthquake was in Chile, in the year 1960.
• It was a 9.5 on the Moment magnitude scale which is very, very high.
• The earthquake lasted for 10 whole minutes.
##### 10. Japan is the country where most earthquakes occur.
• This is because Japan is within something known as ‘The Pacific Ring of Fire’.
• This is on the edge of the Pacific Ocean and is where there is a tectonic plate edge.
• Other countries that are affected are Philippines, United States, Chile and more.

# Social Studies Spark #53: The Constitution!

Sunday, September 17th of 2023 was Constitution Day!

Constitution Day commemorates the formation and signing of the U.S. Constitution by thirty-nine brave men on September 17, 1787, recognizing all who are born in the U.S.
or by naturalization, have become citizens.
On September 17, 1787, the delegates to the Constitutional Convention met for the last time to sign the document they had created.

The Constitution is the framework for the federal government of the United States. It is the highest form of law in the country. The Constitution creates the branches of government and gives them the power to govern. However, it also protects the citizens of the United States and guarantees their basic rights.

A primary aim of the Constitution was to create a government that would be powerful enough to run the country, but would not impose on people’s or state’s rights. To avoid too much power being held by one person or group, they created the Balance of Power between the three branches of government: Executive, Legislative, and Judicial.

Articles of the Constitution

The Constitution is organized into seven articles:

• Legislative Power
• Executive Power
• Judicial Power
• States’ Powers and Limits
• Amendments
• Federal Power
• Ratification

Ratification

In order for the Constitution to go into effect, 9 of the 13 states needed to ratify it. The first state to ratify the Constitution was Delaware on December 7, 1787. The last state was Rhode Island in May of 1790.

• James Madison is often called the father of the Constitution since so much of his work and ideas were incorporated into the final document.
• Governor Morris wrote the Constitution and is widely credited with authoring the famous preamble.
• 39 of the 55 delegates at the convention signed the document. Many who refused did so because of the lack of a Bill of Rights.
• The US Constitution is the oldest written constitution still used in the world today.
• The Constitution that is on display at the National Archives was penned by Jacob Shallus.
• There are currently 27 amendments to the Constitution.

Finally, go to this link to try a quiz!

How did you do? Answer in the comment section below.

# Early Enrichment #62: Comets!

What is a comet?

Comets are large objects made of dust and ice that orbit the Sun.

Scientists believe that comets are made up of material left over from when the Sun and the planets were formed. They think that about 100,000 million comets orbit the Sun. Some comets orbit the Sun like planets. Their orbits take them very close to and very far away from the Sun.

As of 2014 there are 5,253 known comets, a number that is steadily increasing as they are discovered. However, this represents only a tiny fraction of the total potential comet population, as the number of comet-like bodies in the outer Solar System is estimated to be one trillion. That’s a LOT!

Did you get it right?

# Early Enrichment #61: Visit Dry Tortugas National Park!

Almost 70 miles west of Key West lies Dry Tortugas National Park. This 100-square mile park is mostly open water with seven small islands.  You can only get there by boat or seaplane! The park is known all over the world as the home of magnificent Fort Jefferson, beautiful blue waters, lots of coral reefs and marine life, and the tons of bird life that visit the area!

Click the link below to go on a virtual field trip to this amazing place!

Once there, click the “Play” button. Make sure you have headphones so you can listen to the narrator! Click and drag to explore! Dive the Windjammer Shipwreck! Swim through a coral reef!

Comment below: What was your favorite part of this field trip?

# Social Studies Spark #52: A Virtual Tour of The Acropolis!

What is the Acropolis of Athens, Greece?

Ancient cities were often built around a fortress on top of a hill. When a city spread to the area below, the high part came to be called the acropolis, which means “city at the top” in Greek. The best-known acropolis is in Athens, Greece. It was designated a World Heritage site by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in 1987.

The buildings of the Athens Acropolis were made mostly of white marble. Parts of some of the buildings, including a temple called the Erechtheum, are still standing today. The Erechtheum had a porch with marble columns in the shape of female figures.

The most famous surviving building is the Parthenon. The Parthenon was built almost 2,500 years ago and was dedicated to the goddess, Athena. Athens was later ruled by Christians who made the Parthenon a church. In the 1400s, Turkish forces took control of the Acropolis and made the Parthenon an Islamic mosque. In 1687, during a war, some gunpowder stored there exploded, destroying the middle of the building.

You can take a virtual field trip to the amazingly historic place! Click the link below to explore parts of all of The Acropolis! Click “Begin” and then note the color coding to click on your chosen spot on the map. Click “go” and have a look around! Make sure to read the descriptions and learn all about this awesome place without actually going there yourself!

https://www.acropolisvirtualtour.gr/

# Early Enrichment #60: What Are You Thankful For?

Next week is Thanksgiving! As we get ready, let’s take a look at some fun facts about the holiday:

• The first Thanksgiving was celebrated in 1621 over a three-day harvest festival. It included 50 Pilgrims and 90 Wampanoag Indians. It is believed by historians that only five women were present.
• Turkey wasn’t on the menu at the first Thanksgiving. Venison, duck, goose, oysters, lobster, eel, and fish were likely served, alongside pumpkins and cranberries (but not pumpkin pie or cranberry sauce!).
• President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed Thanksgiving a national holiday on October 3rd, 1863. Sarah Joseph Hale, the woman who wrote “Mary Had A Little Lamb”, convinced him to make Thanksgiving a national holiday after writing him letters for 17 years!
• There are 4 towns in the United States named “Turkey”. They can be found in Arizona, Texas, North Carolina, and Louisiana.
• The average number of calories consumed on Thanksgiving is 4, 500!
• The tradition of football on Thanksgiving began in 1876 with a game between Yale and Princeton. The first NFL games were played on Thanksgiving in 1920.

Thanksgiving is a time to be THANKFUL! Watch a video below to see what Kid President is thankful for!

Comment below to let us know what YOU’RE thankful for!!

# Social Studies Spark #50: All About Thanksgiving!

Next week is Thanksgiving! Did you know that Thanksgiving always falls on a Thursday? Thanksgiving has been an annual holiday in the United States since 1863. However, the First Thanksgiving was celebrated in 1621. Here are five things we know about the First Thanksgiving!

1. More than 100 people attended
The Wampanoag Indians who attended the first Thanksgiving had occupied the land for thousands of years and were key to the survival of the colonists during the first year they arrived in 1620, according to the National Museum of the American Indian. After the Pilgrims successfully harvested their first crops in the fall of 1621, at least 140 people gathered to eat and partake in games, historians say. No one knows exactly what prompted the two groups to dine together, but there were at least 90 native men and 50 Englishmen present. They most likely ran races and shot at marks as forms of entertainment, Wall said. The English likely ate off of tables, while the native people dined on the ground.

2. They ate for three days
The festivities went on for three days, according to primary accounts. The nearest village of native Wampanoag people traveled on foot for about two days to attend. It took them so long to get there that it didn’t make sense for them to turn around and go home after the meal.

Venison headlined the meal, although there was a healthy selection of fowl and fish, according to the Pilgrim Hall Museum, which cited writings by Plymouth leaders Edward Winslow and William Bradford. There was a “great store of wild turkeys” to be eaten, as well as ducks and geese, wrote Bradford, who was the governor. Winslow said Massasoit, the leader of the Wampanoag people, contributed five deer to the dinner.

4. It wasn’t called Thanksgiving
There’s no evidence that the 1621 feast was called Thanksgiving, and the event was not repeated for at least a decade, experts say. Still, it is said to be the inspiration behind the now traditional annual gathering and a testament to the cooperation of two groups of people.

5. The peace was short-lived
Early European colonizers and Native Americans lived in peace through a symbiotic relationship for about 10 years until thousands of additional settlers arrived. Up to 25,000 Englishmen landed in the New World between 1630 and 1642, after a plague drastically cut the native population by what’s believed to be more than half. The arrival of new settlers prompted a fight for land and rising animosity. War exploded in 1675, years after Massasoit and Bradford died and power fell to their successors. Many Native Americans have long marked Thanksgiving as a day of somber remembrance.

Click the link below to play a game that explores Wampanoag life prior to European settlement and the year leading up to the 1621 harvest feast, today known as the “First Thanksgiving.” The game investigates the interactions between the Wampanoag people of Patuxet and the earliest colonists known as the Pilgrims by exposing players to archaeological artifacts from the museum’s collections, primary source documents, and oral stories told from generation to generation.

Source: https://time.com/4577425/thanksgiving-2016-true-story/

# The Scholastic (Try Your) Hardest Math Problem Contest!! Grades 5 – 8!

## The 2022 Contest is now OPEN!

The Hardest Math Problem Student Contest is an annual competition presented by Scholastic, The Actuarial Foundation, and the New York Life Foundation that challenges grades 6–8 students to solve multistep, grade-appropriate math problems with real-world situations and engaging characters. Plus, 5th graders are eligible to participate by reaching to a higher grade level! This year’s theme is food access.