Flume experiments as well as direct field observations, are an efficient technique for teaching geoscience and environmental lessons. While a useful handmade flume has been proposed previously, there was no attempt to use the flume for science classes as a teaching aid. The aim of this study is to develop teaching materials on the basis of a comparison between flume experiments and the stratigraphic architecture created by delta formation, and to estimate the effectiveness of teaching materials based on their use in a science class. The result of the comparison showed that more than half the students understood the features of delta formation and took them into account in their future reasoning. However, some students did not understand them well. This suggests that the teaching materials used will be more useful if improvements are made in response to the success of their use in a science class.
The JMA-59 electromagnetic seismograph was the standard seismograph used for routine observations by the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA). We developed several classroom exercises for earthquake study in high school using seismograms recorded by JMA-59 seismographs. The main purposes of these studies are: 1) determining hypocenters, 2) estimating magnitude, and 3) reading the features of seismograms. The advantages of using JMA-59 seismograms are: 1) It provides displacement records that trace real ground motion, 2) The ×100 amplitude and 1 mm/sec time scale make it easy to convert the real scale. The requirements for gathering seismograms for classroom exercises are: 1) Shallow earthquakes for the use of Tsuboi's formula, 2) Undersaturated amplitudes for magnitude calculation, 3) Easy-to-read S-P times and maximum amplitudes, and 4) Surrounding sites records for a hypocenter determination. This module consists of exercise sheets for the classroom, seismograms recorded at the three observatories and a handmade nomogram for magnitude calculation. Students can easily learn about seismograms and earthquakes through these exercises. The accuracy of the data readings and magnitude estimations by students was also evaluated by making histograms.
A trial set of four lessons on typhoons and disaster prevention was conducted on fifth-grade students in an elementary school. The pupils learned that the weather changes from the west to the east around the Japanese Islands, but that this is not necessarily true when a typhoon approaches. They also discussed refuges and personal effects during an emergency. The results of questionnaires show that these lessons were quite effective in increasing interest among slow and middle learners about weather and disaster prevention, and having them imagine what living in a shelter would be like.