Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Earthquake simulator

Showing the impact of magnitude on the intensity of earthquake and the extent of damage. You can download the app for android phone -
iphone -

Just shake your phone, and the small city in the screen will start shaking. The greater it shakes, the higher the magnitude and the greater the damage (more buildings will collapse.

You can also do this on desktop - Simulate an earthquake  - look at how the geology, prevention measures and magnitude can affect the extent of damage:

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Plate Tectonics and Volcanoes

Thanks to Dr Dawn Sweeny Ruth and Mr Jamie McCaughey from Earth Observatory of Singapore, I attended one of the best workshops on Plate Tectonics and can't wait to share!

Definitely a lot of takeaway and most thankful to them for sharing their rich resources.

Using Maps for inquiry based learning:

Each group was allocated one of the three types of plate boundary locations and tasked to describe the patterns of the
1. Topography and bathymetry (where is the high and low terrain? Are there linear or random features? Are features parallel or not? And so on...)
2. Volcanoes (randomly distributed or not? If not, in a line or zone? Wide or narrow? Continuous or intermittent?  Refer to the topography/bathymetry, And so on...)
3. Earthquakes (Randomly distributed or not? If not, in a line or zone?Wide or narrow? All the same focus depth or not? If not, is there a pattern to the depths or not? If there is a pattern, describe. Refer to the topography/bathymetry, And so on...)
4. Seafloor age (Younger/older in which directions? Are age bands wide or narrow compared with other areas? Refer to the topography/bathymetry, And so on...)
Then form a hypothesis on:
Where is the plate boundary? What kind of plate boundary is this? How do you know? Support your hypothesis with evidence.

Plate boundary location: Between South American Plate and African Plate

                    Plate boundary location: Between Australian Plate and Eurasian Plate

She showed us how the data on the depth of earthquake can be used to show the subduction of the oceanic plate below the continental plate.

                              Plate boundary location: Between Indian Plate and Eurasian Plate

Learned a new term today - visco-elastic.  Is the mantle solid? No. Is the mantle liquid? No. It is visco-elastic! Dawn and Jamie used oobleck to illustrate (Jamie made this out of cornstarch) If you pound on it quickly it is like a solid. However if you place your finger on it or put pressure on it slowly, you can pierce through it like a liquid.


Using vegetable oil and syrup we experimented on how viscosity affects the amount of gases trapped - she also mentioned that we can use honey to show higher viscosity. 


We also experimented on how greater amount of gases could be more explosive by using coca cola - one which was already opened containing less gas and the other a new one with more gases.

I also like how Jamie demonstrated how new rocks are formed at the oceanic ridge using two papers.

I also like the following:
Using a 
The modelling clay is also fantastic in demonstrating the difference types of stress (force/unit area):
squeezing (compression), pulling (tension) and smearing (shearing)

When stress is applied quickly versus slowly, different strain occur:
  • elastic strain- temporary and original shape is maintained
  • plastic strain - permanent - ductile deformation in which original shape is not maintained and if the stress is greater than the strength of the material, it will bend or fold.
  • brittle - permanent - brittle deformation in which the original shape is not maintained and if stress is greater than the strength of material it will break or fracture.
Brittle deformation occurs commonly at the surface of the earth (lower temperature). Faults form in the shallower parts of the crust.
Ductile deformation occurs at depth (higher temperatures) Folds form in deeper part of the crust.

Thus faults occur as well as folding at the Himalayas.

Also learned that the materials in the mantle not only because of the increased temperature but also can be due to the decrease in pressure and water. Jamie demonstrated by using a vacuum pump to pump out air from a bottle containing hot water. When there is less air, the hot water actually boiled with bubbles appearing. 

Also love some of the videos she showed:

Friday, April 1, 2016

Humanities Network sharing 2016

My sharing with the teachers in the humanities teachers on the use of Google Site for self-directed and collaborative learning. 

The use of google site allow students to be self-directed in their learning as they can select, manage, and assess their own learning activities any time beyond their curriculum time. To further engage the students in their learning, interactive resources such as Zaption interactive videos and Quizlet can be embedded into the Google site. 

Physical Geography Lessons  
Human Geography Lessons

Inquiry-based learning is infused through geographical investigation using the Google Site. The use of Google site helps the groups direct their geographical inquiry collaboratively as well as allowing them to review the steps needed in the geographical investigation to encourage self-directed learning. An example will be an inquiry on water quality by the Secondary 1 students from Edgefield Secondary School. I have also used Google sites to guide the students for GI on Coastal Studies and Tourism

Sec 1 GI on Water Resources 2015
Sec 3 GI on Coastal studies @East Coast Park
Sec 4 GI on Tourism @ Chinatown

Its also great for sharing resources among the department teachers as it is a secured platform which access permission can be controlled - only share with a certain group of people - intranet.

Google site from Lily Teo Hp

As I learn, I share. As I share, I learn.

I am happy that I have learned from the sharing of other teachers too. I would like to highlight in particular two of the sharing which I personally would like to try out.

Enhancing Students’ Subject Literacy for Open-ended 
Dayan Tan Ying Peng from Juying Secondary School
Dayan showed us how the school use the SMRT (Samples, Marking & Modelling, Rubrics, Template & Techniques) strategy to train students to become more competent writers in open-ended questions (level descriptor question.

From creating a writing framework for the students to designing a rubrics for them to see how they can attain the various level of competency. I also love how modelling is done using process writing and how the the teacher allows the student to see their competency level in their writing by indication it in the marking.

Love the techniques using acronym 123 - 1 stand, 2 sides, 3 points  as we had been using PEEL - point, explain, example and link.

Literacy Support for Students Interpretation of Visual Data in Geography
Linda Ng, Yvonne Poh, Nohani, Yamin, Leong Shu Jun from Jurongville Secondary School.

The teachers designed lesson activities to provide more literacy support and scaffolding with the hope that students can better make use of content vocabulary to express their thoughts more clearly and confidently when interpreting visual data.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Google Earth

You can download Google Earth free here:

Image titled Use Google Earth Step 2
This is how the screen will look when you open up Google Earth app or plugin.

Image titled Use Google Earth Step 3
Perform searches from the search box at the top left side of the program.
You can type a place name, zipcode or postcode, a town/city name, an airport or you can even try to type in a latitude-longitude location (in decimal format). Once you press the  Enter key, you'll be "flown" to that destination. Be creative with your searches, but try to be realistic as to things you'd actually find on a city/county/country map worldwide.

Image titled Use Google Earth Step 6

Utilize the zoom out and zoom in options from the buttons on the right hand side of the screen.
Turn the wheel in the top right corner to spin the item to a better understood angle. 
You can also drag the little yellow man icon to the map and you will get to see street view.

Image titled Use Google Earth Step 7
Click on Exit Street view to go back to the map.

Image titled Use Google Earth Step 8
Look for the date the picture was taken from the bottom left hand corner of the screen. 
Scroll through the dates to see all the satellite images from different days of the year. 
Zoom to a place on the map where the satellite image has a date, click the "View" menu from the menu bar and click the "Historical Imagery" button to enable the feature. 
Drag the location of the toggle slider switch in the top left corner to a different date and see what the area was like. e.g. you can see what New Orleans was like after Hurricane Katrina, or one of the many famous historical times that date back to 1990! 

Image titled Use Google Earth Step 9
Utilize the Layers button from the bottom left hand side of the screen.
  • Turn on Weather view from the Layers button in the bottom left corner. Click the drop-down negative sign and next to Weather and click both the "Radar" and "Clouds" options. You'll be able to see rain and snow and clouds and sleet on this map, just like you were looking at a weather radar on a TV screen weather broadcasting channel.
  • Turn on other buttons for additional items to view about the location. You can turn on Panoramio photos from exact locations where others have taken pictures of landmarks worldwide, or even turn on YouTube videos when these videos have been placemarked. Look through that list, and see if you can turn on other very useful features that show the world from the eyes of other viewers.
  • Look at the locations of epicenters to recorded earthquakes by turning on the Earthquake feature in the Gallery drop-down.

This is what I did with my students exploring how the location of places can affect temperatures

Let's explore weather with Google Earth!
  1. Open Google Earth by clicking on the Google Earth icon.
  2. Go to ‘View’ and select “Grid’ to display the latitude and longitude grid lines.
  3. Go to the side bar and select ‘Weather’ under the category Layer/Primary Database. (remove the tick for photos, oceans and 3D buildings)
  4. Go to the side bar and search for the city.
  5. Use the zoom function by sliding the bar either towards ‘+’ to zoom in or towards ‘-‘ to zoom out to extract the data on the latitude and temperature of the place.
1. Search for the following cities. Locate the latitude and temperature
 Latitude  Temperature
 Tokyo, Japan
 Moscow, Russia

a) State the relationship between latitude and temperature with reference to the data you have collected above.
b) Explain how latitude affects temperature.

2. Search for the following cities. Locate the latitude and temperature. 

 Latitude  Altitude  Temperature
Singapore  mostly not above 15m above sea level
Quito, Ecuador

(click on the placemarker
to extract the data on altitude)

a) Both cities are located at similar latitude and yet shows a difference in temperature due to the altitude.
    State the relationship between altitude and temperature with reference to the data you have collected above.
b) Explain how altitude affects temperature.

3, Search for the following places in AK, US. Locate the latitude and temperature. 

 Latitude  Distance from the sea  Temperature
Anchorage, AK, United States  near to coast
Fairbanks, AK, United States  110 km

a) Both places are located at similar latitude and yet shows a difference in temperature due to the distance from the sea.
    State the relationship between distance from the sea and temperature with reference to the data you have collected above.
b) Explain how distance from the sea affects temperature.

I have attached some of the kmz files @ which you can explore.  2 of the kmz files are created by me - one on map reading which is the coastal area south of UK. The map was from one of the N level papers. The other one is the Google Earth Tectonic plates. I have placemarked the features or the plate boundaries you see the actual locations on Google Earth. 

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Combo Chart using Microsoft Excel

Creating combo chart using Microsoft excel is simple especially when you have two sets of data for the Y axis. As shown below - air temperature and relative humidity

This is especially so with climatic graph.

Download from the link below a template which you can use to generate the climatic graph.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Data representation in tourism

Data representation in tourism
We created Scatter graphs and other graphs using 
You can use the following link to calculate how far the country of origin of the tourist is from Singapore:
We created an account @ - click on "create" and then click on any of the infographics template. 

Double click on the text box and type in your title

Delete the chart and add a new one by clicking on "add chart" as shown below.

 Choose the type of graph you want your data to be represented.

Double click to edit the chart.

Clear all the data.

After you cleared all data,  open the excel file as shown below. Copy and paste the data back to

You can also create a map with the same data - click on "add a map"

Demo on land transect using Google Map engine - use the polygon to create the polygon indicating the landuse. you can locate the place by using Google map in which you can refer to the street scene to confirm the area which you are plotting is correct.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Geographical Investigation of Water Quality

How to use the water test kit to check for turbidity, PH value and dissolved oxygen.


Turbidity is the measure of the relative clarity of water

Murkiness can give some clues to what may be in the water. There may be dissolved pollutants or bacteria. However, murky water does NOT necessarily mean there is pollution.

Steps for measuring turbidity:
1.Pour the collected sample water into the white container.
2.Compare the appearance of Secchi disk icon in the container to the chart.

Precautions taken to ensure accuracy of readings:
Fill up the container to the turbidity line located on the label. Record the result as turbidity in JTU.

Dissolved Oxygen

The dissolved oxygen is the amount of oxygen dissolved in a given volume of water, at a given temperature and atmospheric pressure.
This can be measured in milligrams per litre (mg/l) or parts per million (ppm).

The amount of dissolved oxygen needed
     to sustain fish life is about 4 mg/l or 4 ppm 

Steps for measuring dissolved oxygen:
1. Fill the vial with the water collected.
2. Ensure no bubbles visible
3. Insert 2 tablets for dissolved oxygen testing
4. Close the cover
5. shake continuously for 10 mins
6. Observe colour change and compare colour against the dissolved oxygen chart.

Precautions taken to ensure accuracy of readings for dissolved oxygen:
Vial must be submerged into the white container while filling the vial with collected water. This is to avoid introducing bubbles in the vial.
Always place the vial or test tube against the white background when comparing collected water with the given chart. 

PH value

It is a measurement of acidity or alkalinity of an aqueous solution.

Most aquatic animals prefer a range of pH 6.5 to 8.0.
pH can be affected by acid rain or wastewater discharges
If the living conditions have a pH value away from this range, these aquatic animals will either flee or die.

Steps for measuring dissolved oxygen:
1. Fill the test tube up to the 10 ml mark 
2. Insert a PH tablet into the test tube.
3. Observe colour change and compare colour against the PH chart.

Precautions taken to ensure accuracy of readings:
Always place the test tube against the white background when comparing collected water with the given chart.