<%@ Page Language="C#" debug="true" ContentType="text/html" ResponseEncoding="iso-8859-1" %> e-Mission: Operation Montserrat - Lesson Plan


Overview Lessons & Materials Pre Mission Prep. Mission Day Assessment Student Pages

Scope & Sequence

Interdisciplinary Approach

Unit : t-Minus 3 Weeks  

Lesson 9 : Volcano Tracking

Basic Readings

  • Volcano Monitoring Instructions
  • Volcano Practice Data
  • Volcano Graphs

Recommended Readings

  • Volcano Monitoring Instructions
  • Volcano Practice Data
  • Volcano Graphs

Homework Due

  • Turn in assessment materials: Team Evaluation & ERT Log

Students learn how to track seismic activity of the Montserrat volcano. Students receive data gathered from the seismic activity of Mt. Pinatubo and Soufrière Hills on Montserrat. They create graphs of the data, study the observation logs that accompany the data, and interpret the graphs in relationship to the logs.


  • 15 min. Teams assign roles
  • 25 min. Students read materials and practice the worksheets and graphs


  • (1 per student) Mission Preparation: Volcano Monitoring Instructions, Volcano Practice Data, Volcano Graphs


  • "Data", "Real-time", Seismic activity, Numerical and Observational data, graphing on an X Y coordinate plane
  • Use appropriate tools and techniques to gather, analyze, and interpret data
  • Develop descriptions, explanations, predictions, and models using evidence
  • Think critically and logically to make the relationships between evidence and explanations.
  • Recognize and analyze alternative explanations and predictions
  • Communicate scientific procedures and explanations
  • Risk analysis considers the type of hazard and estimates the number of people that might be exposed and the number likely to suffer consequences
  • Options for reducing or eliminating risks
  • Individuals can use a systematic approach to thinking critically about risks and benefits. Important personal and social decisions are made based on perceptions of benefits and risks
  • Scientific investigations sometimes result in new ideas and phenomena for study, generate new methods or procedures for an investigation, or develop new technologies to improve the collection of data. All of these results can lead to new investigations


  • Students are able to "download" real-time data, and calculate predicted daily total for seismic activity.
  • Students can graph real-time data.

Special Comments
The careful recording and interpretation of data demand teamwork. Have the teams share and compare their findings by posting and comparing their completed materials. The students are keenly aware of the numerical data during e-Mission: Montserrat. The verbal data is often overlooked on e-Mission day. Draw attention to the importance of both forms of data. Scientists use numbers and gut-level intuition in times of emergencies.

ERTs are given the Mission Preparation worksheets (see materials). They read them, assign roles within the team and practice with sample data. To practice, they put the sample real-time data into the worksheets, work the math, fill out a report form, and plot the data on a graph. Students transfer their graphing and data interpretation skills to seismic data provided in a different format. They must master new terminology, manipulate the data, and carry out calculations.

Basic Homework

  • Read: Your Task, Hurricanes, How Hurricanes Work, Hurricane Dangers
  • Complete article Review Questions

Recommended Homework

  • Read: Your Task, Hurricanes, How Hurricanes Work, Hurricane Dangers
  • Complete article Review Questions

See the Careers section of the Launch Pad. There are some valuable resources here to encourage students to begin thinking about careers as technicians, engineers, programmers, specialists, and scientists.