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How to Use the Building Pangea Gizmo to Learn About Plate Tectonics
Plate tectonics is the scientific theory that explains how Earth's surface is made up of moving pieces called plates. These plates can collide, separate, or slide past each other, causing earthquakes, volcanoes, mountains, and other features. One of the most fascinating aspects of plate tectonics is that it can explain how Earth's continents have changed over time. In fact, about 200 million years ago, all of Earth's continents were joined together in a supercontinent called Pangea.
But how do we know that Pangea existed And how did it break apart into the continents we see today One way to explore these questions is by using the Building Pangea Gizmo from ExploreLearning. This interactive tool allows you to drag and rotate all the major landmasses on Earth and fit them together like puzzle pieces. You can also compare your reconstruction with geological and fossil evidence that supports the theory of continental drift.
In this article, we will guide you through the steps of using the Building Pangea Gizmo and provide some tips and answers to help you learn more about plate tectonics.
Step 1: Launch the Gizmo
To launch the Building Pangea Gizmo, you will need to create an account on ExploreLearning.com or log in with your existing account. Then, you can search for the Gizmo by typing \"Building Pangea\" in the search box or by clicking on this link[^3^]. You will see a screen like this:
On the left side of the screen, you will see a map of Earth with its current continents. On the right side, you will see a blank map with some landmasses that you can drag and rotate. You can also zoom in and out by using the slider at the bottom of the screen.
Step 2: Fit the Landmasses Together
Your goal is to fit all the landmasses on the right side of the screen together to form Pangea. To do this, you will need to use some clues and logic. Here are some tips to help you:
To drag a landmass, grab it in the middle and move it around.
To rotate a landmass, grab it near the edge and turn it clockwise or counterclockwise.
You can learn the names of the landmasses by opening the Tools menu at the top right corner of the screen and dragging the Help icon over them.
You can also use the Help icon to see some hints about where each landmass belongs.
Try to match the shapes and colors of the coastlines as closely as possible.
Pay attention to any gaps or overlaps between the landmasses and try to minimize them.
If you get stuck, you can use the Reset button at the bottom right corner of the screen to start over.
When you are done fitting all the landmasses together, your map should look something like this:
Congratulations! You have successfully reconstructed Pangea!
Step 3: Compare with Evidence
But how do we know that this is what Pangea looked like How can we be sure that these landmasses were once connected To answer these questions, we need to look at some evidence from geology and paleontology. The Building Pangea Gizmo allows you to do this by using two buttons at the top left corner of the screen: Geologic Evidence and Fossil Evidence.
If you click on Geologic Evidence, you will see some colored lines appear on both maps. These lines represent different types of rocks and mountain ranges that have similar ages and origins across different continents. For example, you can see that there is a red line that runs across South America, Africa, India 9160f4acd4