UNION — One of the subjects taught in our schools is science and some students in a class at Foster Park Elementary School studying science have been studying something few people ever think about: the various types of ground under their feet.
In a statement released last week, FPES announced that third graders in Mrs. Jan Ivey’s class have been studying landforms as part of their science studies and using materials such as playdough to create representations of the landforms they’ve been studying.
What, you may ask, is a landform?
According to the National Geographic website (www.nationalgeographic.org) a landform “is a feature on the Earth’s surface that is part of the terrain. Mountains, hills, plateaus, and plains are the four major types of landforms. Minor landforms include buttes, canyons, valleys, and basins.”
The website states that “tectonic plate movement under the Earth can create landforms by pushing up mountains and hills. Erosion by water and wind can wear down land and create landforms like valleys and canyons. Both processes happen over a long period of time, sometimes millions of years.”
An example of the long period involved in the creation of landforms and the forces involved in creating them is the Grand Canyon and the Colorado River.
The website states that “it took 6 million years, in fact, for the Colorado River to carve out the Grand Canyon in the U.S. state of Arizona. The Grand Canyon is 446 kilometers (277 miles) long.”
Here’s a question for you: what is the highest landform on Earth?
The answer is Mount Everest in Nepal. According to the website the mountain “measures 8,850 meters (29,035 feet) above sea level. It is part of the Himalaya range that runs across several countries in Asia.”
Also not all landforms are on land, some are actually under water.
The website states that they can exist there “in the form of mountain ranges and basins under the sea. The Mariana Trench, the deepest landform on Earth, is in the South Pacific Ocean.”
Wow! There sure is a lot going on with the lands we walk and drive on and, sometimes, swim and sail over. A lot going on and a lot to learn and that’s why it’s good that the students at Foster Park Elementary School are studying landforms as part of their study of science. It’s not only a good thing for the third graders in Mrs. Ivey’s class to learn about, but also a good subject for study by all of the students in all of our schools.
The study of science, including but not limited to the study of landforms, is a subject more than worthy of study because science has provided us with greater insights into the world around us and our part in that world, as well as the universe of which our world is a part of. It has been through science that the human race has been able to achieve the progress it has achieved in recent centuries, progress that has made life much better for so many and can continue to make it even better for even more.
With that being said, we encourage the students of Mrs. Ivey’s class, their fellow students at Foster Park Elementary and throughout the Union County School District to embrace the study of science and the information, understanding, and inspiration it produces in those who apply themselves to it. Who knows, among the students in the schools of Union County may be the next Edward Jenner, Louis Pasteur, Jonas Salk, Thomas Edison, Alexander Graham Bell or Albert Einstein, all of whom, along with so many other great minds of history, have made our world a better place through the discipline of science.