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TITLE:

Building Stones of the US

TOPIC:

Weathering of Building Stones

GRADE LEVEL:

8-12

CONTENT OBJECTIVE & SHORT DESCRIPTION: By examining the NIST Stone wall via the Internet, students will determine the weathering rate of various rocks in the mid-Atlantic region. They will then pick a rock to use in building their “dream house” and justify their choice. Students should have a background in types of rocks.

CONTENT STANDARD: National Science Education Standard D (9-12) - Earth and Space Science Standards: Geochemical cycles; National Geography Standards (9-12) - Environment and Society: The changes that occur in the meaning, use, distribution, and importance of resources

RESOURCE TYPE: Computer/Internet Activity

TIME REQUIRED: 40 minutes +

MATERIALS NEEDED: Computers with Internet connection

DIRECTIONS FOR INSTRUCTION/ACTIVITY:

Building Stones of the United States: The NIST Test Wall

NAME

_______________________________

NOTE: Either site will work for the lab – but the first is less likely to crash. The modified lab can be found at: http://cep.cl.k12.md.us/mckain/StoneWall/Startup.htm

The “live” connection is:

http://stonewall.nist.gov/default.htm

A stone test wall was constructed to study the performance of stone subjected to weathering. It contains 2352 individual samples of stone, of which 2032 are domestic stone from 47 states, and 320 are stones from 16 foreign countries. Over 30 distinct types of stones are represented, some of which are not commonly used for building purposes. There are many varieties of the common types used in building.

The Wall is located at the NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology) site in Gaithersburg, Maryland, at the Southwest end of the campus. The wall faces South, providing a direct exposure to the sunlight. The back face to the North resides all day long in the wall's shadow.

The wall was built in 1948 at the NBS site in Washington D.C. The wall was placed in jeopardy by the move of NBS to Gaithersburg, MD in the middle 1960s and the occupancy of the old NBS site by the University of the District of Columbia. The wall was moved intact in May 1977 to its present site at NBS (now the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)) in Gaithersburg, MD.

Examine the site by looking through the parts labeled: Introduction, Features of the Wall, Location and Orientation, Documentation, and Miscellaneous Pictures. Once you are familiar with the ideas behind the StoneWall - the most direct way to work is by using the “Search by classification” option.

K.A.McKain

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