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What's the Risk?

 Subject: Science, Mathematics Grade: 6-8, 9-12

Brief Description
Determine the risk that a damaging mudflow will occur in the shadow of Mount Rainier.

Objectives

Students explore the causes of volcanoes and related catastrophic events. They calculate the risk that certain events will occur in the future, based on the number and frequency of similar events in the past.

Keywords

mudflow, volcano, risk analysis, chart, Mount Rainier

Materials Needed

Lesson Plan

Have students explore two sections of the Volcanoes module -- Orting Information and Analyzing Volcanoes -- either online or in print. Arrange students into small groups. Explain to students that they are insurance agents and each of their groups, or agencies, has been asked to write a policy for a house being built in a new development in Orting. Ask each group to determine the mathematical risk that a mudflow will occur in the area, to decide on a monthly premium and deductible for the policy, and to present the policy and its terms to the entire group. Compare the perceived risks, premiums, deductibles, and so on, and ask the class to vote on the policy they would select.

Assessment

Evaluate students on their calculation of risk, as shown in the policy and presentation.

Lesson Plan Source

Education World (with resources from NASA Classroom of the Future)

National Standards

Originally published 06/26/2000