Students create river models using a dripper system and diatomaceous earth. They acquire geological terminology, see rivers as dynamic, ever-changing systems, and begin to comprehend geologic time. The concepts of erosion, pollution, toxic waste, and human manipulation of rivers are explored. Students gain understanding of models and experimentation and the unit can be used as the springboard for full investigations.
A collaborative effort between GEMS and Project 2061 of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), revised River Cutters to meet major benchmarks and align with the National Science Education Standards.