A worksheet in which students calculate how much iridium was released, and eventually deposited all over the Earth, by the impact of the asteroid that caused the K-T extinction.
Appropriate for: high school physics, chemistry, and earth science (all levels)
This lesson serves as an extension to the Howard Hughes Medical Institute short film The Day the Mesozoic Died. It challenges students to develop a reasoned estimate of the amount of iridium contained in an asteroid similar in size and composition to the one that struck Earth 66 million years ago, causing the K-T mass extinction. Several correction factors and assumptions are introduced to carry out these calculations.
NGSS (April 2013)
HS-ESS1-6, HS-ESS1.B, HS-ESS1.C, HS-ESS2.A, HS-PS1.B, HS-PS3.B
Common Core (2010)
CCSS.Mathematics.MP.2, CCSS.Mathematics.MP.4, CCSS.Mathematics.HSN-Q.A.1, CCSS.Mathematics.HSA-CED.A.4, CCSS.Mathematics.HSA-SSE.A.1, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RST.9-12.1, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RST.9-12.4, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RST.9-12.8, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.WHST.9-12.1