This issue explores the weathering of buildings, which begins the minute they are assembled. Physical breakdown (such as rock fracture), chemical weathering and pollution are all key ingredients in this discussion of the geology of the built environment.
In the first lesson, students create drawings of urban and rural environments in order to identify and interpret the similarities and differences. The second lesson is an “in-school field trip” requiring the students to identify the structural materials found on campus, as well as the substances used to make each material. The culminating activity is an off-site visit to a cemetery to view the effects of weathering on monument stones.
Note: This is an archival publication dating back to 2000 and any supplements or suggestions for off-site education may not be available.
Download "Smithsonian in Your Classroom: Building Up, Breaking Down" (PDF).