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| Where Homework and the Internet Meet: LAUNCH POINT


January 26, 1998

Here are the best sites for getting you schoolwork done or for just having fun

The Mammoth Lakes area of California has been rocked by thousands of little earthquakes in recent months. Scientists say the seismic activity is being triggered by volcanic lava flow far underground. Though there seems to be no immediate risk of an eruption, scientists are keeping an eye on the situation. Predicting if or when volcanoes will erupt is important because the destructive force can be greater than that of several atomic bombs. To learn more about volcanoes, use the direct links on The Times Launch Point Web site:

Here are the best sites for getting your schoolwork done or for just having fun.


What is a Volcano? A good introduction to volcanoes. Learn about the "Ring of Fire," an area of Pacific islands and coastlines where the majority of the world's volcanoes are found.

VolcanoWorld's Kids' Door: Take guided tours of Mount St. Helens and other volcanoes around the world and on Mars. Test your knowledge with an online quiz, learn 11 ways you can build model volcanoes, and view volcano artwork and poetry created by kids.

Bill Nye Episode Guide--Volcanoes: Find out what volcanoes are made of, why they erupt and how many are currently active. Learn how to make your own volcano from modeling clay and baking soda.


VolcanoWorld: The ultimate volcano resource. Learn about volcanoes all over the world through photos, video clips and detailed reports. Ask a volcanologist your questions, and find out what happened today in volcano history.

Living with Volcanoes: A well-organized site that describes volcanic eruptions in detail. Learn about some of the good things that come from volcanoes: fertile soil, geothermal energy and metallic minerals like copper, gold, silver, lead and zinc.

Volcanoes: Read about the different types of volcanoes and what factors determine their shapes.


USGS--Volcanoes. Photos and diagrams explain such topics as plate-tectonics theory, underwater volcanoes and extraterrestrial volcanism (volcanoes on other planets). Find out about the history of volcano study, beginning with the observations of Vesuvius.

Volcanoes--Can We Predict The Volcanic Eruptions? An in-depth examination of volcanoes. Learn how temperature, pressure and water content can change solid rock to liquid magma through an online experiment. Find out how earthquakes, gas emissions and other types of signs can signal a volcanic eruption.

Volcano Lovers: Discover unusual facts about the aftermath of volcanoes. Read about volcanic activity at the Long Valley Caldera in Mammoth, as well as about important eruptions in Southeast Asia, Alaska and Mexico.

Launch Point is produced by the UC Irvine department of education, which reviews each site for appropriateness and quality. Even so, parents should supervise their children's use of the Internet. This week's column was designed by Christie Imbler, Anna Chen, Stan Woo-Sam and Anna Manring.


The answer to this Internet quiz can be found in the sites at right.

What is the difference between magma and lava?

Clue: See Living with Volcanoes

Tell Us What You Want To Know

Got a paper or project coming up? Just curious about something? Send us a topic, and we'll consider it for a future Launch Point column. Write to us at The Times Orange County, 1375 Sunflower Ave., Costa Mesa, CA 92626. E-mail us at or leave a phone message at (714) 966-4550.

Answer to last week's Quest:

More than 1,000 U.S. species of animals and plants are considered endangered.

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