Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

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A Student Tries to Explain Why There Are Seashells on Top of Mount Everest and the Formation of the Himalayan Mountains

Run Time: 00:05:44

A clinical interview with a bright student reveals a common misconception about how shells were embedded into the rocks on the top of Mount Everest: the sea level was much higher in the past. While it is true that sea level varies over geologic time, scientist Britt Argow describes the current scientific interpretation of the Mount Everest fossil shells. She claims that plate tectonic activity—the collision of the Indian Plate with the Asian Plate 40 million years ago—pushed former seafloor skyward, creating the Himalayan mountain range. Featured Scientist: Keith Klepeis, Ph.D.


NSES Standard

Grades 5-8 Standard A. Science as Inquiry: Think critically and logically to make the relationships between evidence and explanations.

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