News, Science, Sports

Some Sochi Gold Medals Will Contain Space Rock

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

 

The special Sochi medals. Image: kremlin.ru
The special Sochi medals. Image: kremlin.ru

Last Feb. 15, a meteorite landed in Russia.

A meteorite is a rock that comes to Earth from space.

Every year, thousands of asteroids and meteoroids streak past our planet. Most of the ones headed for Earth simply burn up in our atmosphere.

In this case, the meteorite exploded into thousands of pieces in the air, making a tremendous noise known as a sonic boom.

Some of the rocks fell to Earth in the city of Chelyabinsk, Russia.

Russian scientists have been studying the rocks to know more about them—where they came from and how they were formed.

The Sochi Olympics

As you may know, in 2014 the city of Sochi in Russia is hosting the winter Olympics.

Some athletes who win a gold medal in their sport will get an extra-special medal.

Their medal will have a piece of space rock inside it.

It will only be the athletes who win gold on Feb. 15, 2014—the one-year anniversary of the day the meteorite fell to Earth in Russia.

Those events being held on Feb. 15, 2014 are: the men’s 1,500-metre speedskating, the women’s 1000m and men’s 1500m short track, the women’s cross-country skiing relay, the men’s K-125 ski jump, the women’s super giant slalom and men’s skeleton events.

Related links

Here is a wonderful, kid-friendly video talking about the two Russian events (the meteorite and the gold medals) and explaining the difference between asteroids, meteors and meteorites.

(The video comes after a 15-second video commercial.)

CURRICULUM CONNECTIONS
By Kathleen Tilly

Writing/Discussion Prompt
What do you think these space rocks would say if they could talk? Imagine their journey from space, landing in Russia and being awarded to an Olympic athlete at the Sochi games. Write an imaginative and creative short story about this meteorite’s journey both in space and on earth.

Reading Prompt: Extending Understanding
The people who designed the special medals combined two very different materials (space rocks and medal) into a new creation. This idea required a lot of creativity and imagination.

What invention do you think is very creative and imaginative? Describe the invention and explain why it unique.

Junior
Extend understanding of texts by connecting the ideas in them to their own knowledge, experience, and insights, to other familiar texts, and to the world around them (OME, Reading: 1.8).

Intermediate
Extend understanding of texts, including increasingly complex or difficult texts, by connecting the ideas in them to their own knowledge, experience, and insights, to other familiar texts, and to the world around them (OME, Reading: 1.8).

Grammar Feature: Verb
There are many verbs (action words) in this article. Find all of the verbs in the article and circle them with a pencil.

In your opinion, which verb is the most interesting and why?

Pick one verb that isn’t very interesting and replace it one that would be more interesting to the reader.