Affordable materials for geoscience teaching demonstrations

Links to other cool resources

A phytoplankton bloom highlighting the swirling, eddying nature of our oceans

There are a ton of other great resources for geoscience education from the elementary through university education levels. Here we gather together a few of our favorites, organized into categories.

Other rotating tank resources


The Simulated Planetary INteriors Laboratory at UCLA studies the fluid dynamics of Earth and other planets, including magnetohydrodynamics. They use actual physical experiments cutting edge tank and sensor technologies. They also have a great YouTube channel with many enjoyable and educational videos. They also regularly participate in numerous public outreach events (presentation slides can be found here).

MIT “Weather in a Tank” project

Weather in a Tank” details how to conduct rotating fluid experiments to teach into atmospheric and oceanic processes. A video introduction to the project can be found here. Mostly intended for instructors at the upper-division undergraduate or early graduate levels.

Weather in a Tank’s “Virtual Lab”

Interactive online teaching module that combines animations, video, theory, and more for a truly unique educational experience.

Marshall and Plumb textbook

Atmosphere, Ocean and Climate Dynamics by Marshall and Plumb teaches the fundamentals of atmospheric and oceanic circulation, with rotating fluid tank demonstrations integrated into every chapter. The book’s website provides further information about how to conduct the experiments and use them as teaching tools. Mostly intended for students and professors at the upper-division undergraduate or early graduate levels.

Online games that teach atmosphere, ocean, and climate concepts

Interactive Earth

Awesome interactive web-based demonstration of convection in Earth’s mantle.


Amazing interactive visualizer of weather and oceanographic data, both as they are behaving right now and in the past, up to a few years before present.

UCAR Center for Science Education games portal