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This activity introduces students to the concept of slope stability (or angle of repose). Using an apparatus they have constructed, the students will work in small groups to test the stability angle of fine gravel, sand, and topsoil, gradually increasing the angle of the apparatus until the test material begins to slide off (angle of first fall) and until all the material slides away (angle of total fall). They will record these values and note which materials held the steepest slopes. As an extension, they can mix the test materials and observe the effects of mixing grain sizes. A student worksheet and discussion questions are provided.
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