Teaching Kits and Models

We loan replicas of our famous cores to educators for use in formal and informal settings within the United States. Core replicas are provided free of charge, with all shipping costs covered. Below is a list of the core replicas available for loan, as well as links to related learning activities.


To request a core replica, please fill out this form. You can also contact Maya Pincus (mpincus@ldeo.columbia.edu) for more information.

Cretaceous Impact Core (ODP 171B)

Sixty five million years ago, a 10 km wide meteorite crashed into what is now Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, creating, a 177 km wide crater and mass extinctions across the globe. This kit contains materials for audiences to explore the core evidence for the impact.


Glacial / Interglacial Core (IODP 303)

Expedition 303 drilled cores from the North Atlantic that helped build a timeline of climate change over the last several million years of Earth’s history. This data has provided invaluable insight into the most recent “Ice Ages” or glacial periods of cold climate with a lot of land and sea ice, and warmer periods of little to no ice called interglacial periods.


Palmer Deep Core (ODP 178)

This model is a replica of a core retrieved in the Antarctic Peninsula on ODP Leg 178. It shows seasonal layers (laminae) composed of different diatom species that were deposited during the late Holocene and provides evidence for the changing climate and glacial retreat that took place in the region after the last ice age. This core section also contains a drop stone.

Status: ON LOAN THROUGH May 10

Saanich Inlet Core (ODP 178)

The sediment cored at Saanich Inlet off Vancouver Island, British Columbia contains evidence of catastrophic flooding events –  called Jokulhlaups (Icelandic, pronounced o-kul-loop) that took place at the end of the Pleistocene and Early Holocene. This is when the Ice Age came to an end and increasing global temperatures caused glacial dams to form large lakes that eventually drained dramatically when the dams melted and broke. This core shows an abrupt 30cm layer of silty clay containing preserved pollen and freshwater microfossils (diatoms and silicoflagellates) who’s source can be traced back to glacial lakes 200km inland. This layer is positioned between two laminated layers of mud containing marine microfossils.


Tahitian Sea Level Change Core (IODP 310)

Expedition 310 collected evidence of changes in sea level during the last deglaciation, including a record of temperature and salinity changes in the southern Pacific. The two 60cm replicas of 310-20A-22R-2 display coral sandstone and massive coral (Porites) in growth position with interbedded microbiolites (organosedimentary deposits). Cavities are filled with Halimeda (calcareous algae) segments, gastropods, bivalves and microbiolites.


Just Getting Started?

Whether you are teaching about cores, specific geologic events, or the process and nature of science, these resources will meet your needs:

Activities that delve deeper into sedimentary core analysis:

  • Core Understanding – Core Description and Lithostratigraphy will give students an opportunity to further develop their observational and interpretive skills using terminology and processes used on the ship.
  • Talk about inquiry…in Inquiry into Sediment Cores  students use authentic core images, data, and dichotomous key to plot the distribution of global marine sediments (they learn what the different types are too!) then make inferences about what controls their distribution.
  • Your students will discover the motivation and impact of a coring expedition with the case study Window on Arctic Coring that focuses on the question Why drill there? and gets them thinking about science as an evolving process.

If it is hard rocks and oceanic crust you are after, try these with the Hole Story Poster Images!


To search for more resources related to this topic, go to our Educator Resources page.

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