tipping points in earth’s history:

Core Model Kits

We loan core models and interactive kits to educators for use in formal and informal education settings.  The core models, kits and activities listed in this section will help students develop an understanding of the tipping points of Earth’s systems throughout its history through hands on investigation of ocean cores. Please note: Contact Sharon Cooper (scooper@ldeo.columbia.edu) for information and to reserve a core model for loan.



  • Cretaceous Impact Kit   
    • Sixty five million years ago, a 10km meteorite crashed into what is now Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, creating a 177 km crater and causing mass extinctions across the globe. There are two kits focused on this event that challenge students to look at the evidence to make inferences about the past.


  • Palmer Deep Core Model   
    • This model is a replica of a core retrieved in the Antarctic Peninsula on ODP Expedition 178. This model shows seasonal layers (laminae) composed of different diatoms 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.


  • Tahitian Sea Level Change Core (IODP 310)   
    • IODP Expedition 310 collected evidence of changes in sea level during the last deglaciation, including a record of temperatures and salinity changes in the southern Pacific. The two 30cm 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.
JOIDES Resolution