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Standards-Based Curriculum


Scientific measurement and interpretation

Plate tectonics

Emergency preparedness

Subterranean exploration


Scientific predictions

Government responsibilities






Higher Order Thinking

How much stock should be put into scientific predictions?

When should safety concerns be allowed to disrupt daily life?

What is the value of reputation?

What natural characteristics are required for human settlements?

How can man and nature coexist?

Mission Introduction

Many years ago the Surtsey Sea frothed with fervent heat.  Smoke billowed from the deep, lava spewed 

skyward, and a new volcanic island emerged.  Now known as Krafft Island, its fertile volcanic soil and 

crystal blue bays attracted the rich and the powerful, becoming a luxury destination almost overnight.

It was a wonderful island.  Everyone seemed content—except for one man.  Dr. Ash Tephra, the world’s 

most renowned volcanologist, was outspoken against settlements on the island from the beginning.  

He argued that not enough time had passed to determine how stable this volcano really was and that it 

was only a matter of time before the island would be engulfed in a truly formidable eruption. 

Two years ago Dr. Tephra’s eruption predictions reached a new extreme.  Using his own special research 

methods known as “underground volcanology,” which involve going underground to measure volcanic 

activity, he warned the government that a massive eruption would occur within the week!  Fellow 

volcanologists using more traditional methods, however, did not agree.

Erring on the side of safety—and based on Dr. Tephra’s impeccable reputation for accurate predictions

—the government decided to evacuate the island.  However, two full weeks passed and the supposed 

eruption never occurred.  Angry citizens returned to the island lodging multiple complaints against the 

government for economic loss.  Dr. Tephra was humiliated.  His reputation took a severe hit, but he 

remained adamant in predicting an eruption of spectacular proportions on Krafft Island.

Today, Dr. Tephra has once again warned of an impending eruption and has urged the government to 

evacuate the island.  The government is concerned for its citizens’ safety, and Dr. Tephra remains the 

leading expert, but even so the government does not want another needless evacuation.  Other 

volcanologists have once again indicated that they do not predict an eruption, but also admit that they 

cannot be certain Dr. Tephra is wrong.  To clear matters up the government has called upon the Infinity 

Knights—the renowned protectors of peace and justice throughout the universe—to help them.

Your mission is to travel beneath the surface of Krafft Island, explore the volcanic conduits extensively, 

and determine whether an evacuation is necessary.  Report your findings as soon as you can to the 

government—before it’s too late!

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