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Classroom Activities

These classroom and lab activities use data, simulations or modeling to teach geoscience topics. Examples include the use of model output, chemical analyses, remote sensing data, interactive data tools, or large databases.


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Arctic Climate Curriculum, Activity 3: Exploring Arctic Climate Data part of Cutting Edge:Topics:Climate Change:Activities
Students dig into authentic Arctic climate data to unravel some causes and effects related to the seasonal melting of the snowpack. In particular, students learn about albedo and its relationship to snowmelt. This ...

Arctic Climate Curriculum, Activity 2: Do you really want to visit the Arctic? part of Cutting Edge:Topics:Climate Change:Activities
This jigsaw activity is designed for students to become familiar with several datasets of Arctic weather data, collected in Eureka on Ellesmere Island. Students join a role-playing activity to read and interpret ...

Seasonal variation in light, mixing depth and primary productivity in temperate northern hemisphere waters part of Cutting Edge:Courses:Oceanography:Activities
In this exercise students work with light, temperature, and phytoplankton biomass proxy (chlorophyll a concentration) data to; Become more skilled in reading and interpreting semi log graphs, temperature profiles, ...

Learning About Marine Sediments Using Real Data part of Cutting Edge:Courses:Introductory Courses:Activities
This exercise set explores marine sediments using real core photos and composition data from the scientific ocean drilling programs DSDP, ODP, and IODP in an inquiry-based approach.

Global Patterns part of Cutting Edge:Develop Program-Wide Abilities:Complex Systems:Teaching Activities
Based on my research on how best to enhance students' understanding of complex systems, I utilize various activities to support pattern recognition, a fundamental skill to understanding complex systems ...

Reasons for the Seasons part of Integrate:Workshops:Teaching the Methods of Geoscience:Activities
The inquiry method and meteorological and astronomical online data can be used to elicit the inconsistencies of students' naïve ideas about the "real" reasons for the seasons. The first phase of this two-part investigation uses online meteorological data to identify factors that might explain differences of seasonal temperatures among cities These factors are used to hypothesize why differences of seasonal temperatures occur among cities. During the second phase, the variables and hypotheses that were previously identified in part one are used to design and conduct an inquiry-oriented investigation. Astronomical data is used as part of the investigation to "test" students' hypotheses— conclusions are drawn then communicated.

Mapping Plate Boundaries part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Interactive Lectures:Examples
Students can discover plate boundaries by plotting different sets of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions on maps. These are then stacked on the overhead projector, outlining the tectonic plates. -

When is Dinner Served? Predicting the Spring Phytoplankton Bloom in the Gulf of Maine part of Earth Exploration Toolbook:Predicting Phytoplankton Bloom in the Gulf of Maine
DATA: Ocean Buoy Data, MODIS Images TOOLS: GoMOOS Online Graphing Tool SUMMARY: Learn about conditions that influence the spring phytoplankton bloom. Use an online graphing tool to predict the date of the bloom.

Seeing the Forest for the Trees: What's in Your Woods? part of Earth Exploration Toolbook:Seeing the Forest for the Trees: Whats in Your Woods?
DATA: Forest Inventory Growth and Analysis data, TOOLS: Spreadsheet, My World GIS SUMMARY: Investigate forest biodiversity in Maine and consider the environmental factors that contribute to tree species diversity.

Arctic Climate Curriculum, Activity 1: Exploring the Arctic part of Cutting Edge:Topics:Climate Change:Activities
This activity introduces students to the Arctic, including different definitions of the Arctic and exploration of the Arctic environment and Arctic people. Students set out on a virtual exploration of the ...

Cyclostratigraphy and astrochronology exercise part of Cutting Edge:Topics:Rates and Time:Teaching Activities
Simple classroom activity to highlight how cyclostratigraphy and concepts of astronchronology can be used to refine age control in sedimentary rocks, estimate rates of processes, and for time control and ...

Ocean Predator/Prey Populations part of Cutting Edge:Complex Systems:AGU Modeling Workshop 2010:Activity Ideas
Susan Kelly Topic: Population change Course type: Introductory undergraduate course Description Modeling impact of change in food web Learning Goals or Outcomes Students will see how changes on one trophic level ...

Evidence for Plate Tectonics part of Earth Exploration Toolbook:Evidence
DATA: Sea Floor Age, Volcano and Earthquake Distributions. TOOL: My World GIS. SUMMARY: Identify relationships among sea-floor age, earthquakes, and volcanoes to understand how they support the theory of plate tectonics.

Exploring Regional Differences in Climate Change part of Earth Exploration Toolbook:Exploring Regional Differences in Climate Change
DATA: Climate Model Predictions TOOLS: EOS-Webster, Spreadsheet application SUMMARY: Produce and analyze graphs to compare climate predictions among U.S. states through the year 2100.

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