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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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The Modern Atmospheric CO2 Record part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Teaching with Data:Examples
Students compare carbon dioxide (CO2) data from Mauna Loa Observatory, Barrow (Alaska), and the South Pole over the past 40 years to help them better understand what controls atmospheric CO2. -

Gold Star Panel Review This activity received a gold star rating from a Panel Peer Review.
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Pollen and Climate Change part of Earth Exploration Toolbook:Pollen and Climate Change
DATA: Pollen Viewer. TOOLS: Analyzing Digital Images, Spreadsheet. SUMMARY: Study the relationship between climate and the distribution of plants across North America, import data into spreadsheet and graph.

CLEAN Selected This activity has been selected for inclusion in the CLEAN collection.
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Visualizing Carbon Pathways part of Earth Exploration Toolbook:Carbon
DATA: NASA Satellite Images TOOLS: ImageJ and Image Composite Explorer (ICE) of NASA Earth Observations (NEO). SUMMARY: Build animations of satellite data to illustrate and explore carbon pathways through the Earth system.

CLEAN Selected This activity has been selected for inclusion in the CLEAN collection.
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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, ...

On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
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When is Dinner Served? Predicting the Spring Phytoplankton Bloom in the Gulf of Maine (College Level) part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Teaching with GIS:Examples
College-level adaptation of the Earth Exploration Toolbook chapter. Students explore the critical role phytoplankton play in the marine food web. -

Writing a Wikipedia Genetic Disease Article part of Merlot Biology Pedagogic Collection:Teaching with Data:Examples
Writing a Wikipedia article about a genetic disease is a good culminating activity for a genetics course or module, as it requires synthesizing and interpreting a wide range of genetic information. This assignment also includes a potential service component, which is normally very difficult in genetics.

Monohybrid Fruit Fly Crosses: A Simulation part of Merlot Biology Pedagogic Collection:Teaching with Data:Examples
This assignment uses a computer simulation of fruit fly genetics to have students design and interpret monohybrid crosses of a trait with simple dominant and recessive alleles. Detailed instructions with animated examples, background material, a sample report and a rubric are included.

Long Term Ecological Resources part of Merlot Biology Pedagogic Collection:Teaching with Data:Examples
Students analyze data on temperature and precipitation collected from 26 different Long Term Ecological Research sites and compare them with annual net primary productivity. The students then form an ecological rule to explain their results.

Phenylketonuira part of Merlot Biology Pedagogic Collection:Teaching with Data:Examples
In this activity, students are assigned different alleles of the gene for phenylalanine hydroxylase to research using OMIM (Online Mendelian Inheritance in Man). They are then asked to both explain and illustrate how this mutation may cause the disease phenylketonuria (PKU).

Protein Evolution part of Merlot Biology Pedagogic Collection:Teaching with Data:Examples
In this activity students explore the evolution of proteins by comparing 2D and 3D alignments of orthologs and paralogs.

Plant Pest Control part of Merlot Biology Pedagogic Collection:Teaching with Data:Examples
This learning experience introduces participants to scientific inquiry, hypothesis formation, experimental design, data analysis, and interpretation.

Searching Genbank part of Merlot Biology Pedagogic Collection:Teaching with Data:Examples
An active problem-based assignment that uses the Genbank database to teach the basics of molecular biology and molecular evolution

Impact of climate change on endangered fish population in Pyramid Lake part of Cutting Edge:Complex Systems:AGU Modeling Workshop 2010:Activity Ideas
Karletta Chief, Hydrologic Sciences, Desert Research Institute Topic: hydrology, ecology Course type: Graduate level course Description Pyramid Lake Pyramid Lake is located approximately 40 miles northeast of ...

Analyzing Populations with Maps (Retired) part of Earth Exploration Toolbook:Analyzing Populations
NOTE: This chapter was retired from the EET collection after CIESIN's US-Mexico Demographic Data Viewer became unavailable. The pages are available here for reference. In this chapter, users describe and ...

Exploring Characteristics of Wetlands part of Earth Exploration Toolbook:Analyzing Wetlands
DATA: Worldwide Wetlands Inventory. TOOL: Ramsar International Wetlands Data Gateway. SUMMARY: Learn about wetlands around the world. Perform a series of searches to identify wetland areas that need protection.

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.

Riparian Plant Lab part of Integrate:Workshops:Teaching the Methods of Geoscience:Activities
In this field exercise for an introductory environmental science course, students investigate plant cover and type in a riparian area using transects. The final assignment is a lab report that includes a summary data table, a graph of cover types along their transect and an analysis of riparian health.

Shift in life expectancy part of SISL:2012 Sustainability in Math Workshop:Activities
Determining the shift in expected life span over a century and the social and environmental impact

Resources for using PhET simulations in class – PhET Activities Database part of Pedagogy in Action:Library:PhET Interactive Science Simulations:Examples
The PhET Activities Database is a collection of resources for using PhET sims. It includes hundreds of lesson plans, homework assignments, labs, clicker questions, and more. Some activities have been created by the PhET team and some have been created by teachers.

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