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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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Characterizing Plate Boundaries part of Cutting Edge:Enhance Your Teaching:Online Teaching:Activities for Teaching Online
Students examine maps showing four different types of geologic data along three specific plate boundaries, and document the patterns in the data along each boundary. Next, they compare their observations to the ...

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Radioactive Decay and Geochronology part of Quantitative Skills:Activity Collection
Students create a STELLA model of the radioactive decay process.

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Research Experiences in a Mineralogy Class part of Cutting Edge:Develop Program-Wide Abilities:Undergraduate Research:Case Studies
Dave Mogk, Montana State University Summary One of the goals of my Mineralogy class is to demonstrate how the principles and content covered in class can be applied to questions of geologic interest or that have ...

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Two streams, two stories... How Humans Alter Floods and Streams part of Quantitative Skills:Activity Collection
An activity/lab where students determine the changes in 100-year flood determinations for 2 streams over time.

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Using Visual MODFLOW to Simulate Groundwater Flow and Transport part of Cutting Edge:Courses:Hydrogeology:Activities
Investigate the Dupuit Approximation to describe groundwater flow in an unconfined aquifer, using a computer spreadsheet program and Visual MODFLOW (Waterloo Hydrogeologic, Inc.). The major strength of this ...

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Gulf Stream Heat Budget and Europe part of Cutting Edge:Enhance Your Teaching:Visualization:Examples
Student groups are presented a problem scenario to research and make recommendations, predictions, and a resolution of the problem based on data and visualizations.

CLEAN Selected This activity has been selected for inclusion in the CLEAN collection.
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Carbon Dioxide Exercise part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Interactive Lectures:Examples
Students work in groups, plotting carbon dioxide concentrations over time on overheads and estimating the rate of change over five years. -

On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
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CLEAN Selected This activity has been selected for inclusion in the CLEAN collection.
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Sea Ice Extension for the Earth as a System Learning Activity part of Cutting Edge:Enhance Your Teaching:Visualization:Examples
The purpose is to identify global patterns and connections in environmental data contained in the GLOBE Earth Systems Poster; to connect observations made within the Earth Systems Poster to data and information at ...

CLEAN Selected This activity has been selected for inclusion in the CLEAN collection.
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Radiocarbon dating project part of Cutting Edge:Rates and Time:Teaching Activities
This is an example of an activity used in a Quaternary Geochronology course, in which a small group of students (3-4) is tasked with transforming a set of activity measurements into radiocarbon ages and calibrated ...

On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
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Igneous Rock Compositions and Plate Tectonics part of Cutting Edge:Courses:Petrology:Teaching Examples
In this exercise, students use whole-rock major- and trace-element compositions of igneous rocks from a variety of tectonic settings and locations to explore the importance of plate setting in determining magma ...

On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
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An Isograd and Mixed-Volatile Exercise Using Data from the Ubehebe Peak Contact Aureole part of Cutting Edge:Courses:Petrology:Teaching Examples
This is a problem set for an introductory or advanced petrology course. It uses field data to help teach the determination and balancing of mixed-volatile reactions and locating isograds in siliceous dolomites in a ...

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Exploring the Link between Hurricanes and Climate using GCM Results part of Cutting Edge:Topics:Hurricanes-Climate Change Connection:Activities
This activity requires students to examine global climate model output available online and consider the potential impact of global warming on tropical cyclone initiation and evolution. As a follow-up, students ...

On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
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CLEAN Selected This activity has been selected for inclusion in the CLEAN collection.
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Mapping Local Data in a GIS part of Earth Exploration Toolbook:MyMap
DATA: Student-collected GPS data and site characterizations TOOLS: MyWorld GIS, spreadsheet program SUMMARY: Follow a study of Urban Heat Islands as an example of map-based science research projects.

CLEAN Selected This activity has been selected for inclusion in the CLEAN collection.
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Using GLOBE Data to Study the Earth System part of Earth Exploration Toolbook:Using GLOBE Data to Study Earths System
DATA: Student-collected environmental data TOOL: GLOBE Online Graphing Tool SUMMARY: explore, graph, and compare data from the GLOBE (Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment) Program.

CLEAN Selected This activity has been selected for inclusion in the CLEAN collection.
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How Cities Affect Their Local Climate part of Earth Exploration Toolbook:Are Our Cities Warming the Earth?
DATA: GLOBE Program Surface Temperature. TOOL: My World GIS. SUMMARY: Explore the urban heat island effect using student collected surface temperature data. Subset large datasets, buffer others, examine spatial relationships, and gather statistics to investigate temperature differences in urban and rural school sites.

CLEAN Selected This activity has been selected for inclusion in the CLEAN collection.
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Exploring NCAR Climate Change Data Using GIS part of Earth Exploration Toolbook:NCAR Climate Change Data with GIS
DATA: NCAR Climate Change Scenarios. TOOL: ArcGIS. SUMMARY: Calculate summer average temperatures during the growing season (June, July, and August) using simulated, present-day, climate-modeled output and compare these to temperatures calculated using projected, future, climate-modeled output. Create a temperature anomaly map to summarize the analysis.

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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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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Earthquake Case Study part of Cutting Edge:Courses:Introductory Courses:Activities
This activity is a multiple case study analysis of different earthquakes that leads to student interpretation of claims, evidence and prediction/recommendations.

On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
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Abrupt climate change, greenhouse gases, and the bipolar see-saw part of Cutting Edge:Early Career:Previous Workshops:Workshop 2010:Teaching Activities
In this activity, students work with paleoclimate proxy data (d18O, CH4, CO2)from the Byrd and GISP2 ice cores. Students prepare a graph of paleoclimate data and use the graph to answer several questions about the ...