Cutting Edge > Data, Simulations and Models > Classroom Activities

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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Introduction to Plate Tectonics part of Cutting Edge:Geophysics:Workshop 07:Geophysics Activities
Uses maps created in Google Earth to explore concepts of plate tectonics including locations of plate boundaries, age of the sea floor, and distribution of earthquakes

Connecting Cross-Sectional Data from the Red Sea to Plate Tectonics part of MARGINS Data in the Classroom:MARGINS Mini-Lessons
Students will use map views and cross-sectional profiles across the Red Sea to determine plate tectonic processes in the region. Google Earth is a technological tool used to facilitate the investigation.

Volcanoes Around the Globe part of Cutting Edge:Visualization:Examples
Undergraduate non-majors use the Arcview geographic information system (GIS) to explore volcanic hazards and the geochemistry of volcanic rocks. Students explore geochemical data from the GEOROC global database and ...

In Search of GLOBE Data part of Cutting Edge:Visualization:Examples
Students use on-line GLOBE search tools to locate and display data from schools and use the data to answer questions regarding weather and climate. Answer key provided.

Landscape Models part of Cutting Edge:Geomorphology:Activities
An introduction to using WILSIM, an on-line lanscape evolution model.

Introduction to Earthquake Seismology Methods part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
This lab introduces students of aspects of earthquake seismology methods. These include analysis of p-wave amplitude, location of an earthquake epicenter and determining the time of occurrence of an earthquake. ...

Weather Map Assignment part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
This assignment assesses how well students are able to record and synthesize basic meteorological data.

Plotting Florida River Data Using Excel part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
This exercise is used to prepare students to analyze data they will collect during their group project. It familiarizes students with previously collected data, and builds skills graphing and interpreting data.

Earthquake resistant design part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
In groups of two, the students design and build a three-story building to be as earthquake resistant as possible. Using an in-house designed and built shaker table, we load each floor of the building based on area ...

Hurricane Tracking part of Cutting Edge:Hurricanes-Climate Change Connection:Activities
This is a homework assignment that focuses student attention on ongoing hurricane/tropical storm development, often during the height of hurricane season. The students are directed to a web site (I like ...

Forecasting Lake Effect Snow in Lake Superior region part of Cutting Edge:Hurricanes-Climate Change Connection:Activities
This exercise is designed to present the realistic problems of forecasting weather. Lake effect snows are hard to forecast because they depend on information that isn't part of the regular set of information ...

Tracking Tectonic Plates Using Two Independent Methods part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
Students use two independent methods to determine relative plate motions across a plate boundary. They find that plate tectonic theory generally holds up but also discover sophisticated detail (e.g. velocities ...

Tropical Cyclones, Sea Surface Temperature, and Beyond part of Cutting Edge:Hurricanes-Climate Change Connection:Activities
The activity will use historical data of sea surface temperature and tropical cyclone origin and/or tracks to identify trends. Students use Arc GIS to explore projected SST changes and predict areas where tropical ...

Hot spot volcanism in western North America part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
Students use real data on age of volcanism and ash thickness distribution to better understand hot spot volcanic activity.

Visualizing Sun Position of the Seasons part of Cutting Edge:Visualization:Examples
The goal of the exercise is to help students visualize and better understand how the sun changes apparent position over the course of the seasons.

Reading Time Series Plots part of Cutting Edge:Online Teaching:Activities for Teaching Online
This activity provides a brief introduction to GPS and provides a student activity to practice creating and reading time series plots with simplified GPS data and with authentic GPS data from Iceland.

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 ...

Consequences of Modern Energy Use: A Remote Sensing analysis of the gulf oil spill using ArcGIS software. part of Cutting Edge:Energy:Energy Activities
Students download satellite imagery and conduct a remote sensing analysis of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill using ArcGIS software.

Drinking Water Quality: An Interdisciplinary Research Experience of Introductory Geology and Chemistry Classes part of Cutting Edge:Undergraduate Research:Case Studies
Robert Shuster, University of Nebraska at Omaha Summary At the University of Nebraska at Omaha, we have involved students in introductory Geology and Chemistry classes in an interdisciplinary study of drinking ...

Undergraduate research students investigate dune processes and change at a Lake Michigan site (Case study from 2007-2008 field season) part of Cutting Edge:Undergraduate Research:Case Studies
Deanna van Dijk, Department of Geology, Geography and Environmental Studies, Calvin College Overview of the Project Undergraduate research students working with Deanna van Dijk, a physical geographer and faculty ...