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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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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.

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 ...

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 ...

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.

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.

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.

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.

Using GIS to Construct Water Table Maps and Flow Nets part of Cutting Edge:Hydrogeology:Activities
Seepage lake elevation data from the Sand Hills of Nebraska is used to construct a water table map and flow net using ESRI's ArcMap software. Students learn how to use GIS software to analyze patterns of ...

Using the EXCEL Woburn Flow and Transport Model to Teach Modeling Concepts part of Cutting Edge:Hydrogeology:Activities
Modeling ties together many subjects taught in an introductory hydrogeology course. The goals of this activity are for students to learn why scientists and engineers use models, what types of models are commonly ...

Exploring Seafloor Topography part of Earth Exploration Toolbook:Sea Floor
DATA: Digital Elevation Model Data. TOOL: GeoMapApp. SUMMARY: Explore a timeline about how we have learned about the oceans. Construct a profile across the Atlantic Ocean and create 3-D visualizations of the seafloor.

The 2004 Sumatra Earthquake and Tsunami part of Cutting Edge:Visualization:Examples
In this multi-part activity, students study seismograms from different seismic stations recording the Sumatra earthquake of December 26th, 2004 and then determine the epicenter of the quake and track the tsunami it ...

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

Annotating Change in Satellite Images part of Earth Exploration Toolbook:Annotating Change in Satellite Images
DATA: Landsat Images. TOOL: ImageJ. SUMMARY: Examine time-series images that show landuse changes in China. Produce a map documenting how human activities have changed the coastline.

Introduction to Digital Mapping with a PocketPC part of Cutting Edge:Structural Geology:Activities
This project is an introduction to digital field mapping with a PocketPC computer and GPS receiver. -

Crystal Structures as Geobarometers part of Integrating Research and Education:Crystallography:Cpx Geobarometer
Kent Ratajeski, kratajeski@montana.edu Department of Earth Sciences, Montana State University, Bozeman, MT Published Jan. 4, 2005 Description This exercise is based on the recent formulation of a geobarometer ...

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.

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.