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Teaching Activities

This collection contains activities submitted by workshop participants as well as activities from other Cutting Edge and Teach the Earth projects related to the Deep Earth.




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The Floating Lithosphere - Eureka! part of Quantitative Skills:Activity Collection
In this module, students examine Archimede's Principle in general and as it applies to Isostacy.

The Earth's Shells - Density vs. Depth part of Quantitative Skills:Activity Collection
In this module, students are asked to devise a way of graphically plotting the density variations with depth in the Earth.

The Earth's Shells - Thicknesses and Densities part of Quantitative Skills:Activity Collection
This module explores the combination of densities and shell thicknesses that produce an aggregate density of the Earth of 5.5 g/cm3.

Waves Through Earth: Interactive Online Mac and PC part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Mathematical and Statistical Models:Mathematical and Statistical Models Examples
Students vary the seismic P and S wave velocity through each of four concentric regions of Earth and match "data" for travel times vs. angular distance around Earth's surface from the source to ...

Rock-Tectonics synthesis lab part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
This lab aims to draw together rock identification and plate tectonics as well as relative age relationships. It gets students to "be" geologists...looking at rock suites and trying to see how they fit ...

Concept Test: Mid-Ocean Ridges part of Cutting Edge:Visualization:Examples
Single item multiple choice questions, based on mid-ocean ridge bathymetric data, suitable for using in the middle of a lecture to assess students' learning of basic plate tectonic concepts.

Seafloor Ages Lecture Tutorial part of Cutting Edge:Courses:Introductory Courses:Activities
Students work on this Lecture Tutorial worksheet on seafloor ages in pairs during lecture. It directly confronts misconceptions students have about the age of the seafloor, and it guides students to more complex ...

Exploring the Bay Area part of Cutting Edge:Courses:Introductory Courses:Activities
This assignment is a do-it-yourself field trip. Students are given the opportunity to visit a local geologic feature and learn something about the origins and evolution of that site.

Hotspot Lesson: Samoan Hotspot part of ERESE:ERESE Activities
This lesson discusses the similarities and difference between Samoa and Hawaii. Both Samoa and Hawaii are island chains in the Pacific and thought to be the result of hotspots.

Serpentine Seamounts in the Mariana Forearc: Shallow Material Releases from Downgoing Plates part of MARGINS Data in the Classroom:MARGINS Mini-Lessons
A set of maps, images and .kmz files for use in lectures and discussions on forearc serpentine volcanism in the Mariana subduction system.

Subduction Zone Earthquakes part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Interactive Lecture Demonstrations:Examples
While working in groups to facilitate peer tutoring, students manipulate a hands-on, physical model to better comprehend several characteristics of subduction zone earthquakes. -

What Kind of Continental Margin am I? Active or Passive? part of MARGINS Data in the Classroom:MARGINS Mini-Lessons
Volcanoes, earthquakes, and topography reveal whether a continental margin is active or passive. In this activity, students use the GeoMapApp tool to work with earthquake, volcano, and topographic data to identify ...

Chemical Inputs and Outputs at Subduction Zones part of MARGINS Data in the Classroom:MARGINS Mini-Lessons
In this exercise students utilize data from geochemistry databases to analyze inputs and outputs associated with arc volcanism.

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.

Driving Through Geologic Time - An analogy part of Quantitative Skills:Activity Collection
An analogy of the Earth's history to a cross-country drive.

Comparative Planetary Geomorphology part of Cutting Edge:Topics:Discoveries from Mars:Activities
This is a laboratory exercise to introduce comparative planetary geomorphology by investigating common geologic features on the Earth, Moon, and Mars. -

What does the core/mantle boundary look like? part of Activities
This activity explores how earth scientists infer what materials are present at the core mantle boundary and what this boundary might look like. It provides students with the opportunity to contribute to the ...

Adopt a Blob part of Activities
Blobs are everywhere in the deep Earth! Students will adopt a "blob" and develop the various associated observable anomalies for it (tomography, gravity, etc). There could also be a potential for students ...

Testing plate tectonics in the Gulf of California part of MARGINS Data in the Classroom:MARGINS Mini-Lessons
This is a simple exercise to use real-world data from recent large earthquakes so that students can "test" for themselves if plate tectonics "works" in the Gulf of California.

Profiling Earth's Surface using GeoMapApp part of MARGINS Data in the Classroom:MARGINS Mini-Lessons
In this exercise, students relate large-scale features on Earth's surface to lithospheric plates, the underlying asthenosphere, earthquakes, and volcanoes. After creating a cross section showing elevation using GeoMapApp, students add additional features by hand.



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