Exemplary Teaching Activities
Beginning in 2011, On the Cutting Edge began a process to review the extensive collection of activities submitted by workshop participants and members of the geoscience community. The Review Processes page illuminates the details of the peer review process, and the activities are scored on 5 elements: scientific veracity; alignment of goals, activity, and assessment; pedagogical effectiveness; robustness; and completeness of the ActivitySheet. The activities that score very highly in these areas become part of the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection and are featured below. To date, activities in the mineralogy, petrology, geochemistry, environmental geology, structural geology, geophysics, and tectonics areas have been reviewed so the exemplary collection is composed of activities from these topics. As the review of additional areas is completed, exemplary activities from the rest of the collection will be included here.
Results 31 - 40 of 330 matches
M & M Decay part of Rates and Time:Teaching Activities
Rebecca Teed, Wright State University-Main Campus
This is a simulation of radioactive decay which illustrates what a half-life is and explains some of the challenges involved with radiometric dating. Pennies or other cheap coins can be substituted for M&Ms if ...
Determining Earthquake Recurrence Intervals from Trench Logs part of Rates and Time:GSA Activity Posters
Patricia Cashman, University of Nevada-Reno
Trench logs of the San Andreas Fault at Pallett Creek, CA are the data base for a lab or homework assignment that teaches about relative dating, radiometric dating, fault recurrence intervals and the reasons for uncertainty in predicting geologic phenomena. Students are given a trench log that includes several fault strands and dated stratigraphic horizons. They estimate the times of faulting based on bracketing ages of faulted and unfaulted strata. They compile a table with the faulting events from the trench log and additional events recognized in nearby trenches, then calculate maximum, minimum and average earthquake recurrence intervals for the San Andreas Fault in this area. They conclude by making their own prediction for the timing of the next earthquake.
Roping Geologic Time part of Rates and Time:GSA Activity Posters
Randall Richardson, The University of Arizona
After having talked about the geologic time scale, I ask for two volunteers from the class to hold a rope that is 50 feet long. I say that one end is the beginning of the Earth (4.6 billion years ago), and the other is today. I then give out 16 clothes pins and ask various students to put a cloths pin on the 'time line' at various 'geologic events'. Throughout the activity I have a quiz going on where the students calculate percentages of Earth History for major geologic events, and compare it to their own ages. On their time scale, the dinosaurs died only about two 'months' ago! The exercise is very effective at letting them get a sense of how long geologic time is, and how 'recently' some major geologic events happened when you consider a time scale that is the age of the earth.
The Evolution of Earth through Time part of Rates and Time:Teaching Activities
Phil Stokes, The University of Arizona
This activity is designed for large freshman courses (>200 students) and is used in-class. The activity requires a short (15 minute) overview of Earth history before students have the opportunity to work through ...
Hierarchical Alignment of Timelines part of Rates and Time:Teaching Activities
ilyse resnick, Temple University
In the hierarchical alignment activity students progressively and hierarchically align scale information to a spatial linear representation. The progressive alignment of scales may alleviate the conceptual ...
Bedrock Geology Mapping Exercise part of Geoscience in the Field:Activities
Jim Miller, University of Minnesota-Duluth
As a final exercise in a course on Geological Maps, students conduct a field mapping of a one square mile area over a weekend. Back in the classroom, students are introduced to ArcMAP and Illustrator, with which ...
Aerial photo interpretation and mapping - Bayou Meda anticline, Arkansas part of Geoscience in the Field:Activities
Jamey Jones, University of Arkansas at Little Rock
Multi-day project using aerial photography and field observation to map and interpret a megascopic anticline/syncline pair exposed in the Ouachita Mountains of central Arkansas. This exercise involves two classroom ...
A Cross-Section and Geologic History from Field Data Collected by Second Year Students in the St Francois Mountains of Missouri part of Geoscience in the Field:Activities
Michael Stewart, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
This field activity takes place during a 3-day field trip to St Francois Mountains, Missouri. Students use their field data to construct a cross-section through a portion of the field area.
Field Trip to Enfield Glen, NY Finger Lakes Region part of Geoscience in the Field:Activities
Alexandra Moore, Cornell University-Endowed Colleges
This is a 2.5 hour field trip in which students search through strata of the Upper Devonian Catskill Delta for paleocurrent indicators that allow them to infer paleogeographic differences between Devonian and ...
Red Canyon Terrace Project part of Geoscience in the Field:Activities
Dennis Dahms, University of Northern Iowa
This project is designed to give students: (1) experience in mapping the details of surficial geologic deposits (Qal), (2) an understanding the geomorphic relations among surficial deposits and ...