Active field experiences to engage undergraduate majors and non-majors
Majors (Srogi): intrusion and crystallization of Mesozoic diabase near Birdsboro, PA
Majors (Srogi): planned and implemented collection of oriented samples; measured some structures; located contact between diabase/hornfels/country rock
Higher Order Thinking Skills:
Majors (Srogi): articulated research questions and hypotheses; planned sample collection to test hypotheses; evaluated hypotheses using samples from field site
Majors (Srogi): polarizing light microscope and SEM-EDS used to analyze thin sections of samples collected
Srogi: undergraduate major, senior level
Role of Activity in a Course:
Majors (Srogi): field work is foundation for multi-week research projects which are central activities of Petrology course
Data, Tools and LogisticsRequired Tools:
Majors (Srogi): maps of quarry, GPS unit(s), tapes, hardhats, digital camera(s); polarizing light microscopes, SEM-EDS for mineral analyses after field work – some training for field trip; more training for microscope work
Majors (Srogi): access and travel to quarry; preparation of oriented thin section chips; rapid turnaround time for thin sections ($$$); instruction and analysis using SEM-EDS outside class time
Majors (Srogi): Can students design research to pose and test hypotheses? What do students understand about how magma crystallizes? Can students use evidence from thin sections and mineral compositions to test hypotheses of magma crystallization processes?
Majors (Srogi): Research proposal and final report of results and conclusions.
Students in an upper-level petrology course are department majors; roughly half are in the B.S.Ed. program to become secondary teachers. The course learning goals are that students will be able to carry out an investigation of igneous and metamorphic rocks using modern methods of qualitative and quantitative analysis, and propose a logical and reasonable explanation for their data based on a sound understanding of scientific principles and petrologic theories. Field trips in which students make and test hypotheses, map and collect samples for further research support the learning goals and may be more meaningful to students with little intrinsic interest in petrology. We have sufficient exposures of rocks within easy driving distance, meaningful unanswered questions at the appropriate level for students, and analytical instruments including XRD and an SEM with EDS at West Chester. In fall 2004, field observations will guide the development of a proposal for research that students then conduct in class; and they will be the ground truth that students must explain along with petrographic and geochemical data in their final research report. Examples from fall 2004 student portfolios and reflections will be presented.