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Geochemistry Activities

Stream sampling in the Animas River
USGS photo

This collection of activities can be used in geochemistry courses. The collection includes lab exercises, classroom activities, problem sets and more. The materials below are sorted by topic, and may be listed under more than one topic. Help us expand the collection by contributing your favorite teaching activity.


Results 121 - 135 of 144 matches

Petrology in the Field and Laboratory part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Undergraduate Research:Examples
Rachel Beane, Bowdoin College (
In this multi-week project, students collect samples in the field, analyze them using various tools and instruments, then present their results and interpretations.

Geologic Time Calculations part of Quantitative Skills:Activity Collection
Francisco San Juan, Elizabeth City State University
Radiometric age determination using parent/daughter composition and a radiometric decay curve.

The Woodlark Basin as a Natural Laboratory for the Study of the Geological Sciences part of MARGINS Data in the Classroom:MARGINS Mini-Lessons
Andrew Goodliffe, University of Alabama, The
This activity guides the students through a set of geological problems related to the Woodlark Basin, Papua New Guinea.

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

Online Investigation of an Island Arc Volcano: Anatahan, Mariana Arc part of MARGINS Data in the Classroom:MARGINS Mini-Lessons
Jeff Ryan
This activity is a Web investigation and research exercise starting with the 2003-present Anatahan volcanic eruptions in the Mariana arc, and concluding with a petrologic examination of published Mariana arc lavas data sets.

On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
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Understanding Radioactivity in Geology: The Basics of Decay part of Quantitative Skills:Activity Collection
Christina StringerUniversity of South Florida, Tampa FL 33620 This activity was developed for Spreadsheets Across the Curriculum . National Science Foundation, DUE 0442629.
PowerPoint module leading students through creation and manipulation of spreadsheet to forward model an example of exponential decaythe number of remaining unpopped kernels of popcorn in a bag of popping popcorn.

Water Quality-Total Dissolved Solids part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Teaching with Data:Examples
Bob Mackay, Clark College
Students use a microcomputer connected to a conductivity probe to measure the total dissolved solids in local area water samples. -

Using Melting Ice to Teach Radiometric Dating part of Quantitative Skills:Activity Collection
Developed by Donald Wise, Franklin and Marshall College. Taken from Wise, 1990 . Related Links Radioactive Decay
Students are challenged to a Sherlock Holmes-style mystery in which they construct their own decay curves of melting ice to determine time-zero.

Demonstration of radioactive decay using pennies part of Quantitative Skills:Activity Collection
Jennifer Wenner, University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh
A demonstration (with full class participation) to illustrate radioactive decay by flipping coins. Shows students visually the concepts of exponential decay, half-life and randomness. Works best in large classes – the more people, the better.

Using Popcorn to Simulate Radioactive Decay part of Quantitative Skills:Activity Collection
Jennifer Wenner, University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh
Popping popcorn in your class is an excellent way to illustrate both the spontaneity and irreversible change associated with radioactive decay. It helps students to understand the unpredictability of decay.

VEPP: Monitoring the Pu'u 'Ō'ō Eruption of Kīlauea Volcano Using Geochemical, Deformation and Seismicity Timeseries Data part of NAGT:Teaching Resources:Volcano Exploration Project: Pu`u `O`o:Examples
Andrew R. Greene and Michael O. Garcia, University of Hawai'i at Mānoa
Pu'u 'O'o at the end of episode 32 (USGS photograph by J.D. Griggs, 4/22/85, JG5363). This is an exercise that is in development and has not yet been fully tested in the classroom. Please check back ...

Copper Extraction Demonstration Tutorial part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Interactive Lecture Demonstrations:Examples
Summary This demonstration uses sulfuric acid and crushed copper ore (malachite) to produce a solution of copper sulfate and carbonic acid in a beaker. When a freshly sanded nail is dropped into the copper sulfate ...

The Anatomy of a Rate Law part of Pedagogy in Action:Library:Quantitative Writing:Examples
Barry Bickmore, Brigham Young University
This assignment teaches geochemistry students to explain the mathematical forms of rate laws, and organize paragraphs in their writing assignments properly.

Chemical Equilibrium Misconceptions part of Pedagogy in Action:Library:Mathematical and Statistical Models:Examples
Barry Bickmore, Brigham Young University
This STELLA modeling and writing assignment helps students confront and replace common misconceptions about chemical equilibrium.

From Isotopes to Temperature: Working With A Temperature Equation part of Spreadsheets Across the Curriculum:General Collection:Examples
Dorien McGee
Spreadsheets Across the Curriculum module. Students build a spreadsheet to examine from a dataset the relation between oxygen isotopes in corals and the temperature of surrounding seawater.