Activities for Introductory GeoscienceHere you will find a wide range of activities for teaching introductory geoscience courses. you can refine your search by selecting the topic or resource type, or by typing in search terms into the search box in the box below.
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Earth System Topics
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Learning Assessment #7 - Maps & Structures part of Activities
An in-class activity that tests students' understanding of geological maps and structures (faults and folds).
Weekly Reflections part of Activities
This is a weekly short writing assignment that forces students to summarize materials presented in class, to reflect on their own performance and understanding of the material, and to relate it to their individual ...
Learning Assessment #3 - Igneous & Sedimentary Rocks (2011) part of Activities
An in-class activity that tests students' understanding of igneous and sedimentary rocks and processes.
Learning Assessment #1 - Plate Tectonics part of Activities
An in-class activity that tests students' understanding of the basic concepts of plate tectonics.
Learning Assessment #5 - Geologic Time (2011) part of Activities
An in-class activity that tests students' understanding of the principles of relative age, absolute age and numerical age bracketing.
Where is that chunk of crust going? part of Activities
I introduce students to GPS, frames of reference, and the permanent GPS stations in the EarthScope Plate Boundary Observatory (PBO) in class, and obtain near-real-time data for two stations from UNAVCO. We use ...
Learning About Marine Sediments Using Real Data part of Activities
This exercise set explores marine sediments using real core photos and composition data from the scientific ocean drilling programs DSDP, ODP, and IODP in an inquiry-based approach.
Relative Dating on Earth and Mars part of Activities
Students apply principles of relative dating to a cross-section, then to the surface of Mars.
Relative Age-dating -- Discovery of Important Stratigraphic Principles part of Activities
Students don't have to be passively taught the important principles geologists use to do relative age-dating of rocks and geologic events. By careful analysis and critical thinking about photos and ...
Volcanoes Writing Assignment part of Activities
Students write an original work of fiction pertaining to the geology of stratovolcanoes and their eruptive hazards.
Who Polluted Surface and Groundwater in This Place? part of Activities
Students use water-well data and geology to determine which site caused groundwater and surface-water contamination.
Florida River Project: Sedimentary and metamorphic rocks lab part of Activities
This fairly traditional rocks-in-boxes lab has been incorporated into a semester-long project. At the end of the lab, students apply their rock-identification skills to rocks from their study area.
Groundwater Lab part of Activities
This lab uses "ant farm" groundwater models to demonstrate groundwater flow and the behavior of wells. The lab is organized so that students have to predict the behavior of the model before observing it.
Analyzing your Hometown Stream using On-line USGS NWIS Data part of Activities
Students analyze discharge records of streams or rivers of interest to them using on-line USGS NWIS data.
Hot Topics in Global Warming part of Activities
Students locate and write about current climate change research using the 2007 IPCC report. This information literacy project is designed to help students learn how to find, read, and explain peer-reviewed ...
Lost At Sea part of Activities
Students work as teams to "sail" around the North Atlantic using their knowledge of latitude, longitude, time, winds, and ocean currents to complete the voyage.
Computerized Field Trip Preview of the Berkshire Mountains part of Activities
This is a computer (Windows, Macintosh) based exercise designed to take about two hours. Students use a 5 page short-answer study sheet with the Berkshire Field Trip Map, Guidebook and associated images of the ...
Downloading Earthquake Data from the USGS Earthquake Hazards Site for Anywhere in the World and Studying it Using ArcGIS part of Activities
Students download earthquake data from the USGS Earthquake Hazards website and plot and anlyze the earthquakes using ArcMap and ArcScene.
Using ArcGIS to Study the New Lakes in the Toshka Basin in Egypt and Evaluate Egypt's New Valley Project part of Activities
In this assignment, students use ArcGIS to analyze the new lakes that have formed in the Toshka Depression, Egypt as a result of overflow from Lake Nasser and use their analyses to evaluate the wisdom of the plan ...
Heat Transport in the Climate System part of Activities
This is an introductory activity designed for small groups in a single 50 minute class period. The exercise stresses interpretation of data from a simple graph, and helps students to integrate information on heat ...