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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Testing the Fixed-hotspot-moving-plate model part of Activities
Students examine hot spot tracks, magnetic inclination data, and coral data from the Hawaii-Emperor Seamount Chain to test the hypothesis that hotspots are fixed. Most students have learned somewhere that hotspots ...
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.
Physical Geology: Idaho Field Trip part of Activities
Optional field trip to local sites of geologic interest/relevance.
Groundwater Consulting Lab part of Activities
Students are given a real-world scenario in this lab exercise in which they must determine the extent of groundwater contamination while staying within a budget. They progressively request more information and ...
Earthquake Case Study part of Activities
This activity is a multiple case study analysis of different earthquakes that leads to student interpretation of claims, evidence and prediction/recommendations.
Rock cycle in chocolate lab part of Activities
This lab activity simulates the rock cycle with a piece of chocolate instead of actual rock. Students melt, crystallize, erode, lithify and metamorphose a single small block of chocolate. Along the way students ...
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 ...
Paleotempestology Lab part of Activities
Paleotempestology Lab: this lab activity is designed to help students gain experience in relative and absolute dating techniques as well as a sense of how scientific investigations proceed.
Learn more about this review process.
Take A Hike Assignment part of Activities
Students are assigned to take a hike in a location of their choice and write a concise summary of their observations of Earth Science features and processes. This assignment is used near the end of an Earth Systems ...
Volcanoes Writing Assignment part of Activities
Students write an original work of fiction pertaining to the geology of stratovolcanoes and their eruptive hazards.
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.
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.
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.
Metropolitan Museum of Art: Earth Materials and Ancient Cultures part of Activities
Students investigate properties of earth materials through the lens of art and archeology. It allows ties to other required core curriculum courses (particularly classics and art history), and integrates the use of ...
Introduction to Earthquake Seismology Methods part of Activities
This lab introduces students of aspects of earthquake seismology methods. These include analysis of p-wave amplitude, location of an earthquake epicenter and determining the time of occurrence of an earthquake. ...
Simple Landslide Demo part of Activities
Demonstration of control of surface friction on slope stability. Simple analogue model uses a wooden board (the slope), a large rock (the landslide), and transparency and rough sand paper. Students anticipate how ...
Plotting Florida River Data Using Excel part of Activities
This exercise is used to prepare students to analyze data they will collect during their group project. It familiarizes students with previously collected data, and builds skills graphing and interpreting data.
Environmental Geology of the Area where you Live part of Activities
Students research and report on the environmental geology (resources and hazards) of the area around their home. The project helps develop students' abilities to apply what they have learned.
Physical Geology: Amazing GeoRace part of Activities
Allows introductory physical geology students the opportunity to examine various uses of geological materials in society, in a manner that is also fun and enjoyable.