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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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.
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 ...
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.
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.
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. ...
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.
Metamorphism and Continental Collision part of Activities
This is an exercise designed to help students link metamorphism and other geologic processes in context of the plate tectonic theory.
Determining the 100-year floodplain of the Chippewa River part of Activities
In this in-class activity recurrence intervals are calculated for ten flooding events on the Chippewa River near Eau Claire Wisconsin. The students use 1:24000 topographic maps to determine the extent of the ...
Plate Motions part of Activities
Students are asked to removed the last 40 Ma of ocean crust from an isochron map and then put the plates back together. This exercise helps students see that plates and plate boundaries canNOT be stationary through ...
Calculation of Stream Discharge part of Activities
This lab is a field oriented exercise that visits two sites on the same stream to calculate stream discharge. It illustrates the influences of stream cross-sectional area on discharge and the resistance of bedrock ...
Earthquake Machine Demonstration part of Activities
This classroom activity is a demonstration where students predict what will happen under various conditions. The "Earthquake Machine" shows relationships between stress, strain, friction along the fault ...
Earthquake resistant design part of Activities
In groups of two, the students design and build a three-story building to be as earthquake resistant as possible. Using an in-house designed and built shaker table, we load each floor of the building based on area ...
Earthquakes part of Activities
This activity uses geoinformatics to understand the world around us with an emphasis on earthquakes.
Exercise on Atmospheric Structure, Stratospheric Ozone, and Acid Rain part of Activities
This activity helps students to understand the basic ozone structure as well as ozone and acid rain problems.
Study of the Horsepen Creek Stream System part of Activities
This is an in depth laboratory exercise that can be adapted to any stream system, and has been successfully implemented with classes composed primarily of non-majors. This field exercise allows students to go ...
Geologic Structures Lab part of Activities
In class activity involving a thought exercise about rock rheology, discussion and drawing of simple brittle and ductile structures, and then reading an article about how the depth of the brittle-ductile transition ...