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Activities for Introductory Geoscience

Here 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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Soil description & analysis part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
The students pull soil cores in a transect across a hill. They describe the horizons and create a fence diagram, then determine the maturity of the soil & relate it to the climate & geologic history of the ...

Fun with foam, demonstrating strike and dip in class part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
Colorful foam sheets are used in a classroom or lab setting to introduce students to the concept of strike and dip. It is interactive, and the instructor or TA's can quickly see which students are ...

Using ArcGIS to Investigate the Connection between Bedrock Geology and the Development of Ancient Egyptian Civilization part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
In this assignment, students use ArcGIS (DEMs plus georeferenced geologic maps) to analyze the influence of bedrock geology on the development and extent of Ancient Egypt.

Using eJournal writing assignments to assess learning and classroom community part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
About every two weeks I ask each student in my introductory course to write brief responses to questions I pose to them. They write these in an e-Journal, a part of the blog function of BlackBoard. My laboratory ...

Warm-up part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
These are questions of many types I assign on reading. They are due before class begins.

Topographic Maps: Integrated Florida River project part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
This fairly traditional topographic maps lab uses local maps as examples. It is intended to prepare students for a group research project later in the semester.

Identifying Plate Tectonic Boundaries for a Virtual Ocean Basin part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
Students observe an ocean basin and two continental margins to identify possible plate boundaries and predict where earthquakes and volcanoes would occur. They also draw the boundaries in cross section.

Earth's Surface Features part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
This Lecture Tutorial is designed for students to work on in groups after the students have learned about basic surface features and how they relate to planets in general. The tutorial is designed to help students ...

Carousel part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
The "carousel" is a classroom activity I use to assess how well students have absorbed the last week's material and/or how well prepared they are for an upcoming exam.

Using the local topo maps 'Louisville East and West Quads' part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
This assignment is designed to test if the students have understood the past two preparatory assignments in introducing topographic maps. After two 'pre-lab' exercises and readings in what a topographic ...

Boulder ID part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
Groups of students participate in identification of decorative boulder fields used as landscaping. Groups try to identify rock type and challenge the identifications of other groups.

Analyzing Real-Time and Historical Wave and Sea Surface Data part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
Students gather and analyze real-time and historical wave height, and sea surface temperature data with emphasis on U.S. west coast and Southern California locations. Analysis of the wave height data allows ...

Hot spot volcanism in western North America part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
Students use real data on age of volcanism and ash thickness distribution to better understand hot spot volcanic activity.

Pop Bottle Hydrograph part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
Create hydrograph and explore changes in physical parameters on form of hydrograph. Set up is easy: water is sprinkled into a model watershed (sand in pop bottle) and allowed to dribble onto cheap digital scale. ...

Metamorphism and Continental Collision part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
This is an exercise designed to help students link metamorphism and other geologic processes in context of the plate tectonic theory.

Physical Geology: Amazing GeoRace part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses: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.

Metropolitan Museum of Art: Earth Materials and Ancient Cultures part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses: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 ...

Weather Map Assignment part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
This assignment assesses how well students are able to record and synthesize basic meteorological data.

Rivers and Streams part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
This lab activity has students collect stream data in the field and calculate flow velocity, discharge and gradient. Additional activities include plotting clast size on a Hjulstrom Diagram, and unit conversions.

Incomprehensibly Small and Incomprehensibly Large part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
Students are asked to consider the length scales of the universe, from smallest to largest. Using a logarithmic scale in cm units, various distances are resolved ranging from the smallest meaningful length in ...

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