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 ...
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.
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 ...
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.
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.
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 ...
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 ...
Soil Properties part of Activities
In this activity, students determine soil texture and color using a "texture-by-feel" analysis and Munsell color charts. In addition to these basic tests, students also devise their own soil ...
Fun with foam, demonstrating strike and dip in class part of 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 ...
Mercalli Earthquake Activity part of Activities
A jigsaw process that allows students to analyze first person descriptions of earthquakes and assess several earthquake features.
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 ...
Historical Volcanic Eruptions part of Activities
Students are asked to individually research and write a paper on a historical volcanic eruption and then are formed into groups to create a 10 minute stand-alone PowerPoint presentation which is shown and discussed ...
Milky Way - Ductile and Brittle Demo part of Activities
Milky way candy bar is given to each student. They are told to bend it and write down what they observe. The activity takes an every day object and ties the geologic terms to something they have experience with.
Liquefaction Live! activity part of Activities
In this activity, students are provided with equipment and instructions for creating a simulation of liquefaction. The activity is great for students because it first asks them to reflect of what they know about ...
Identifying Plate Tectonic Boundaries for a Virtual Ocean Basin part of 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.
Proposing Questions for the Upcoming Midterm Exam part of Activities
This in-class activity involves groups of 2-3 students who review assigned sections of course material to generate exam questions (including answers), in one of several assigned formats. They then trade results and ...
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.
Water flow in the subsurface part of Activities
Using an off-the-shelf mock-up of a hydrological system, students are asked to predict where water will flow. Dyed water is injected into various parts of the system so that the students can see the flow patterns.
Pop Bottle Hydrograph part of 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. ...
Seafloor Ages Lecture Tutorial part of Activities
Students work on this Lecture Tutorial worksheet on seafloor ages in pairs during lecture. It directly confronts misconceptions students have about the age of the seafloor, and it guides students to more complex ...