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 ...
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.
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 ...
A LONG, LONG time ago: geologic timescales part of Activities
Students compare their pre-conceived impressions of events on the geologic time with the actual positions of these events on a 45.5' geologic timescale.
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 ...
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.
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.
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 ...
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.
Emergent Models in Google Earth part of Activities
This is one sample of a set of emergent models we are developing for use with Google Earth. Students use the Google Earth time-slider to lift 3D models of the subsurface into view. They can substitute their own ...
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.
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 ...
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. ...
Incomprehensibly Small and Incomprehensibly Large part of 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 ...
Temperature/Salinity/Density activity part of Activities
This is an in-class activity designed to improve the students' understanding of the relationships between temperature and density, salinity and density, and density differences in driving vertical water ...
Introduction to Google Earth part of Activities
This assignment is designed as an introductory Google Earth tutorial on navigation; layers and featured content; and the creation and modification of Placemarks, Paths, and Polygons. The assignment is intended as a ...
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 ...
Campus Map Scale part of Activities
Students are given a map of the campus and asked to devise a method to determine the map scale. The method for determining scale is not prescribed, requiring the students to work in small groups to brainstorm a ...