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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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Paleotempestology Lab part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses: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.

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Where is that chunk of crust going? part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses: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 ...

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Rock cycle in chocolate lab part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses: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 ...

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Using ArcGIS to Study the New Lakes in the Toshka Basin in Egypt and Evaluate Egypt's New Valley Project part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
In this assignment, students use ArcGIS to analyze the new lakes that have formed in the Toshka Depression, Egypt as a result of overflow from Lake Nasser and use their analyses to evaluate the wisdom of the plan ...

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Observations and Measurements in Geology part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
This exercise gives students an introduction to topics they will encounter throughout the semester, and future course work. It covers plate tectonics, weathering, and basic rock descriptions.

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Computerized Field Trip Preview of the Berkshire Mountains part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
This is a computer (Windows, Macintosh) based exercise designed to take about two hours. Students use a 5 page short-answer study sheet with the Berkshire Field Trip Map, Guidebook and associated images of the ...

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Emergent Models in Google Earth part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses: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 ...

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Florida River Project: Sedimentary and metamorphic rocks lab part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses: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.

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Groundwater Lab part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses: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.

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Groundwater Consulting Lab part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses: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 ...

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Floods on the Minnesota River part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
Students download and manipulate data from historical floods on the Minnesota River (could be done for any river) and use to establish a flood hazard zone for St. Peter, Minnesota. This lab was developed by ...

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Porosity and Permeability part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
Students explore the properties of porosity and permeability using everyday items and geological materials. This activity has several components to appeal to different learning styles.

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The Scientific Method part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
This assignment is designed to introduce the students to the idea and process of the scientific method. They are led to recognize that much of their own thinking is through the Scientific Method.

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Topographic Maps part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
This exercise is a lab exercise to introduce elevation, landforms, and topographic maps to Introductory-level students. It is used to convey the principles of land variability and the processes that shape the ...

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Analyzing your Hometown Stream using On-line USGS NWIS Data part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
Students analyze discharge records of streams or rivers of interest to them using on-line USGS NWIS data.

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A LONG, LONG time ago: geologic timescales part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses: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.

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Introduction to Groundwater Assignment part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
In this lab, students investigate groundwater flow and water quality within a groundwater well field on the CSU campus. The well field is part of the GroundWater Education and Teaching (GetWET) Observatory.

Calculation of Stream Discharge part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses: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 Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses: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 Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses: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 ...

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