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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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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 ...

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.

Volcanoes around the Globe (Beta test copy) part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
Undergraduate non-majors use the Arcview geographic information system (GIS) to explore volcanic hazards and the geochemistry of volcanic rocks. Students explore geochemical data from the GEOROC global database and ...

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.

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.

Introduction to Earthquake Seismology Methods part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses: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. ...

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 ...

Ordering Geologic Events and Interpreting Geologic History: The Grand Canyon part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
This activity is designed to have students re-examine rocks they looked at earlier in the semester and use them to interpret some of the geologic history of the Grand Canyon.

Geologic Structures Lab part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses: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 ...

Sedimentary Environments part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
This lab emphasizes a few basic principles used to decipher past sedimentary depositional environments including sediment grain size, sorting, and arrangement along with sedimentary structures. The major strength ...

Sediment and Depositional Environments lab part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
Students will investigate sedimentary materials and depositional environments utilizing microscopes, hand samples, and internet data.

Liquefaction Live! activity part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses: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 ...

Chemical Weathering part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
This field trip assignment brings students to a local cemetery to collect data related to the age and extent of weathering of limestone and igneous tombstones. Students then analyze the data they collect using ...

Rock-Tectonics synthesis lab part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
This lab aims to draw together rock identification and plate tectonics as well as relative age relationships. It gets students to "be" geologists...looking at rock suites and trying to see how they fit ...

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 ...

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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.

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Computerized Field Trip Preview of the Berkshire Mountains part of 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 ...

On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
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Observations and Measurements in Geology part of 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.

On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
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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 ...

On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
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