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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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Article Review part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
During the semester, students must complete two article reviews. They are required to summarize and critically evaluate a recent article pertaining to a topic in Earth Science. Articles may be chosen by the student ...

Metamorphic Rocks Lab part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
Students describe rock characteristics and determine if a rock sample is metamorphic. If it is, they determine the parent rock. If not, they describe what it would change into as a metamorphic rock. The whole class ...

Virtual Rock Lab part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
Students use a website to identify rocks based on their properties.

Cause of the Mogul, Nevada, Earthquake Swarm, Spring 2008 part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
Students examine data from fault- and magma- related earthquakes and determine distinguishing characteristics. They then apply these criteria to determine the cause of the Mogul earthquake sequence (that most of ...

Learning About Marine Sediments Using Real Data part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
This exercise set explores marine sediments using real core photos and composition data from the scientific ocean drilling programs DSDP, ODP, and IODP in an inquiry-based approach.

Thermal Conductivity Demonstrations part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Interactive Lecture Demonstrations:Examples
Summary Here are three ideas for demonstrating thermal conductivity to your students. I. Heat flow down a metal rod (or rods) is timed by seeing wax melt at different locations along the rod. II. A rod made of ...

Buoyancy and Archimedes Principle part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Interactive Lecture Demonstrations:Examples
Summary Buoyancy is based on Archimedes' Principle which states that the buoyant force acting upward on an object completely or partially immersed in a fluid equals the weight of the fluid displaced by the ...

Modeling Exsolution (and Perthite Formation) as an Example of Complex-System Behavior part of Cutting Edge:Complex Systems:Teaching Activities
Students use a physical model, computer simulation, examples from the natural world, visualizations, and overarching thought experiments to explore this phenomenon. Exsolution embodies attributes of a complex ...

Petroleum Depletion by Inquiry part of Cutting Edge:Complex Systems:Teaching Activities
This is a draft of a guided inquiry activity to help students become aware of the problem of petroleum depletion or peak oil. Students use existing data to make projections of future discoveries and consumption. It ...

Water Bucket lab activity part of Cutting Edge:Complex Systems:Teaching Activities
Online lab activity to explore the generic structure of a leaky water tank. Time delay and equilibrium are introduced.

Mining - Least Cost lab part of Cutting Edge:Complex Systems:Teaching Activities
This is an exercise that simulates the basic cost of mining, transportation and manufacturing activities under the concept of Weber's least-cost theory.

Teaching Chaos and Complex Evolutionary Systems Theories at the Introductory Level part of Cutting Edge:Complex Systems:Teaching Activities
This is a learning progression of 12 models leading to 19 learning outcomes designed to introduce chaos and complex systems theories concepts in 3 - 5 50 minute classes. Includes power points of class ...

Time Series Analysis of Lehigh Valley Instrumental Climate Records part of Quantitative Skills:Activity Collection
In this lab activity the students will learn basic statistical and graph skills by analyzing real world climate data sets.

Machines that change climate: Porsche 911 Turbo vs. Toyota Prius part of Quantitative Skills:Activity Collection
This problem illustrates how consumer decisions can influence carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere, how to make back-of-the-envelope calculations, and demonstrates the power of exponential growth.

Igneous rock identification part of Cutting Edge:Online Teaching:Activities for Teaching Online
This activity can be used to as an online igneous rock identification lab/activity or to supplement a face to face lab involving igneous rock identification. It is also designed to enforce igneous terms & ...

Microsoft Excel Basic Tutorial part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Teaching with Data:Examples
This assignment walks students through the creation of an Excel spreadsheet, step by step. It includes numerical fills via copy, creation of fixed and relative formulas, formula fill via copy, and some summary ...

Characterizing Plate Boundaries part of Cutting Edge:Online Teaching:Activities for Teaching Online
Students examine maps showing four different types of geologic data along three specific plate boundaries, and document the patterns in the data along each boundary. Next, they compare their observations to 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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Geologic Mapping Exercise part of Cutting Edge:Early Career:Previous Workshops:Workshop 2010:Teaching Activities
This exercise is designed to simulate some of the mapping aspects of a basic geological investigation. This mock geological investigation is a good wrap-up exercise because it incorporates a variety of geological ...

On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
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Observing Streams & Rivers in Google Earth part of Cutting Edge:Early Career:Previous Workshops:Workshop 2010:Teaching Activities
Students are asked to observe fluvial features on both Earth and Mars in satellite images via Google Earth (as well as online panoramas) and explore processes of erosion and deposition and the relationship of ...

On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
Learn more about this review process.

Rivers and Flooding Lab part of Cutting Edge:Early Career:Previous Workshops:Workshop 2010:Teaching Activities
Understand flooding - why it occurs, how to measure the size and frequency of a flood, the relationship between size and flooding, and how human activity can increase the frequency of flooding events.