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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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.
Ozone Pollution part of Activities
This lab exercise is designed to provide a basic understanding of a real-world scientific investigation. Students are introduced to the concept of tropospheric ozone as an air pollutant due to human activities. ...
Introduction to County Soil Surveys part of Activities
Students use the Natural Resources Conservation Service's county-level soil survey to answer a series of questions about the soils their campus has been built on.
Soil Physical Properties and Profiles part of Activities
Students describe the color, structure, and hand texture of soil hand samples. Students also describe the profile for two soil cores.
Introduction to Topographic Maps part of Activities
This exercise introduces students to topographic maps and some of the information presented on them. Students must use basic map reading skills as well as algebra to work with map scale, measure distances, and ...
Introduction to the Geographic Grid part of Activities
This exercise introduces students to the latitude-longitude geographic grid by interpreting data presented on a globe and in an atlas.
Stream Hydrology and Morphology part of Activities
Students create and interpret hydrographs, discharge data, and stream cross-sectional and longitudinal profiles.
Stream and River Water Quality part of Activities
Students visit a stream or river and conduct a site description and assess water quality using a variety of test kits and other field equipment.
Mineral and Rock Identification part of Activities
Students are provided with a variety of rock and mineral samples and they use the sample properties and tables to accurately identify them.
Soil Field Methods part of Activities
Students collect a soil profile using a bucket auger and then describe the profile in the field.
Playa-Lunette Systems: Environmental Barometers of the High Plains part of Activities
Part 1 - students answer questions based on assigned readings Part 2 - students answer questions based on topographic map analysis Part 3 - students create and interpret paleoclimate proxy record graphs
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 ...
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 ...