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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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Prework for Rivers and Streams Lab (Intro Geology) part of Quantitative Skills:Activity Collection
In order to give Introductory Geology (Physical Geology) undergraduate non-majors students experience and confidence in using basic algebra to calculate very simple stream flow properties, we use a prework assignment prior to the Rivers and Streams Lab. Prework is a worksheet assigned 2 weeks in advance, which asks students to calculate velocity and discharge as well as unit conversions and calculations of stream load. The questions are put into the context of activities they completed earlier in the semester during visits to the stream (on campus) so questions are relevant to their previous experiences. The prework timeframe gives students the opportunity to seek extra help from their instructor prior to the lab period in which they will make additional measurements, similar calcualations and interpretations of their data.

Class discussions and field trips part of Quantitative Skills:Activity Collection

Here we see it, but what's beneath? Effective geologic cross-section problem solving part of Quantitative Skills:Activity Collection
Students will use suface observations from a map to locate subsurface features using geologic cross-sections using topographic profiles, surface data, assessment of variables and data quality. Students will produce a standard scientific report describing the nature and conclusions of the project.

Using Field Observations and Field Experiences to Teach GeoscienceAn Illustrated Community Discussion part of Cutting Edge:Develop Program-Wide Abilities:Geoscience in the Field:Field Experiences:Posters
The IUPUI Center for Earth and Environmental Science utilizes local field research sites and community partners to conduct service learning with introductory earth and environmental science students. Environmental ...

Pre-service teachers using Project Learning Tree (PLT) in the K-6 classroom part of Cutting Edge:Enhance Your Teaching:Service Learning:Activities
The activity utilizes the curriculum from Project Learning Tree® (PLT), an environmental education program developed by the American Forest Foundation. Pre-service elementary education students receive PLT ...

Using Field Observations and Field Experiences to Teach GeoscienceAn Illustrated Community Discussion part of Cutting Edge:Develop Program-Wide Abilities:Geoscience in the Field:Field Experiences:Posters
Hydrology students are asked to participate in a service-learning project that involves a long-term stream monitoring project. The strengths of this laboratory exercise are that it integrates classroom knowledge ...

The Rock Project part of Cutting Edge:Develop Program-Wide Abilities:Undergraduate Research:Case Studies
Rob Thomas, The University of Montana Western Summary This activity is designed to give students the opportunity to go into the field to collect and analyze primary data and to apply their knowledge of processes ...

Comparing Rain-Gauge Data with Radar-Derived Precipitation Estimates part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Field Labs:Field Lab Examples
Student teams collect rain-gauge data and compared it with radar-derived precipitation estimates. They use GIS to analyze discrepancies between the two datasets. -

Names in the Field: A Simple GPS Field Exercise part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Teaching with GIS:Examples
Simple field exercise to introduce the concepts of GPS position data acquisition. Students "write" words in a field and upload the data to map it in GIS or spreadsheet software. -

Building-Stone Geology part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Field Labs:Field Lab Examples
Students in an area remote from igneous and metamorphic rocks wrote papers on the properties of locally used building stones and gave a walking tour in which they presented their results. -

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/Mineral Scavenger Hunt part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Games:Examples
Take students into the field and give each team a list of rocks or mineral types you want found and brought back within the time limit. -

Cloud Observation part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Field Labs:Field Lab Examples
In this serial basic meteorology lab, students identify different cloud types and estimate cover over several days. -

Mapping Glacial Erratics with GPS and GIS part of Cutting Edge:GIS and Remote Sensing:Activities2
Katherine McCarville, Upper Iowa University Summary Students create a map of glacial erratics (in Northeast Iowa, although you could do this wherever you have glacial deposits). The activity uses local geology, ...

Vector data and attributes part of Cutting Edge:GIS and Remote Sensing:Activities2
Margaret E. (Beth) McMillan, University of Arkansas at Little Rock Summary This exercise introduces students to methods of creating GIS data. They collect point data using a GPS, and they digitize line data from a ...

How to be a field geologist: an in-class exercise to introduce students to basic outcrop analysis part of Cutting Edge:Develop Program-Wide Abilities:Geoscience in the Field:Activities
This in-class exercise is designed to give students practice analyzing outcrops before they go on a field trip. First, students watch a short video tutorial on analyzing an outcrop. Then, they are given a color ...

On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
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Urban Environmental Excursions: Field trips to connect urban geology students with the world around them part of Cutting Edge:Enhance Your Teaching:Urban Geology:Activities
Environmentally-themed field trips in urban areas can stimulate student interest in geology and environmental science while providing curricular links to topics such as global warming, energy resources, water ...

Roadside and Engineering Geology of Auke Bay, Juneau Alaska part of Cutting Edge:Topics:Public Policy:Activities
Final lab for an Introductory Physical Geology class. Students apply a semester of learned geology skills toward evaluating house building sites near our campus. They encounter evidence of faulting, mass wasting, ...

Architectural stone investigation - What makes great buildings? part of Cutting Edge:Topics:Public Policy:Activities
This small group research project, and accompanying field trip, gives students an opportunity to investigate issues related to city planning, building design and usage, and earth materials used as architectural ...

Fossil Identification part of Cutting Edge:Courses:Paleontology:Activities
This activity asks students to identify examples of types of fossils amongst the exhibits at the Museum of the Earth at the Paleontological Research Institution in Ithaca, New York. Students will build on their ...

Worksheet for the Museum of the Earth in Ithaca, New York part of Cutting Edge:Courses:Paleontology:Activities
Students will go to the Museum of the Earth in Ithaca, New York and use the exhibits to answer questions about paleontology, paleobiology, evolution, the history of life.