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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Testing the Fixed-hotspot-moving-plate model part of Activities
Students examine hot spot tracks, magnetic inclination data, and coral data from the Hawaii-Emperor Seamount Chain to test the hypothesis that hotspots are fixed. Most students have learned somewhere that hotspots ...
Physical Geology: Idaho Field Trip part of Activities
Optional field trip to local sites of geologic interest/relevance.
Earthquake Case Study part of Activities
This activity is a multiple case study analysis of different earthquakes that leads to student interpretation of claims, evidence and prediction/recommendations.
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 ...
Where is that chunk of crust going? part of 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 ...
Volcanoes Writing Assignment part of Activities
Students write an original work of fiction pertaining to the geology of stratovolcanoes and their eruptive hazards.
Downloading Earthquake Data from the USGS Earthquake Hazards Site for Anywhere in the World and Studying it Using ArcGIS part of Activities
Students download earthquake data from the USGS Earthquake Hazards website and plot and anlyze the earthquakes using ArcMap and ArcScene.
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.
Metropolitan Museum of Art: Earth Materials and Ancient Cultures part of 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 ...
Introduction to Earthquake Seismology Methods part of 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. ...
Physical Geology: Amazing GeoRace part of Activities
Allows introductory physical geology students the opportunity to examine various uses of geological materials in society, in a manner that is also fun and enjoyable.
Metamorphism and Continental Collision part of Activities
This is an exercise designed to help students link metamorphism and other geologic processes in context of the plate tectonic theory.
Temperature/Salinity/Density activity part of Activities
This is an in-class activity designed to improve the students' understanding of the relationships between temperature and density, salinity and density, and density differences in driving vertical water ...
Fun with foam, demonstrating strike and dip in class part of Activities
Colorful foam sheets are used in a classroom or lab setting to introduce students to the concept of strike and dip. It is interactive, and the instructor or TA's can quickly see which students are ...
Mercalli Earthquake Activity part of Activities
A jigsaw process that allows students to analyze first person descriptions of earthquakes and assess several earthquake features.
Plate Motions part of Activities
Students are asked to removed the last 40 Ma of ocean crust from an isochron map and then put the plates back together. This exercise helps students see that plates and plate boundaries canNOT be stationary through ...
Earthquake Machine Demonstration part of 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 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 ...
Earthquakes part of Activities
This activity uses geoinformatics to understand the world around us with an emphasis on earthquakes.
Tsunami assignment part of Activities
Students read reports about potential sources for tsunamis on the US east coast and compare them with previously discussed dangers for the west cost.