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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 ...

Mercalli Earthquake Activity part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
A jigsaw process that allows students to analyze first person descriptions of earthquakes and assess several earthquake features.

Simple Landslide Demo part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
Demonstration of control of surface friction on slope stability. Simple analogue model uses a wooden board (the slope), a large rock (the landslide), and transparency and rough sand paper. Students anticipate how ...

Historical Volcanic Eruptions part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
Students are asked to individually research and write a paper on a historical volcanic eruption and then are formed into groups to create a 10 minute stand-alone PowerPoint presentation which is shown and discussed ...

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 ...

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.

On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
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Who Polluted Surface and Groundwater in This Place? part of Activities
Students use water-well data and geology to determine which site caused groundwater and surface-water contamination.

On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
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Introduction to Google Earth part of Activities
This assignment is designed as an introductory Google Earth tutorial on navigation; layers and featured content; and the creation and modification of Placemarks, Paths, and Polygons. The assignment is intended as a ...

Volcanic Histories part of Activities
Students collaborate on the history and hazards of two volcanoes based on deposits from the two mountains. Appropriate for introductory students.

Coastal Management case study part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
After being presented with lecture material on coastal processes and engineering structures, students have small group discussions of a case study on whether a terminal groin should be built on a barrier island on ...

Proposing Questions for the Upcoming Midterm Exam part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
This in-class activity involves groups of 2-3 students who review assigned sections of course material to generate exam questions (including answers), in one of several assigned formats. They then trade results and ...

Water flow in the subsurface part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
Using an off-the-shelf mock-up of a hydrological system, students are asked to predict where water will flow. Dyed water is injected into various parts of the system so that the students can see the flow patterns.

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 ...

Mapping Plate Tectonic Boundaries part of Cutting Edge:Geodesy:Activities
This activity asks students to explore a National Geographic map showing Earth's plate tectonic boundaries. The exercise lets the students examine relationships between plate tectonic boundaries and geologic ...

Formation of the solar system part of Cutting Edge:Visualization:Examples
This assignment or demonstration works really well for me in describing the formation of the solar system, the shapes and changes in planetary orbits, and introduces Milankovitch cycles.

Soil Biogeochemical Cycles part of Cutting Edge:Hydrogeology:Hydrogeology, Soils, Geochemistry 2013:Activities
This group activity charges students with teaching their colleagues about the biogeochemical cycle of one key soil element (e.g., either C, N, S, P, Ca, or Fe). Students are given a single class period to summarize ...

Dynamic Reservoir - In-class activity part of Cutting Edge:Hydrogeology:Hydrogeology, Soils, Geochemistry 2013:Activities
This is an in-class activity analyzing our drinking water reservoir, but would apply to any reservoir for which there are basic crest/elevation data and maps available.

Earthquake Magnitude - Linking Earthquake Magnitude and Intensity part of Cutting Edge:Geophysics:Workshop 07:Geophysics Activities
An activity that helps students link earthquake magnitude and intensity.

Web-o-Cycles part of Cutting Edge:Develop Program-Wide Abilities:Complex Systems:Teaching Activities
This is a classroom activity intended as an introductory exercise in a capstone experience involving complex Earth systems.

Stream Gages and GIS part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Teaching with GIS:Examples
Utilize the online GIS of the USGS real-time stream gage network to introduce basic concepts of data-driven maps and GIS. This exercise can be used independently or with other hydrology exercises. -

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