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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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Transnational Pollution: Why Are You Dumping on Me? part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Role Playing:Examples
The purpose of this lesson is to familiarize students with the different types of transnational pollution, by having them role-play in a hypothetical disaster on the Danube River. -

Eruption! part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Role Playing:Examples
Eruption! is a volcanic crisis simulation model in which students role-play villagers, the governor, volcanologists, and the press, working to preserve their lives and homes from an active volcano. -

The Great Energy Debate part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Role Playing:Examples
This lesson plan explores the energy debate in the U.S. Students will hold a mock congressional committee meeting and make decisions about public lands and energy resources. -

The Use of a Piece of Land part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Role Playing:Examples
In this role-playing exercise, students represent groups interested in buying the same piece of land and will need to consult land-use laws. -

Upper Hudson Dredging Debate part of Cutting Edge:Geology and Human Health:Workshop 04:Activities
This exercise is intended to investigate, in detail, a current environmental problem, namely the environmental dredging of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) from the Upper Hudson River. After an introductory lecture ...

JiTT - Ethics of Fossil Collecting part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Just in Time Teaching:Examples
1) What do you think it means for a fossil resource to be "abused"? 2) What's the issue with fossil hunting on federal land (such as National Parks)? Explain what your interpretation of the conflict ...

Gallery Walk Questions about Human Dimensions part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Gallery Walks:Examples
created by Mark Francek, Central Michigan University The following are potential questions that could be used in a gallery walk activity about the human dimensions of geologic issues. The questions are organized ...

Water Wars: A look at Gallatin Valley Water Controversies part of Cutting Edge:Public Policy:Activities
This virtual field trip explores the science and policy of a ground water dispute in Gallatin Valley Montana. The virtual field trip uses a role-playing activity to explore the geology, hydrology and policy related ...

On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
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Election Project part of Cutting Edge:Public Policy:Activities
Students research and report on candidates positions on issues relevant to the course. Students get to apply what they have covered in class to real events relevant to their current and future lives.

Energy Policy part of Cutting Edge:Public Policy:Activities
Students research and make recommendations regarding the petroleum energy policy of the U.S. with respect to other countries.

Simulation of international negotiations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions part of Cutting Edge:Climate Change:Activities
In order to convey how the international community is responding to climate change, students engage in a simulation of the international negotiation process. Participants learn first hand the interests of different ...

CLEAN Selected This activity has been selected for inclusion in the CLEAN collection.
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Understanding the Carbon Cycle: A Jigsaw Approach part of Cutting Edge:Climate Change:Activities
In this "jigsaw" exercise, each student is assigned one of five geochemical processes in the carbon cycle to research, fully understand, and then explain to others in groups of five. At the end of class ...

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Energy and the Poor - Black Carbon in Developing Nations part of Cutting Edge:Energy:Energy Activities
In this activity, students will explore impacts of the use of wood, dung and charcoal in developing countries for fuel, producing black carbon. In-class discussion will generate a list of several broad topics, ...

CLEAN Selected This activity has been selected for inclusion in the CLEAN collection.
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Petroleum Use Jigsaw Activity/Homework part of Cutting Edge:Energy:Energy Activities
Students get one of 3 homework assignments. They then gather in groups, one that has completed each homework to answer questions as a group. The exercises estimate current oil usage, reserves, and amounts available ...

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.

What are the causes and effects of ENSO? part of Cutting Edge:Complex Systems:Teaching Activities
This NASA Mission Geography module focuses on the evidence for global climate change. In the specific activity on ENSO, students role play policy makers deciding how to allocate Peru's resources to manage for ...

CLEAN Selected This activity has been selected for inclusion in the CLEAN collection.
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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 ...

To Drill or Not to Drill? A Case Study in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge part of Cutting Edge:Environmental Geology:Activities
To Drill or Not to Drill is a multidisciplinary problem based learning exercise, which intends to increase students' knowledge of a variety of topics through a real world environmental topic. In addition, ...

Protection of Wolves: Biological Ecosystems and Human Interests part of Cutting Edge:Teaching Methods:Structured Academic Controversy:Examples
After being extirpated from Yellowstone Park and other western habitats in the 1930s, gray wolves were reintroduced during the 1980s. The recovery effort has been so successful that gray wolves may no longer be ...