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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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Oil and Gas Exploration Project part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
Students play the role of a geologist for an oil and gas exploration company. Given a budget and some basic geological information they are required to bid on leases, explore, drill, and hopefully produce at a ...

What can you do? part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
This activity helps students, specifically non-majors, to become more environmentally conscious. They identify a minimum of five behaviors, situations, or actions that are harmful to the environment and can be ...

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 ...

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.

Comparing Carbon Calculators part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Teaching with Data:Examples
Carbon calculators, no matter how well intended as tools to help measure energy footprints, tend to be black boxes and can produce wildly different results, depending on the calculations used to weigh various ...

On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
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Consequences of Modern Energy Use: A Remote Sensing analysis of the gulf oil spill using ArcGIS software. part of Cutting Edge:Energy:Energy Activities
Students download satellite imagery and conduct a remote sensing analysis of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill using ArcGIS software.

Carbon Footprint Exercise part of Cutting Edge:Climate Change:Activities
We designed a three-step assignment for students in introductory geoscience that asks them to calculate their carbon footprint during one specific week. The goal of the assignment is to increase student awareness ...

On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities 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 ...

Calculation of your personal carbon footprint part of Cutting Edge:Energy:Energy Activities
This worksheet walks the students through the steps for calculating their personal carbon footprint. Additionally it helps them consider options for reducing their carbon footprint and the potential costs of those ...

On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
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The Energy Conundrum part of Cutting Edge:Energy:Energy Activities
This is a lecture aimed at preparing students for making the leap from what is to what ought to be. In it, I present the main sociological theories about poverty and examine several places I've lived—New ...

Natural Gas and the Marcellus Shale part of Cutting Edge:Energy:Energy Activities
This homework problem introduces students to the Marcellus shale natural gas play and how an unconventional reservoir rock can become an attractive hydrocarbon target.

CLEAN Selected This activity has been selected for inclusion in the CLEAN collection.
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Electrical Analysis of Wind Power part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Teaching with Data:Examples
For this experiment, students use a DC motor as a generator and various shaped turbine designs to test which design produces the most electrical power. Using a fan to generate the "wind", students attach ...

Energy Gallery Walk part of Cutting Edge:Energy:Energy Activities
This is a cooperative learning activity using the Gallery Walk Strategy (strategy from the Starting Point Gallery Walk web pages) to enrich student understanding of the complex nature of solving our nation's ...

On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
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Power Source part of Cutting Edge:Energy:Energy Activities
In this lesson-opening activity, students or groups are tasked to make concept sketches that track the source of electrical power as far back as they can conceive. The concept sketches reveal students' prior ...

CLEAN Selected This activity has been selected for inclusion in the CLEAN collection.
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Environment and the Earth Class part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Service Learning:Examples
The Environment and the Earth class at the University of South Carolina participated in a campus environmental service-learning project where students collected data lighting, water fixtures, recycling bins, and trash in five academic buildings.

Mock Environmental Summit part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Role Playing:Examples
At the end of a six-week class or unit on global warming, students role-play representatives from various countries and organizations at an international summit on global warming. -

Gold Star Panel Review This activity received a gold star rating from a Panel Peer Review.
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Question of the Day: ANWR Drilling Policy part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Interactive Lectures:Question of the Day
ANWR Drilling Policy Debate (Acrobat (PDF) 118kB Jun16 04) Activity Sheet and Reading The author's calculations yield the following: An average US car mileage increase of five miles per gallon would reduce oil ...

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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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.

Campus Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Campus-Based Learning:Examples
Students conduct a greenhouse gas emission inventory for their college or university. Students analyze findings and present information to the college or university community. -

On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
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