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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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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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Rivers: Short In-class Activity part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Interactive Lectures:Examples
Images of the James River in Virginia, including one at flood stage, and of potholes, all of which can be used to have the students make observations, estimates, and interpretations. -

Mapping Plate Boundaries part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Interactive Lectures:Examples
Students can discover plate boundaries by plotting different sets of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions on maps. These are then stacked on the overhead projector, outlining the tectonic plates. -

How Fast Do Materials Weather? part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Interactive Lectures:Examples
A think-pair-share activity in which students calculate weathering rates from tombstone weathering data. -

On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
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Viewpoint on Causes of Global Warming - An Assignment Using Anonymous Electronic Peer Review With a Dropbox part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Peer Review:Examples
This is an anonymous electronic peer review exercise that utilizes a dropbox, where students detail and support their viewpoint on nonhuman-induced global warming. -

Reducing Volcanic Hazards to People and Property - An Assignment with Electronic Peer Review part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Peer Review:Examples
This electronic peer review exercise has students discuss the major volcanic hazards and risks to humans. -

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 ...

Water Quality-Total Dissolved Solids part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Teaching with Data:Examples
Students use a microcomputer connected to a conductivity probe to measure the total dissolved solids in local area water samples. -

Comparing Sunscreens part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Teaching with Data:Examples
Students use a microcomputer connected to an ultra-violet sensor to compare the relative blocking power of different SPF sunscreens for the UVB region of the solar spectrum. -

Virtual Oil Well Game part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Games:Examples
This strategy game has players prospect for oil using seismic profiles on limited budgets. -

Wheel of... Geology! part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Games:Examples
This quiz game is intended to help students review for an upcoming exam. Topics of questions are randomly determined by spinning a wheel. Teams answer questions using electronic CPS handhelds. -

Whose Fault Is It Anyway? part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Games:Examples
This game has students simulate the propagation of P and S waves after an earthquake and to use the lag between these to determine where in the simulation the earthquake occurred. -

On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
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GPS Treasure Hunt part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Games:Examples
Students are divided into teams, each of which is given a list of instructions and a GPS unit, and sent to find certain locations. At each stop, they identify a particular building stone or a plant. -

Sleeping Mountain Scenario part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Role Playing:Examples
Original Author: Janice Cooper. Posted with the permission of Glenn Jaecks, (University of California Davis Geology Department) Introduction | Format for Discussion | The Reality of the Threat at Mammoth | Web ...

Flood Frequency and Risk Assessment part of Quantitative Skills:Activity Collection
Students calculate recurrence intervals for various degrees of flooding based on historical data. Students then do a risk assessment for the surrounding community.

Introduction to Texas Hurricanes part of Quantitative Skills:Activity Collection
Students graph data from 20th century hurricanes that affected the state of Texas. Along the way they answer questions that ask them to interpret what they see represented on the graphs.

Using Data to Teach Earth ProcessesAn Illustrated Community Discussion at the 2003 Annual Meeting of the Geological Society of America part of Cutting Edge:Geoscience in the Field:Field Experiences:Posters
A virtual and traditional field trip experience that was designed to study how virtual field trips should be used in geoscience curriculum. Field trip exercises are based on a local groundwater controversy that ...

Question of the Day: Regeneration of Fish part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Interactive Lectures:Question of the Day
The two figures shown above are from the The Fishing Game (more info) game. They show the number of new fish per year that are added to the fish "stock," depending on the maximum number of fish that the ...

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 ...

Calibrate Peer ReviewTM: Petroleum Geology of the Persian Gulf Region part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Peer Review:Examples
Students explore the origin and distribution of oil and gas in a region of global significance, the Middle East, including the geologic history and the socio-political and environmental issues associated with ...