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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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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 ...

Pathogenic Microorganisms in Water part of Cutting Edge:Hydrogeology:Activities
This activity introduces students to sampling and testing for microorganisms in different water sources. It also tests iodine tablets to kill coliform bacteria which interest many students. The activity utilizes ...

On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
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Earthquake Demonstration part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Interactive Lecture Demonstrations:Examples
This demonstration uses an "earthquake machine" constructed from bricks, sand paper, and a winch, to simulate the buildup of elastic strain energy prior to a seismic event and the release of that energy ...

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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The 2004 Sumatra Earthquake and Tsunami part of Cutting Edge:Visualization:Examples
In this multi-part activity, students study seismograms from different seismic stations recording the Sumatra earthquake of December 26th, 2004 and then determine the epicenter of the quake and track the tsunami it ...

Destruction of the Rainforest and Atmospheric Oxygen part of Teacher Preparation:Resource Collections:Activities
Pre-service Midle School teachers devised an experiment to test an assertion that destruction of the Brazilian Rainforest would lead to a serious drop in atmospheric oxygen. The experiment proved to be a failure, but opened other avenues of science learning and had a positive impact on their confidence in teaching inquiry-based science.

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.

What is Magnitude? Earthquake Magnitude By Analogy part of Cutting Edge:Geophysics:Workshop 07:Geophysics Activities
Understanding magnitude scales by analogy to distance. Students use distance as a proxy for understanding how the logarithmic earthquake magnitude scale works. Very simple class or lab exercise for introductory ...

On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
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Locating and Measuring Earthquakes Using Real Seismic Data part of Cutting Edge:Geophysics:Workshop 07:Geophysics Activities
The objective is to locate an earthquake and measure its Richter magnitude using real data recorded by seismographs.

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.

Human Demographics part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Mathematical and Statistical Models:Mathematical and Statistical Models Examples
In this biology simulation students explore factors that change human population growth including age at which women begin to bear children, fertility rate and death rate. -

Acid Rain Socratic Questions part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Socratic Questioning:Examples
Cluster of questions on acid rain deposition. -

The Sleeping Mountain part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Role Playing:Examples
In this role-playing scenario, students represent townspeople whose lives and livelihoods are endangered by an active volcano which may or may not erupt in the near future. -

Gold Star Panel Review This activity received a gold star rating from a Panel Peer Review.
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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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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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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: 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 ...

Annotating Change in Satellite Images part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Teaching with Data:Examples
During this exercise, students compare a series of satellite images taken 3-4 years apart to investigate the effects of human land use and annotate the images using ImageJ software. -

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.

What Should We Do About Global Warming? part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Role Playing:Examples
This module contains an 8-lesson curriculum to study greenhouse gases and global warming using data and visualizations. The students will summarize the issue in a mock debate or a presentation. -

Gold Star Panel Review This activity received a gold star rating from a Panel Peer Review.
See the activity page for details.