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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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Testing the Fixed-hotspot-moving-plate model part of Activities
Students examine hot spot tracks, magnetic inclination data, and coral data from the Hawaii-Emperor Seamount Chain to test the hypothesis that hotspots are fixed. Most students have learned somewhere that hotspots ...

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The Scientific Method part of Activities
This assignment is designed to introduce the students to the idea and process of the scientific method. They are led to recognize that much of their own thinking is through the Scientific Method.

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Physical Geology: Idaho Field Trip part of Activities
Optional field trip to local sites of geologic interest/relevance.

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Earthquake Case Study part of Activities
This activity is a multiple case study analysis of different earthquakes that leads to student interpretation of claims, evidence and prediction/recommendations.

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Hometown Geology part of Activities
This is an extra credit assignment for students to learn details about the geology of their hometown.

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Observations and Measurements in Geology part of Activities
This exercise gives students an introduction to topics they will encounter throughout the semester, and future course work. It covers plate tectonics, weathering, and basic rock descriptions.

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Rock cycle in chocolate lab part of Activities
This lab activity simulates the rock cycle with a piece of chocolate instead of actual rock. Students melt, crystallize, erode, lithify and metamorphose a single small block of chocolate. Along the way students ...

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Where is that chunk of crust going? part of Activities
I introduce students to GPS, frames of reference, and the permanent GPS stations in the EarthScope Plate Boundary Observatory (PBO) in class, and obtain near-real-time data for two stations from UNAVCO. We use ...

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Computerized Field Trip Preview of the Berkshire Mountains part of Activities
This is a computer (Windows, Macintosh) based exercise designed to take about two hours. Students use a 5 page short-answer study sheet with the Berkshire Field Trip Map, Guidebook and associated images of the ...

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Volcanoes Writing Assignment part of Activities
Students write an original work of fiction pertaining to the geology of stratovolcanoes and their eruptive hazards.

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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.

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Emergent Models in Google Earth part of Activities
This is one sample of a set of emergent models we are developing for use with Google Earth. Students use the Google Earth time-slider to lift 3D models of the subsurface into view. They can substitute their own ...

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Florida River Project: Sedimentary and metamorphic rocks lab part of Activities
This fairly traditional rocks-in-boxes lab has been incorporated into a semester-long project. At the end of the lab, students apply their rock-identification skills to rocks from their study area.

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Metropolitan Museum of Art: Earth Materials and Ancient Cultures part of Activities
Students investigate properties of earth materials through the lens of art and archeology. It allows ties to other required core curriculum courses (particularly classics and art history), and integrates the use of ...

Introduction to Earthquake Seismology Methods part of Activities
This lab introduces students of aspects of earthquake seismology methods. These include analysis of p-wave amplitude, location of an earthquake epicenter and determining the time of occurrence of an earthquake. ...

Physical Geology: Amazing GeoRace part of Activities
Allows introductory physical geology students the opportunity to examine various uses of geological materials in society, in a manner that is also fun and enjoyable.

Earth and Mars Core Sampling part of Activities
The activity focuses on sedimentology and core sampling here on Earth and makes comparisons with core samples from Mars to determine the composition of the material underneath the surface.

Metamorphism and Continental Collision part of Activities
This is an exercise designed to help students link metamorphism and other geologic processes in context of the plate tectonic theory.

Ordering Geologic Events and Interpreting Geologic History: The Grand Canyon part of Activities
This activity is designed to have students re-examine rocks they looked at earlier in the semester and use them to interpret some of the geologic history of the Grand Canyon.

Temperature/Salinity/Density activity part of Activities
This is an in-class activity designed to improve the students' understanding of the relationships between temperature and density, salinity and density, and density differences in driving vertical water ...

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