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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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Introduction to Groundwater Assignment part of Activities
In this lab, students investigate groundwater flow and water quality within a groundwater well field on the CSU campus. The well field is part of the GroundWater Education and Teaching (GetWET) Observatory.

Soil description & analysis part of Activities
The students pull soil cores in a transect across a hill. They describe the horizons and create a fence diagram, then determine the maturity of the soil & relate it to the climate & geologic history of the ...

Proposing Questions for the Upcoming Midterm Exam part of Activities
This in-class activity involves groups of 2-3 students who review assigned sections of course material to generate exam questions (including answers), in one of several assigned formats. They then trade results and ...

Oil and Gas Exploration Project part of 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 ...

Geoprofiles part of Activities
An essay describing the work geologists/earth scientists perform, based on profiles in Monroe and Wiccander's Physical Geology textbook (5th ed.).

Water flow in the subsurface part of Activities
Using an off-the-shelf mock-up of a hydrological system, students are asked to predict where water will flow. Dyed water is injected into various parts of the system so that the students can see the flow patterns.

Weekly Reflections part of Activities
This is a weekly short writing assignment that forces students to summarize materials presented in class, to reflect on their own performance and understanding of the material, and to relate it to their individual ...

Stream Table Lab part of Activities
This is a lab activity in which students play with a stream table to learn about stream processes, how water and sediment interact, and to learn about basic stream-related calculations.

Seafloor Ages Lecture Tutorial part of Activities
Students work on this Lecture Tutorial worksheet on seafloor ages in pairs during lecture. It directly confronts misconceptions students have about the age of the seafloor, and it guides students to more complex ...

Superfund Case Study part of Activities
This exercise is meant to reinforce concepts covered in the whole course. It helps students integrate concepts from risk and toxicology, air, water and soil pollution, regulation and remediation technology.

Weathering Experiment part of Activities
This project has students dirty several dishes equally and design experiments to determine which analogs of geologic processes are most efficient for removing the baked-on food. Students calculate rates of ...

Net Radiation and Temperature part of Activities
This assignment helps students think about how net radiation affects surface temperature.

Using Google Earth & GIS to Create a Customized Map part of Activities
Students are introduced to cartographic concepts and learn how to use GIS to make a proper map with scale information, location (longitude and latitude), orientation and appropriate title.

Ozone Pollution part of Activities
This lab exercise is designed to provide a basic understanding of a real-world scientific investigation. Students are introduced to the concept of tropospheric ozone as an air pollutant due to human activities. ...

Discussing Earth part of Activities
Students are invited to hour-long discussions of controversial geologic topics on Sunday afternoons. Those who attend (about half the class) submit page-long essays through Vista for comments and assessment. A ...

Spring Break-Weathering Homework part of Activities
This short assignment gets students thinking about and looking for geology while on spring break. Students are asked to photograph a feature of weathering and they must be in the picture. Students must then do a ...

Chemical Weathering part of Activities
This field trip assignment brings students to a local cemetery to collect data related to the age and extent of weathering of limestone and igneous tombstones. Students then analyze the data they collect using ...

Coastal Management case study part of Activities
After being presented with lecture material on coastal processes and engineering structures, students have small group discussions of a case study on whether a terminal groin should be built on a barrier island on ...

Wind River Eco-Challenge: A Virtual Excursion Exercise for Introducing Topographic Maps part of Activities
This classroom activity simulates an eco-challenge course in the Wind River Mountains, which are close to our campus. Our goal is that students approach their recreational adventures more prepared than they would ...

Navigation Unit part of Activities
This is a hands-on activity designed to teach basic land navigation skills using compass, GPS units and topographic maps. This unit relies heavily on math skills.