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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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Superfund Case Study part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses: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.

Proposing Questions for the Upcoming Midterm Exam part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses: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 ...

Water flow in the subsurface part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses: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.

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

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 ...

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

Exploring the Bay Area part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
This assignment is a do-it-yourself field trip. Students are given the opportunity to visit a local geologic feature and learn something about the origins and evolution of that site.

Geologic Cross Sections part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
Geology majors construct a geologic/structural cross section across any number of major plate boundaries/geologic features.

Geology of a graveyard part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
This is a simple field experiment exercise that illustrates differences between basic rock types and weathering in a region.

Short Geology Research Paper part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
Students are assigned to take a topic and research it in some depth, beyond the discussion in the class or in the book. The paper is 4-6 typed pages in length. Suggested topics include geologic hazards, geologic ...

Use of the Classroom Performance System part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
The use of hand held remote systems in class helps to solidify the information presented in lecture and allows the lecturer to assess student understanding. Students feel as though they are participating more with ...

Tectonics, Earthquakes, Volcanoes part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
This is a two-part homework exercise. In the first part, students use on-line courseware from California State University, Los Angeles to investigate seismograph records. In the second part, students complete a ...

Wind River Eco-Challenge: A Virtual Excursion Exercise for Introducing Topographic Maps part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses: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 Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses: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.

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 ...

Article Review part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
During the semester, students must complete two article reviews. They are required to summarize and critically evaluate a recent article pertaining to a topic in Earth Science. Articles may be chosen by the student ...

Metamorphic Rocks Lab part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
Students describe rock characteristics and determine if a rock sample is metamorphic. If it is, they determine the parent rock. If not, they describe what it would change into as a metamorphic rock. The whole class ...

'Radioactive' decay of chewing gum part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
This activity allows students to see (and feel) the decay of chewing gum as it relates to ½ lives. One or two students chew gum during class and each minute they weigh the gum. At the end of the experiment ...

Virtual Rock Lab part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
Students use a website to identify rocks based on their properties.

Exploring undergraduate research part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
Students attend a poster session where undergraduates are presenting their research. They are required to talk to four students; they submit the questions they asked and the responses they received, as well as ...