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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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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 ...

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.

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 ...

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 ...

Cause of the Mogul, Nevada, Earthquake Swarm, Spring 2008 part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
Students examine data from fault- and magma- related earthquakes and determine distinguishing characteristics. They then apply these criteria to determine the cause of the Mogul earthquake sequence (that most of ...

Demonstrating P and S Waves with a Slinky part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
P and S seismic waves can be demonstrated with a slinky. P waves have energy traveling parallel to the direction the wave is moving. S waves have energy traveling perpendicular to the direction the wave is moving.

Tapestry of Time: the Evolution of the North American Continent part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
In this lecture activity, groups of students use the Tapestry of Time map printed by the USGS to create cross sections that illustrate the growth of the North American continent.

Sedimentary Transport part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
This activity gets students to compare the relationship between river flow energy and sediment size. The final question requires them to solve a more dynamic problem - one with changing energy levels - a rock ...

Research Podcast Project part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
Using tools available in the Moodle course management software package and a range of freely available software, students research, create, record, and peer-evaluate podcasts on a geologic topic of their choosing.

Learning Assessment #4 - Metamorphic Rocks (2011) part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
An in-class activity that tests students' understanding of metamorphic rocks and processes.

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.

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

Exploring undergraduate research part of 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 ...

Mineral Selfie part of Activities
Students identify minerals used in their everyday lives by taking a 'selfie' with the product and then sharing their photo with their fellow students on a class blog.