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

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Analyzing your Hometown Stream using On-line USGS NWIS Data part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
Students analyze discharge records of streams or rivers of interest to them using on-line USGS NWIS data.

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Heat Transport in the Climate System part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
This is an introductory activity designed for small groups in a single 50 minute class period. The exercise stresses interpretation of data from a simple graph, and helps students to integrate information on heat ...

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Learning Assessment #5 - Geologic Time (2011) part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
An in-class activity that tests students' understanding of the principles of relative age, absolute age and numerical age bracketing.

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

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Spring Break-Weathering Homework part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses: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 ...

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Learning Assessment #3 - Igneous & Sedimentary Rocks (2011) part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
An in-class activity that tests students' understanding of igneous and sedimentary rocks and processes.

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Weathering Experiment part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses: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 ...

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A LONG, LONG time ago: geologic timescales part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
Students compare their pre-conceived impressions of events on the geologic time with the actual positions of these events on a 45.5' geologic timescale.

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Relative Dating on Earth and Mars part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
Students apply principles of relative dating to a cross-section, then to the surface of Mars.

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Soil description & analysis part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses: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 ...

Introduction to Groundwater Assignment part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses: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.

Campus Map Scale part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
Students are given a map of the campus and asked to devise a method to determine the map scale. The method for determining scale is not prescribed, requiring the students to work in small groups to brainstorm a ...

Fun with foam, demonstrating strike and dip in class part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
Colorful foam sheets are used in a classroom or lab setting to introduce students to the concept of strike and dip. It is interactive, and the instructor or TA's can quickly see which students are ...

Soil Properties part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
In this activity, students determine soil texture and color using a "texture-by-feel" analysis and Munsell color charts. In addition to these basic tests, students also devise their own soil ...

Calculation of Stream Discharge part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
This lab is a field oriented exercise that visits two sites on the same stream to calculate stream discharge. It illustrates the influences of stream cross-sectional area on discharge and the resistance of bedrock ...

Earthquake Machine Demonstration part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
This classroom activity is a demonstration where students predict what will happen under various conditions. The "Earthquake Machine" shows relationships between stress, strain, friction along the fault ...

Earthquake resistant design part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
In groups of two, the students design and build a three-story building to be as earthquake resistant as possible. Using an in-house designed and built shaker table, we load each floor of the building based on area ...

Exercise on Atmospheric Structure, Stratospheric Ozone, and Acid Rain part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
This activity helps students to understand the basic ozone structure as well as ozone and acid rain problems.

Measuring the Earth part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
With a colleague at the University of Kansas, we measure the size of the Earth using the method of Eratosthenese. This is handy because the UH and KU campuses are almost directly on a N-S line.