Activities for Introductory GeoscienceHere 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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Earth System Topics
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Tracking Tectonic Plates Using Two Independent Methods part of Activities
Students use two independent methods to determine relative plate motions across a plate boundary. They find that plate tectonic theory generally holds up but also discover sophisticated detail (e.g. velocities ...
To Teach is to Learn: Final Project in Envronmental or Intro Geology part of Activities
This assignment asks students to create their own geological educational activity or demonstration (and corresponding write-up) which all students then present/enact during a conference-style presentation session ...
Florida River Project: Plotting discharge data part of Activities
This is part of a group of exercises used to prepare students for a group research project on a local river. In this exercise, students plot discharge data from a previous year.
Florida River Project: Minerals in the field part of Activities
This is a field trip that is part of a semester-long research project. In this lab, students visit part of their research site to look at rocks and minerals in the study area.
Florida River Project: Semester-long group project part of Activities
This is a semester-long group research project that uses a local river to integrate several lab and field activities. The project covers topographic maps, rock and mineral identification, measuring data in the ...
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.
Floods on the Minnesota River part of Activities
Students download and manipulate data from historical floods on the Minnesota River (could be done for any river) and use to establish a flood hazard zone for St. Peter, Minnesota. This lab was developed by ...
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 ...
Relative Dating on Earth and Mars part of Activities
Students apply principles of relative dating to a cross-section, then to the surface of Mars.
Wastewater Treatment part of Activities
This activity involves a tour of the local waste water treatment plant, where the students learn about the waste water treatment process. Following the tour the students write up a paper describing the water's ...
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 ...
Weather Map Assignment part of Activities
This assignment assesses how well students are able to record and synthesize basic meteorological data.
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.).
Porosity and Permeability part of Activities
Students explore the properties of porosity and permeability using everyday items and geological materials. This activity has several components to appeal to different learning styles.
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.
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.
Pop Bottle Hydrograph part of Activities
Create hydrograph and explore changes in physical parameters on form of hydrograph. Set up is easy: water is sprinkled into a model watershed (sand in pop bottle) and allowed to dribble onto cheap digital scale. ...
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 ...