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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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Weather Map Assignment part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
This assignment assesses how well students are able to record and synthesize basic meteorological data.

Rivers and Streams part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
This lab activity has students collect stream data in the field and calculate flow velocity, discharge and gradient. Additional activities include plotting clast size on a Hjulstrom Diagram, and unit conversions.

Incomprehensibly Small and Incomprehensibly Large part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
Students are asked to consider the length scales of the universe, from smallest to largest. Using a logarithmic scale in cm units, various distances are resolved ranging from the smallest meaningful length in ...

Ordering Geologic Events and Interpreting Geologic History: The Grand Canyon part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
This activity is designed to have students re-examine rocks they looked at earlier in the semester and use them to interpret some of the geologic history of the Grand Canyon.

Temperature/Salinity/Density activity part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
This is an in-class activity designed to improve the students' understanding of the relationships between temperature and density, salinity and density, and density differences in driving vertical water ...

Wastewater Treatment part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses: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 ...

Predicting Weather and Understanding Weather Systems part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
The assignment gives students to the opportunity to bring together everything that they have learned in 7 weeks of atmospheric processes and meteorology to try to predict weather conditions.

Geologic Structures Lab part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
In class activity involving a thought exercise about rock rheology, discussion and drawing of simple brittle and ductile structures, and then reading an article about how the depth of the brittle-ductile transition ...

Group Oral Presentation part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
Groups are assigned and each group chooses a topic on which to report. Presentations are at least 15-minutes; all group members must speak and a visual aid is required. This project allows students to teach ...

Historical Volcanic Eruptions part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
Students are asked to individually research and write a paper on a historical volcanic eruption and then are formed into groups to create a 10 minute stand-alone PowerPoint presentation which is shown and discussed ...

Issue Brief part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities

My Favorite Dead Thing part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
This is a short writing assignment asking the students to write about their favorite extinct organism. This gives the students a chance to explore something that they find interesting and at the same time link it ...

Tsunami assignment part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
Students read reports about potential sources for tsunamis on the US east coast and compare them with previously discussed dangers for the west cost.

Study of the Horsepen Creek Stream System part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
This is an in depth laboratory exercise that can be adapted to any stream system, and has been successfully implemented with classes composed primarily of non-majors. This field exercise allows students to go ...

Sedimentary Environments part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
This lab emphasizes a few basic principles used to decipher past sedimentary depositional environments including sediment grain size, sorting, and arrangement along with sedimentary structures. The major strength ...

Geologic Maps and Geologic Structures: A Texas Example part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
Students work with geologic maps of Texas, learning details of Texas geology, and reinforce knowledge and use of geologic structures, stratigraphic sections, and geologic cross sections.

Relative Time Application and Synthesis Exercise part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
This classroom activity is a formative assessment that explores the degree to which students can apply relative time principles and synthesize that information with concepts related to the rock cycle.

Using IF-AT Based Questions to Reinforce Lectures part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
Short sets of multiple-choice questions with IF-AT scratch off answer keys are used to reinforce lecture by generating peer discussion and instruction.

Milky Way - Ductile and Brittle Demo part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
Milky way candy bar is given to each student. They are told to bend it and write down what they observe. The activity takes an every day object and ties the geologic terms to something they have experience with.

Evolution of Whales part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
The students read two articles on the evolution of whales and search the web. The students' writing assignment requires them to outline the evolution of whales using major fossil finds. Students start with ...