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Petrology Activities and Examples Collection

This is a collection of educational resources used in igneous and metamorphic petrology courses. The collection includes lab exercises, classroom activities, problem sets and more. The purpose of this collection is to allow for the sharing of materials within the community of petrology teachers. You can



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Rock cycle in chocolate lab part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
Pete Stelling, Western Washington University
This lab activity simulates the rock cycle with a piece of chocolate instead of actual rock. Students melt, crystallize, erode, lithify and metamorphose a single small block of chocolate. Along the way students ...

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Guided Discovery and Scoring Rubric for Petrographic Analysis of a Thin Section part of Cutting Edge:Metacognition:Activities
Dave Mogk, Montana State University-Bozeman
A guided discovery approach is used to "unpack" the methods and observations used by "master" petrographers in the petrographic analysis of a thin section. A series of spread sheets are used to ...

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Florida River Project: Sedimentary and metamorphic rocks lab part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
Kim Hannula, Fort Lewis College
This fairly traditional rocks-in-boxes lab has been incorporated into a semester-long project. At the end of the lab, students apply their rock-identification skills to rocks from their study area.

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Volcanoes Writing Assignment part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
Julie Baldwin, University of Montana-Missoula, The
Students write an original work of fiction pertaining to the geology of stratovolcanoes and their eruptive hazards.

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

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Scientific debate: Mantle plumes part of Cutting Edge:Deep Earth:Activities
Brennan Jordan, University of South Dakota
A structured format for a debate of the mantle plume hypothesis and alternative hypotheses with supporting materials.

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Deciphering complex fluid-mineral interactions in the palm of your hand part of Cutting Edge:Complex Systems:Teaching Activities
Barb Dutrow, Louisiana State University
This exercise uses polished rock slabs containing veins sealed by copper-bearing minerals to understand the feedback effects in complex fluid-rock systems. By determining the minerals and their relative timing, the ...

Outcrop Mapping at Woodall Shoals, South Carolina-Georgia part of Cutting Edge:Geoscience in the Field:Activities
Jonathan Mies, University of Tennessee-Chattanooga, The
Students work in groups of 3 or 4 to map relatively small parts of the outcrop at Woodall Shoals, which serves as a model of a complexly deformed high-grade metamorphic terrain. With the benefits of 100% exposure ...

Recognizing and mapping faults using lidar and field data part of Cutting Edge:Structural Geology:Structure, Geophysics, and Tectonics 2012:Activities
Anne Egger, Central Washington University
In this activity, students create a geologic map and cross-section of the Fish Springs cinder cone and surrounding area in the Owens Valley, CA, using a high-resolution DEM developed from airborne lidar data as a ...

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Volcanoes around the Globe (Beta test copy) part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
Mark Abolins, Middle Tennessee State University
Undergraduate non-majors use the Arcview geographic information system (GIS) to explore volcanic hazards and the geochemistry of volcanic rocks. Students explore geochemical data from the GEOROC global database and ...

Florida River Project: Minerals in the field part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
Kim Hannula, Fort Lewis College
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.

Hot spot volcanism in western North America part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
James Trexler, University of Nevada-Reno
Students use real data on age of volcanism and ash thickness distribution to better understand hot spot volcanic activity.

Metamorphism and Continental Collision part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
Kenneth Howard, Wake Technical Community College
This is an exercise designed to help students link metamorphism and other geologic processes in context of the plate tectonic theory.

Physical Geology: Amazing GeoRace part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
Simon Kattenhorn, University of Idaho
Allows introductory physical geology students the opportunity to examine various uses of geological materials in society, in a manner that is also fun and enjoyable.

Metropolitan Museum of Art: Earth Materials and Ancient Cultures part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
Wayne Powell, CUNY Brooklyn College
Students investigate properties of earth materials through the lens of art and archeology. It allows ties to other required core curriculum courses (particularly classics and art history), and integrates the use of ...

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