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Classroom Activities for Teaching Public Policy in the Earth Sciences

This collection of teaching materials allows for the sharing of ideas and activities within the community of geoscience teachers. Do you have a favorite teaching activity you'd like to share? Please help us expand this collection by contributing your own teaching materials.

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Incorporating Information Literacy into Climate Change Teaching part of Cutting Edge:Climate Change:Activities
This module contains 10 topics related to finding and evaluating scientific information related to climate change. The skills learned are transferable to any subject area. Each topic includes exercises.

On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
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Understanding the Carbon Cycle: A Jigsaw Approach part of Cutting Edge:Climate Change:Activities
In this "jigsaw" exercise, each student is assigned one of five geochemical processes in the carbon cycle to research, fully understand, and then explain to others in groups of five. At the end of class ...

CLEAN Selected This activity has been selected for inclusion in the CLEAN collection.
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Using Mass Balance to Understand Atmospheric CFCs part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Teaching with Data:Examples
Students use an interactive online mass balance model help understand the observed levels of chlorofluorocarbon CFC-12 over the recent past. -

'A Civil Action' 1-D Transport Game part of Cutting Edge:Hydrogeology:Activities
The 'A Civil Action' 1-D Transport Game is executed in an EXCEL spreadsheet and is designed to help students learn why models are used by scientists and engineers and what procedures must be met to ...

Plume Busters part of Activities
Students take on the role of a consultant to solve an environmental problem that could have dire consequences for a nearby community. This activity can be used to initiate discussion on a range of public policy ...

To Drill or Not to Drill? A Case Study in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge part of Cutting Edge:Environmental Geology:Activities
To Drill or Not to Drill is a multidisciplinary problem based learning exercise, which intends to increase students' knowledge of a variety of topics through a real world environmental topic. In addition, ...

Machines that change climate: Porsche 911 Turbo vs. Toyota Prius part of Quantitative Skills:Activity Collection
This problem illustrates how consumer decisions can influence carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere, how to make back-of-the-envelope calculations, and demonstrates the power of exponential growth.

Eruption! part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Role Playing:Examples
Eruption! is a volcanic crisis simulation model in which students role-play villagers, the governor, volcanologists, and the press, working to preserve their lives and homes from an active volcano. -

The Great Energy Debate part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Role Playing:Examples
This lesson plan explores the energy debate in the U.S. Students will hold a mock congressional committee meeting and make decisions about public lands and energy resources. -

The Use of a Piece of Land part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Role Playing:Examples
In this role-playing exercise, students represent groups interested in buying the same piece of land and will need to consult land-use laws. -

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