Cutting Edge > Public Policy > Classroom Activities

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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Service Learning and Local Hydrogeology in the Classroom: An example from Anchorage, Alaska part of Cutting Edge:Hydrogeology:Activities
A semester long project in which students work in small groups to analyze a local hydrogeology issue of importance to the community.

Environmental Geology of the Area where you Live part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
Students research and report on the environmental geology (resources and hazards) of the area around their home. The project helps develop students' abilities to apply what they have learned.

Investigative Case - "Goodbye Honey Buckets" part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Investigative Case Based Learning:Examples
Students will investigate arctic geology and hydrology as well as tundra ecology as they consider options for sewage treatment. Public safety, environmental impact, and issues of construction and engineering will be explored.

Investigating contaminant transport and environmental justice issues in a local watershed through service learning projects with Sierra Club part of Cutting Edge:Service Learning:Activities
Students will be applying hydrogeology concepts and methods in the lab and the field and conducting interviews as part of a coherent characterization of water quality issues and potential risks in local low-income, ...

Hydrogeology Research Project part of Cutting Edge:Hydrogeology:Hydrogeology, Soils, Geochemistry 2013:Activities
This activity is for students to work in teams (2012) or individually (2013) to develop a project (such as a physical or numerical model), survey based research, case study, technical briefs on a remediation ...

Resource Usage Project and Journal part of Cutting Edge:Energy:Energy Activities
Students keep track of one resource (water, electricity, gas, etc.) they use for a 7-day period. They summarize their usage patterns, give opinions, and get some self-realization about their habits.

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. -

Yellowstone Fires part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Role Playing:Examples
This module enables students to take a problem-based learning approach to wildfires, in particular whether a "let-it-burn" policy makes sense in Yellowstone National Park. -

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. -