Chemical and Physical Weathering Field and Lab Experiment: Development and Testing of Hypotheses
This activity was selected for the On the Cutting Edge Reviewed Teaching Collection
This activity has received positive reviews in a peer review process involving five review categories. The five categories included in the process are
- Scientific Accuracy
- Alignment of Learning Goals, Activities, and Assessments
- Pedagogic Effectiveness
- Robustness (usability and dependability of all components)
- Completeness of the ActivitySheet web page
For more information about the peer review process itself, please see http://serc.carleton.edu/NAGTWorkshops/review.html.
This page first made public: Jun 14, 2006
Skills and concepts that students must have mastered
How the activity is situated in the course
Content/concepts goals for this activity
Higher order thinking skills goals for this activity
Other skills goals for this activity
Description of the activity/assignment
This exercise is presented in two parts (chemical and physical weathering). Students break into groups that focus on one type of weathering and then share results with the other working groups at the termination of the project period. First, students use geologic and topographic maps to create hypotheses concerning the nature (composition, grain size distribution, sorting, shape, etc.) of sediments that will be found at several pre-determined field locations. They then design an experiment or data collection protocol to test their hypotheses using samples collected from the field (alternately, students could be given samples to work with). Students are responsible (with guidance when needed) for all aspects of the experiment and often must learn to adapt field and analytical data collection techniques throughout the project period.
The exercise culminates in a scientific paper that is rigorously edited by the instructor and a presentation to other student working groups in the classroom. A discussion of 'lessons learned' can be very valuable at this time as results must be presented in a larger context (does this 'fit' with what you learn in your textbook?).
Determining whether students have met the goals
Download teaching materials and tips
- Activity Description/Assignment (Acrobat (PDF) 37kB Jun5 06)
- Instructors Notes (Acrobat (PDF) 18kB Jun5 06)