These teaching activities have a strong spatial thinking component. Search the collection to find activities suitable for your classes.
Resource Type: Activities Show all Resource Type: Activities
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Geoscience education research project
Karen Kortz, Community College of Rhode Island
Students complete a scientific research project including asking a question, developing methods, collecting data, analyzing and interpreting data, and communicating results. The research question begins "What ...
Investigation of micropaleontological and paleomagnetic data
Stephen Schellenberg, San Diego State University
Micropaleontological and paleomagnetic data are investigated to construct an integrated biomagnetostratigrahic age model for an Ocean Drilling Program site. Investigation emphasizes the complementary nature of ...
Paleoecology: An Evolutionary Arms Race
Rowan Lockwood, College of William and Mary
In this activity, students divide into groups of 4-5, fine-tune a hypothesis relating to escalation, collect data to test this hypothesis using mollusks from local Yorktown deposits (Pliocene), analyze these data, ...
The Pet Rock Project - Developing Professional Communication in a Petrology Course
Darrell Henry, Professor of Geology and Geophysics, Louisiana State University
Carbon Footprint Exercise
Cinzia Cervato, Iowa State University
We designed a three-step assignment for students in introductory geoscience that asks them to calculate their carbon footprint during one specific week. The goal of the assignment is to increase student awareness ...
Evaluating the Effects of Local Energy Resource Development
Devin Castendyk, SUNY College at Oneonta
This is a semester-long, jigsaw project for a class of 20 to 25 students that has students work in teams to explore the effects of energy resource development on local water resources, economics and society.
Fossil/modern mole phylogeny
Students code characters from fossil taxa to add to an existing morphological phylogenetic analysis of moles. This activity is original research; the fossil taxa have never before been included in a phylogenetic ...
Capstone Research Project: Holocene History of Estuarine Environmental Change
Michael Savarese, Florida Gulf Coast University
This is a collaborative, semester-long research project that students conduct as their capstone activity for the course. The project is designed to be comprehensive and apply numerous concepts, topical units, and ...
Save Crooked Creek! Remediation of a Service Station Site with a Leaking UST
Dr. Paul Ryberg, Clarion University of Pennsylvania
The student group (3 to 4 persons) is given information regarding a leaking UST at a gasoline station in western Pennsylvania; a page detailing the history of the problem and a small sketch map if the site. They ...
Environmental Health Risk Inventory
Laurie Cantwell, Montana State University-Bozeman
In this activity, students perform an environmental health risk inventory of a selected locale. Students will address anthropogenic and natural health risks of an area using data collected from various online ...
Modeling the interior of the Earth using Seismic Waves
Eric Baer, Highline Community College
Students use a variety of tools to explore the interior of the Earth in this inquiry activity.
Confirmation of the IPCC Prediction re: Increased Storminess
Robert Kuhlman, Montgomery County Community College
A two-part culminating activity for a meteorology/climatology unit in an Earth Science course centered upon data acquisition and analysis regarding the confirmation of the IPCC predicition regarding increased ...
Emergent Models in Google Earth
Declan De Paor, Old Dominion University
This is one sample of a set of emergent models we are developing for use with Google Earth. Students use the Google Earth time-slider to lift 3D models of the subsurface into view. They can substitute their own ...
Extending Mineralogy by Electron Microprobe Analysis
John Goodge, University of Minnesota-Duluth
This lab is designed to be a highly interactive lab session for a petrology course, where instructors provide a minimal level of essential background and then the entire group works together to explore mineral ...
Earthquake Epicenter Location Exercise using Google Earth and OneNote
Jeffrey Nunn, Louisiana State University
Students are provided with data from 4 seismograms which are used to plot the epicenter of an earthquake using OneNote to pick the P-S wave arrival gap and Google Earth to plot the circles which intersect at the ...
Using ArcGIS to Study the New Lakes in the Toshka Basin in Egypt and Evaluate Egypt's New Valley Project
Barb Tewksbury, Hamilton College
In this assignment, students use ArcGIS to analyze the new lakes that have formed in the Toshka Depression, Egypt as a result of overflow from Lake Nasser and use their analyses to evaluate the wisdom of the plan ...
Calculating Pressures and Temperatures of Petrologic Events: Geothermobarometry
Donna Whitney, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities
In this lab exercise, students examine one or more metamorphic rocks and use various approaches to estimating and calculating the pressure-temperature conditions at which the rocks equilibrated. The exercise ...
Pet Rock Project: A Semester-long Exercise for Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology
Darrell Henry, Louisiana State University
The pet rock project is a semester-long project in which each student randomly selects an igneous or metamorphic rock from the instructor or brings in a rock from an appropriate locality, and follows all of the ...
Mineral Synthesis and X-Ray Diffraction Experiments
Dexter Perkins, University of North Dakota-Main Campus; , Dickinson State University
This 6-week laboratory activity has students working in groups of two or more to synthesize a mineral and then analyze their mineral using XRD.
A Fun and Effective Exercise for Understanding Lattices and Space Groups
Dexter Perkins, University of North Dakota-Main Campus
This activity uses figures from Francois Brisse as Esher drawings to teach students about 2-dimensional symmetry, especially involving translation.