Mineral properties are placed in context of a creative cultural application of minerals. Students have choice in selecting a culture to study in context of painting, so that students may follow their interest or connection with a particular global culture if one exists. Instructors can learn about cultural interests of their class based upon the products of this assignment. The creation of paints is fun and dynamic, and facilitates social interactions and movement.
Climate change is examined in a global and historical context through non-technical writings. With respect to paleoclimate, students may choose a region of the world on which to concentrate so that students may follow their interest or connection with a geographic region if one exists. Modern climate change is examined in terms of predicted impact on students' home communities in order to contextualize the content.
Over a half term students document air quality in terms of particulates in a self-defined, open-ended project within the community. Students determine abundance, form, and identity of particulates in their samples, hypothesize as to their source, discuss health implications, and compare results with other sample sites in the city. The exercise focuses on the urban environment and provides students with an open-ended project.
Students reflect on geology through a familial lens by examining family photos in terms of geological content. Pre- and post-course photo descriptions allow students to reflect upon their learning over the term.
Concepts of field correlation of outcrops are introduced in a familiar urban context by describing and correlating stones used to face buildings. It uses freely available urban resources, and presents an opportunity to discuss historical patterns in the development of the city with respect to trade routes, technology, and aesthetics.
In development: Plate Tectonics and Art Galleries
Students document human applications of earth materials, and correlates variations in material use/availability with geological setting (e.g., metals in volcanic regions, jade in mountainous regions, limestone in tropical passive-margin settings). Students have choice in selecting which cultural hall to study, so that students may follow their interest or connection with a particular global culture if one exists. This assignment makes use of freely available cultural resources of the city.
To see a collection of activities from the 2008 Urban Issues, Urban Students workshop, see Geoscience Teaching Activities for Urban Settings.