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Teaching Activities


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An Interactive Game Approach to Learning in Historical Geology and Paleontology
Robert L. Reuss and Anne F. Gardulski (Tufts University)
The instructor uses a series of games to help students identify and answer questions about fossils. The game grows more complex over time as the instructors add rules and phyla to identify. -

Using Melting Ice to Teach Radiometric Dating
Developed by Donald Wise, Franklin and Marshall College. Taken from Wise, 1990 . Related Links Radioactive Decay
Students are challenged to a Sherlock Holmes-style mystery in which they construct their own decay curves of melting ice to determine time-zero.

Demonstration of radioactive decay using pennies
Jennifer Wenner, University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh
A demonstration (with full class participation) to illustrate radioactive decay by flipping coins. Shows students visually the concepts of exponential decay, half-life and randomness. Works best in large classes -- the more people, the better.

Using Popcorn to Simulate Radioactive Decay
Jennifer Wenner, University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh
Popping popcorn in your class is an excellent way to illustrate both the spontaneity and irreversible change associated with radioactive decay. It helps students to understand the unpredictability of decay.

M&M Model for Radioactive Decay
Jennifer Wenner, University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh
A tasty in-class demonstration of radioactive decay using two colors of M&M's. Illustrates the quantitative concepts of probability and exponential decay. This activity is appropriate for small classes (<40 students).

The Cretaceous Superplume
Kent Ratajeski, University of Kentucky
This page was written by Kent Ratajeski as part of the DLESE Community Services Project: Integrating Research in Education. A satellite gravity and bathymetric map of the Ontong-Java plateau, an igneous province ...

Woolly Mammoth Excavation and Lab Work
Janis Treworgy, Principia College
students participate in authentic research project w/ scientists students learn scientific process through experience students participate in all aspects of the project including problem solving

Using Field Observations and Field Experiences to Teach GeoscienceAn Illustrated Community Discussion
ZABEL, Garret & WHITE, Sylvia Colorado Mountain College-Roaring Fork Campus
This is a 10-day field experience class that focuses on the geology of the Grand Staircase of the Colorado Plateau, culminating in a rim-to-rim backpack trip across the Grand Canyon, Arizona.

Calibrated Peer ReviewTM: Discovering Dinosaurs
Elizabeth Heise, University of Texas at Brownsville, The
In this activity, students write an essay on the history of scientific discoveries in the field of dinosaur paleontology. -

Calibrated Peer ReviewTM: Kerguelen Plateau, Southern Indian Ocean - Geologic History of A Large Igneous Province
Elizabeth Heise, University of Texas at Brownsville, The
This activity explores the significance and geologic history of the Kerguelen Plateau Large Igneous Province, as revealed by Ocean Drilling Program. -