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AP/IB/Honors Geoscience Activity Browse

Search for activities specifically designed for introductory college level geoscience courses. Refine this search by either clicking on the terms in boxes to the right or typing a term into the search box below. Activities include a description, background information, and necessary student documents.


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Lahar Risk Assessment part of Integrate:Workshops:Teaching the Methods of Geoscience:Activities
Students act as first responders assessing Lahar risks associated with eruptions. Teacher sets an alert placemark on the Google Earth web browser plug-in and gives students X minutes to decide whether to evacuate a down-slope town. Students collaborate by text messages.

Exploring Evidence of Plate Tectonics Using GeoMapApp part of Integrate:Workshops:Teaching the Methods of Geoscience:Activities
This activity requires students to explore a range of datasets that help substantiate Plate Tectonic Theory. Students investigate plate tectonic environments (convergent, divergent, transform boundaries), topography/bathymetry of continents and ocean basins, the distribution and pattern of earthquakes, the distribution of volcanoes, as well as ages of the sea-floor, and more.

Measuring the Campus Green part of Integrate:Workshops:Teaching the Methods of Geoscience:Activities
Students use basic tools to measure the size of one-quarter acre.

Energy Balance Game part of Integrate:Workshops:Teaching the Methods of Geoscience:Activities
This online game activity introduces students to Earth's radiative energy balance. It also explores the use of a simple climate model in the attribution of climate change.

Investigating Stream Energy and Gradient Using Small Stream Tables part of Integrate:Workshops:Teaching the Methods of Geoscience:Activities
In this Physical Geology lab activity, students investigate the relationship between stream energy and gradient by changing the gradient of a small stream table and observing changes in stream erosion.

Discovering the Principles of Relative Age Determination a Think-Pair-Share In-Class Activity part of Integrate:Workshops:Teaching the Methods of Geoscience:Activities
In this in-class activity, students are challenged to identify rock units and geologic features and determine the relative ages of these features without prior instruction in the classical methods of relative age determination.

Accuracy, Precision, and Topographic Data part of Integrate:Workshops:Teaching the Methods of Geoscience:Activities
This jigsaw style exercise challenges new geomorphology students to collect topographic data and analyze its accuracy and precision.

Reasons for the Seasons part of Integrate:Workshops:Teaching the Methods of Geoscience:Activities
The inquiry method and meteorological and astronomical online data can be used to elicit the inconsistencies of students' naïve ideas about the "real" reasons for the seasons. The first phase of this two-part investigation uses online meteorological data to identify factors that might explain differences of seasonal temperatures among cities These factors are used to hypothesize why differences of seasonal temperatures occur among cities. During the second phase, the variables and hypotheses that were previously identified in part one are used to design and conduct an inquiry-oriented investigation. Astronomical data is used as part of the investigation to "test" students' hypotheses conclusions are drawn then communicated.

Evaluating the lines of evidence for plate tectonics part of Integrate:Workshops:Teaching the Methods of Geoscience:Activities
In this in-class exercise, students compare several lines of evidence that support the ideas of continental drift and plate tectonics. Before the class meeting, each student is given a preparation assignment in which he/she studies one "continental drift" and one "ocean floor data" map. In class, students divide into teams of 3, with each team member having prepared different specialties. They discuss their respective maps and look for spatial patterns among the data.

Transport of heavy metals in the Clark Fork River part of Integrate:Workshops:Teaching the Methods of Geoscience:Activities
This is an activity about transport of sediment contaminated by copper, arsenic, and other heavy metals that was deposited into the Clark Fork River channel as the result of historical mining activity. The Clark Fork River between Butte and Milltown, Montana has been the focus of several large superfund projects designed to address the impacts of this legacy of mining in the watershed. This activity is used in an introductory physical geology lab (primarily non-majors) with students who may have limited experience working with quantitative analysis and analyzing graphs.

Stabilization Wedges Game part of Integrate:Workshops:Systems, Society, Sustainability and the Geosciences:Activities
Learning about complexities carbon stabilization firsthand with the Princeton University Carbon Mitigation Initiave's Sabilization Wedges Game

Introduction to Global Climate Change Through Classroom Discussion part of Integrate:Workshops:Systems, Society, Sustainability and the Geosciences:Activities
A classroom discussion about global climate change designed for a general undergraduate classroom. Discussion is facilitated by a 10-15 minute brainstorming session or gallery walk.

Action to Enhance Sustainability part of Integrate:Workshops:Systems, Society, Sustainability and the Geosciences:Activities
This assignment is a 10-hour, out-of-class project where each student designs and carries out an action plan to enhance sustainability. Students select from a large suite of alternative actions, most of which can be quantified for reductions in CO2 and energy consumption, as well as in dollar savings.

Offshore wind or offshore oil? part of Integrate:Workshops:Systems, Society, Sustainability and the Geosciences:Activities
An introductory environmental science project tasking students with comparing offshore oil and wind power development.

Determining Carbon Storage in Garcelon Bog part of Integrate:Workshops:Systems, Society, Sustainability and the Geosciences:Activities
This is a three-week lab sequence aimed at determining the approximate amount of carbon stored in a local bog and teaching skills for solving complex problems through collaborative work.

A mock legislative debate to enhance and integrate student understanding of climate change science, policy, economics and ethics part of Integrate:Workshops:Systems, Society, Sustainability and the Geosciences:Activities
This activity utilizes publicly available, proposed national legislation to provide a platform for student inquiry into the intersection of climate science, environmental economics and sustainable public policy.

How Can Models Be Used To Study Climate Change? part of Integrate:Workshops:Systems, Society, Sustainability and the Geosciences:Activities
Students utilize ice core data to develop a simple climate model, test it and then analyze, through reading IPCC materials, what other variables might need to be included in a model that more accurately predicts climate response to forcings. They are then asked to reflect on the use of models in scientific inquiry and on climate skeptics view of climate models.

Pollution or fishing industry research project part of Integrate:Workshops:Systems, Society, Sustainability and the Geosciences:Activities
Pick a particular type of pollution or fishing/commercial industry in the ocean. Describe its story how humans are impacting global oceanic systems and how the ocean is responding.

Exploring the nature of geoscience using cartoon cards part of Integrate:Workshops:Teaching the Methods of Geoscience:Activities
In this activity, students work in groups to put a set of cartoon cards in order, much in the way that we might assemble a geologic history. The primary goal of the activity is to explore the nature of science in general and the nature of geoscience or historical science specifically, without requiring any content knowledge.

Assessing Water Resource Demand in New York City part of Integrate:Workshops:Engineering, Sustainability, and the Geosciences:Activities
An exercise assessing the water demand of New York City and population dynamics underlying that demand is provided. Visualization of first order water resource estimates using precipitation data and a known water storage volume are used to draw conclusions about drought risk and the sustainability of NYC water supplies.

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