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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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Social Change and the Climate Crisis: Toward a Sustainable Future part of Curriculum for the Bioregion:Activities
Students gain hands-on research experience and increase their understanding of the applicability of theories of social change and further information about climate change.

Energy Resources: Considering the Sustainability of Past, Present, and Future Resource Consumption part of Curriculum for the Bioregion:Activities
Students consider the vast amount of past and present energy resources in the world, their distribution, as well as the sustainability of their use. It introduces the idea of resource consumption and distribution to high school students.

Nature and Food part of Curriculum for the Bioregion:Activities
In this activity students read articles or excerpts of books to explore the topic of sustainability in terms of food webs, roles of plants, animals, fungi, and bacteria and their own food choices. Students continue their exploration of these kingdoms with a visit to a farmers' market and a grocery store to compare locally grown foods and grocery store selections.

Bottled Versus Tap Water: What You Drink and Why part of Curriculum for the Bioregion:Activities
In the activity students learn about the properties of solutions, acidity and pH, electrolytes versus non-electrolytes, and solution concentration. Hopefully, this activity will also dispel common misconceptions about tap water and bottled beverages.

Modeling Atmospheric CO2 Data part of Curriculum for the Bioregion:Activities
In this activity, students will use actual CO2 data from the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii to create their own "Keeling Curve"; conduct an analysis of the data; and, attempt to match it to a mathematical function. They will then use the function to predict increases in CO2, both historical and future.

How Did This Landscape Form? A Field-Based Exercise to Enhance Awareness of the Natural Environment part of Curriculum for the Bioregion:Activities
In this activity students will investigate a landform (such as a waterfall or lake) in the field and apply the scientific method to come up with a geologic hypothesis. The focus of the activity is on making observations of the natural environment and fostering a "sense of place."

Assessing Local Sea Level Rise part of Curriculum for the Bioregion:Activities
Students will read primary scientific literature, work collaboratively, think critically, and utilize GIS as a tool to visualize and quantify spatial and temporal changes in hydrological systems.

Developing a Sense of Place with Pre-service Science Teachers part of Curriculum for the Bioregion:Activities
The lesson content focuses on designing investigations concerning the notion of scale through a series of investigations on their campus. The overarching goal is to foster a connection to the earth through an investigation of the local environment.

Sustainability and Changing Rates of Change part of Curriculum for the Bioregion:Activities
To understand sustainability, students must understand rates of change. This activity includes a primer on basic rates concepts and an exercise that motivates critical thinking about rates of change and sustainability with an analysis of historical petroleum production rates data from the United States and the world.

Town Planning using Geological Constraints part of Curriculum for the Bioregion:Activities
Students are divided into teams, each charged with writing a plan for the expansion of a fictional town in the North Cascades foothills. The town council (the instructor) has decided upon several expansion projects, such as an airport and housing subdivisions, and the student teams receive information about the bedrock geology, hydrology, soils, and slope stability of the area. Students present their plans in a open forum to the other students, and there is a vote of the students on the most reasonable science-based plan.

The Vital Role of Soil in Sustainable Ecosystems part of Curriculum for the Bioregion:Activities
In this natural science lab, students examine different soil profiles along a hillside. Understanding about topsoil formation and conservation is then related to sustainable agriculture and carbon sequestration and its importance in mitigating climate change.

Mining Decisions: Developing New Perspectives on Mineral Extraction part of Curriculum for the Bioregion:Activities
Students examine different stakeholder-perspectives with respect to a local mining project. Debate and discussion will highlight environmental, economic, and social justice issues.

Using Google Earth Layers to Understand Local Geomorphology part of Curriculum for the Bioregion:Activities
Using Google Earth to understand how geomorphology may control shallow groundwater flooding and surface hydrology.

Old Sticks in the Mud: Hazards of Lahars from Mount Rainier Volcano part of Curriculum for the Bioregion:Activities
Volcanic debris flows (lahars) flow long distances, bury and aggrade river valleys, and cause long-term stream disturbances and dramatic landscape changes. Students will evaluate the nature, scale, and history of ...

Waste As A Resource part of Curriculum for the Bioregion:Activities
Students understand the growing impact of waste and waste disposal on our environment and economy, and examines solutions to these issues through exploration of waste as a resource and the implementation of zero-waste manufacturing/building practices.

The High Cost of High Tech: Environmental and Human Costs of Metals part of Curriculum for the Bioregion:Activities
Students conduct independent research on metal and metal ores resources, including exploring the human and environmental costs of metal mining, consumption, disposal, and recycling. A series of worksheets, completed outside of class, guide students in examining their own use and consumption of metals, learn the true importance of metals in their lives, and the impact of resource consumption to the human community.

Mapping Stormwater Runoff Infrastructure for the City of Bothell part of Curriculum for the Bioregion:Activities
Term-long course activity for student groups to map the flow of stormwater runoff on newly developed or altered properties in and for the City of Bothell.

Critical Thinking on Sustainable Food Production and Consumer Habits part of Curriculum for the Bioregion:Activities
Students are assigned to research, write, take a position and present it on the complex issue of sustainable food production and consumer habits.

Developing a Transportation Survey to Estimate Gasoline Use by Campus Commuters part of Curriculum for the Bioregion:Activities
Through this activity, students in a liberal arts mathematics class will develop experience with real-world statistical concepts through the context of sustainability: estimation, survey writing, sampling techniques, and data analysis.

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