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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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Paleoecology: An Evolutionary Arms Race part of Cutting Edge:Courses:Paleontology:Activities
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, ...

Carbon Footprint Exercise part of Cutting Edge:Topics:Climate Change:Activities
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 ...

Modeling the interior of the Earth using Seismic Waves part of Quantitative Skills:Activity Collection
Students use a variety of tools to explore the interior of the Earth in this inquiry activity.

Extending Mineralogy by Electron Microprobe Analysis part of Cutting Edge:Courses:Petrology:Teaching Examples
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 ...

Calculating Pressures and Temperatures of Petrologic Events: Geothermobarometry part of Cutting Edge:Courses:Petrology:Teaching Examples
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 part of Cutting Edge:Courses:Petrology:Teaching Examples
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 part of Cutting Edge:Courses:Mineralogy:Activities
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 part of Cutting Edge:Courses:Mineralogy:Activities
This activity uses figures from Francois Brisse as Esher drawings to teach students about 2-dimensional symmetry, especially involving translation.

A Term-Long Mineralogy Lab Practical Exam part of Cutting Edge:Courses:Mineralogy:Activities
This term-long project involves identifying a set of 65 mineral hand samples by their distinguishing characteristics.

Monument Creek hydraulics project part of Cutting Edge:Courses:Geomorphology:Activities
This is a several-part field and computer-based project that involves students in measurement of stream-channel geometry, basic stream-hydraulics calculations, and flood-frequency analysis. Its primary strengths ...

A Term-Long Mineralogy Lab Practical Exam part of Cutting Edge:Courses:Mineralogy:Activities
This term-long project involves identifying a set of 65 mineral hand samples by their distinguishing characteristics.

2004 Asian Earthquake and Tsunami Disaster Project part of Cutting Edge:Enhance Your Teaching:Visualization:Examples
Students are employees of a unit of the United Nations responsible for coordinating disaster relief after a major disaster (the 2004 Asian Earthquake and Tsunami) occurs. The agency needs to understand the ...

New Approaches to field-based analysis of stratigraphic sections part of Cutting Edge:Courses:Sedimentary Geology:Activities
This is a field-based project that is designed to teach students how to interpret processes of deposition and paleoenvironments from outcrop.

Designing Sedimentary Geology Courses Around Field Projects With Realistic Scenarios part of Cutting Edge:Courses:Sedimentary Geology:Activities
Sedimentary geology courses can be structured around field projects that take advantage of the local geology and are placed within realistic situations to demonstrate the relevance of the work that sedimentologists ...

Google Earth Tours of Glacier Change part of Cutting Edge:Topics:Climate Change:Activities
A detailed Google Earth tour of glacier change over the last 50 years is given in class as an introduction. Students are then asked to select from a group of glaciers and create their own Google Earth tour ...

Cascadia Great Earthquake and Tsunami Suite part of Cutting Edge:Courses:GIS and Remote Sensing:Activities2
Michael Mayhew and Michelle Hall, Science Education Solutions Summary The Cascadia Earthquakes and Tsunami Suite contains five case studies organized around understanding the potential for large earthquakes and ...

Northridge: A Case Study of an Urban Earthquake part of Cutting Edge:Courses:GIS and Remote Sensing:Activities2
Michael Mayhew and Michelle Hall, Science Education Solutions Summary The 1994 Northridge Earthquake Case Study explores the mystery of how such a major fault could have been missed within a tectonic basin that is ...

Crust-Busting Faults part of Cutting Edge:Courses:Structural Geology:Structure, Geophysics, and Tectonics 2012:Activities
Students independently research a major ancient or active regional fault, and cogently describe map and cross sectional characteristics, kinematics, mechanics, and plate tectonic significance. They present results ...

Exercise on the Mesozoic/Cenozoic Development of the North American Cordillera part of Cutting Edge:Courses:Structural Geology:Structure, Geophysics, and Tectonics 2012:Activities
This assignment is intended to have students use the map reading skills they have learned in previous labs and their understanding of the lower crust and upper mantle derived from classroom lectures and ...

Taking the Pulse of Yellowstone's part of Cutting Edge:Courses:Structural Geology:Structure, Geophysics, and Tectonics 2012:Activities
In this activity, students learn about volcanism in Yellowstone National Park, focusing on its history of eruption, recent seismicity, hydrothermal events, and ground deformation. They learn how scientists monitor ...

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