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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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Grade Level: College Lower (13-14)

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2004 Asian Earthquake and Tsunami Disaster Project part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Cooperative Learning: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 ...

Pathogenic Microorganisms in Water part of Cutting Edge:Hydrogeology:Activities
This activity introduces students to sampling and testing for microorganisms in different water sources. It also tests iodine tablets to kill coliform bacteria which interest many students. The activity utilizes ...

Mass Balance and Mineral Reactions part of Cutting Edge:Petrology:Teaching Examples
This is a short exercise to make sure that students understand mass balance and how the different starting assemblages may lead to different results after metamorphism. It is quick but not trivial.

The Lifestyle Project part of Cutting Edge:Public Policy:Activities
This three-week project challenges students to learn about environmental alternatives by modifying their own lifestyles. Throughout the project, students reduce their impacts on the environment by changing the way ...

Did it Rain on Mars? Analysis of Valley Networks on Mars in an Intro Geo Course part of Cutting Edge:Discoveries from Mars:Activities
Students investigate the question of whether it might have rained on Mars by doing an activity based on an article by Hynek and Phillips (2003). Students do a simple drainage basin analysis based on Hynek and ...

Digital Sandstone Tutorial part of Cutting Edge:Sedimentary Geology:Activities
The Tutorial Petrographic Image Atlas is designed to give students more exposure to petrographic features than they can get during organized laboratory periods.

Modeling Glacier Erosion Through Time part of Cutting Edge:Climate Change:Activities
This lab could be adapted for an introductory geology course, upper division geomorphology course, or a climate change course. This activity is borrowed from John Harbor's paper in the Journal of Geoscience ...

Simulation of international negotiations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions part of Cutting Edge:Climate Change:Activities
In order to convey how the international community is responding to climate change, students engage in a simulation of the international negotiation process. Participants learn first hand the interests of different ...

Understanding the Carbon Cycle: A Jigsaw Approach part of Cutting Edge:Climate Change:Activities
In this "jigsaw" exercise, each student is assigned one of five geochemical processes in the carbon cycle to research, fully understand, and then explain to others in groups of five. At the end of class ...

Lifelines and "Earth lines" part of Cutting Edge:Affective Domain:Activities
This activity can be used as a first lab for an introductory-level geoscience course. It is a cooperative ice-breaker gets students to know one another and opens discussion for geologic time and earth history.

Scorpions as Seismologists part of Cutting Edge:Geophysics:Workshop 07:Geophysics Activities
Students investigate how seismologists and scorpions use wave travel times to locate sources of movement. The primary strength of this exercise is that it links geophysics and biology to enhance interest for ...

Earth Motion Monitor part of Cutting Edge:Geophysics:Workshop 07:Geophysics Activities
An activity based around the display near real-time seismograms in the classroom.

Google Earth Tours of Glacier Change part of Cutting Edge: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 ...

Calculating Compositional Variation and Common Substitutions for Igneous and Metamorphic Minerals part of Cutting Edge:Petrology:Teaching Examples
This problem set uses Excel spreadsheets to calculate mineral formulae from analytical data (typically from the electron microprobe) using a variety of formulations that assume numerous variations of crystal ...

Humans as Geomorphic Agents part of Cutting Edge:Geomorphology:Activities
An introduction to order-of-magnitude calculations and reading quantitative journal articles.

Red Beans and Rice: Slope failure experimental modeling part of Cutting Edge:Geomorphology:Activities
Students replicate a slope failure experiment published in Science (Densmore et al., 1997) using a simple, acrylic slope failure box in an effort to forge a link between autocyclic processes, long-term landscape ...

Metacognition Training through Think-Aloud Pair Problem Solving [TAPPS]: Two Lessons about Rivers part of Cutting Edge:Metacognition:Activities
Attached is a description of how to use "Think-aloud Pair Problem Solving" in a classroom. It is followed with two lesson plans on the topic of rivers.

Carbon Footprint Exercise part of Cutting Edge: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 ...

When Pond Scum Ruled the Earth - The Proterozoic Fossil Record part of Cutting Edge:Paleontology:Activities
In this specimen-based activity, students examine microfossils and stromatolites and build an understanding of the Proterozoic paleontological record.

Review for interdisiplinary science course (stream ecology, watersheds) part of Cutting Edge:Complex Systems:Teaching Activities
This is a large-scale participatory activity used to prompt students to review what they have learned and to think actively and cooperatively about the connections between the systems we have discussed prior to the ...

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