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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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Mineral Classification Exercise part of Cutting Edge:Courses:Mineralogy:Activities
This exercise gets students thinking about mineral classification and the properties that are most useful for classifying and identifying minerals.

Igneous Rock Compositions and Plate Tectonics part of Cutting Edge:Courses:Petrology:Teaching Examples
In this exercise, students use whole-rock major- and trace-element compositions of igneous rocks from a variety of tectonic settings and locations to explore the importance of plate setting in determining magma ...

Constraints and Implications of Groundwater Temperature on the Formation of Mississippi Valley-type Zn-Pb Deposits part of Cutting Edge:Courses:Hydrogeology:Activities
This assignment illustrates the role of groundwater in transporting heat and its implications for the formation of hydrothermal ore deposits. The assignment uses a combination of graphs and algebraic equations that ...

Using Excel for Aquifer Test part of Cutting Edge:Courses:Hydrogeology:Activities
Entry level undergraduate students who use commercial software packages for aquifer test often feel frustrated and distant from real field test. This session introduces a method of aquifer test using Excel ...

Mass Balance and Mineral Reactions part of Cutting Edge:Courses: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:Topics: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 ...

Earthquake Shaking and Damage part of Quantitative Skills:Activity Collection
This student homework and problem set has students quantitatively earthquake hazard, shaking and damage.

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.

Poleward Heat Transport Jigsaw part of Cutting Edge:Topics:Hurricanes-Climate Change Connection:Activities
Based on great plate tectonic exercise by Sawyer et al. (2005 JGE), this small-group exercise with maps of data about earth's energy balance helps students visualize poleward heat transport.

Guided Discovery and Scoring Rubric for Petrographic Analysis of a Thin Section part of Cutting Edge:Develop Program-Wide Abilities:Metacognition:Activities
A guided discovery approach is used to "unpack" the methods and observations used by "master" petrographers in the petrographic analysis of a thin section. A series of spread sheets are used to ...

Metacognition Training through Think-Aloud Pair Problem Solving [TAPPS]: Two Lessons about Rivers part of Cutting Edge:Develop Program-Wide Abilities: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.

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 ...

Using An M&M Magma Chamber To Illustrate Magmatic Differentiation part of Cutting Edge:Courses:Petrology:Teaching Examples
Fractional crystallization by gravity settling can be illustrated using a model magma chamber consisting of M&M's®. In this model, each major cation (e.g., Si, Ti, Al, Fe, Mg, Ca, Na, K) is ...

Progressive metamorphism of pelitic rocks: A lab assignment to facilitate translation from AFM space to P-T space part of Cutting Edge:Courses:Petrology:Teaching Examples
This is an example of a lab activity aimed at teaching students how to go from natural samples to AFM diagrams to P-T conditions of equilibration.

Mapping Local Data in a GIS part of Earth Exploration Toolbook:MyMap
DATA: Student-collected GPS data and site characterizations TOOLS: MyWorld GIS, spreadsheet program SUMMARY: Follow a study of Urban Heat Islands as an example of map-based science research projects.

Fluvial Geomorphology of the Upper Yellowstone River Drainage Basin: Using Google Earth to Analyze Rivers part of Cutting Edge:Courses:Geomorphology:Activities
Students will learn how to make measurements and collect data using Google Earth and NIH ImageJ.

The use of visualization and sketches of thin sections to encourage a better understanding of phase diagrams: Binary and ternary phase diagram exercises part of Cutting Edge:Courses:Petrology:Teaching Examples
In these homework exercises, students manipulate two- and three- component phase diagrams. At various points during their interpretation of melting or crystallization of a composition, they are asked to ...

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 ...

Teaching Stable Isotope Geochemistry in an Undergraduate Petrology or Geochemistry Course part of Cutting Edge:Courses:Petrology:Teaching Examples
This assignment includes three reading assignments for students that (1) introduce the basics of stable isotope geochemistry, (2) explain carbon and oxygen isotopic shifts that result from volatilization and/or ...