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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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Calculating a Simple Phase Diagram: Diamond=Graphite part of Cutting Edge:Courses:Petrology:Teaching Examples
This is a very short exercise designed to get students to understand how the Gibbs energy equation is used to calculate the location of a reaction in P-T space. I use it in-class and have students work on it in ...

Fluvial Landforms on Maps part of Cutting Edge:Courses:Geomorphology:Activities
This is an in-class exercise designed to A) give students more practice reading topographic maps, B) have students identify fluvial landforms on maps, and C) get students thinking about the processes that formed ...

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.

Calculating Compositional Variation and Common Substitutions for Igneous and Metamorphic Minerals part of Cutting Edge:Courses: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 ...

Rocks, Weathering, and Erosional Landscapes part of Cutting Edge:Courses:Geomorphology:Activities
Students will identify a variety of silicate minerals and rocks and relate them to their topographic expression according to relative resistance.

Geomorphology in the news part of Cutting Edge:Courses:Geomorphology:Activities
The activity requires students to present a current news story that has a geomorphic component. The students must relate course material to current events and society.

Anthropogenic Effects on Erosion part of Cutting Edge:Courses:Geomorphology:Activities
This exercise investigates anthropogenic effects on erosion in two parts. The first is a discussion of a paper by Roger Hooke (2000) "On the history of humans as geomorphic agents." The second half ...

Geo-Savvy Assessment part of Cutting Edge:Courses:Geomorphology:Activities
I use this "landscape interpretation" exercise to assess what students know coming into my classroom - so that I can pitch the lecture at the right level. I also use a similar structured assessment at the ...

Drainage Basins Field Lab part of Cutting Edge:Courses:Geomorphology:Activities
This field activity and follow-up assignment explores the geomorphology of drainage basins in an active tectonic setting. It introduces basic concepts of drainage basin structure and landscape analysis using ...

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

Fault-bounded mountains and morphometric properties part of Cutting Edge:Courses:Geomorphology:Activities
This classroom activity is designed to help students see the utility of simple morphometric properties in fault-bounded mountain and piedmont environments. Rather than listing and describing commonly used ...

Drainage basin patterns and stream courses part of Cutting Edge:Courses:Geomorphology:Activities
This is a two- to three-day classroom activity and writing assignment that is designed to help students recognize typical drainage basin patterns and stream courses. In addition to discussing common drainage basin ...

Mass Wasting and Slope Stability part of Cutting Edge:Courses:Geomorphology:Activities
An investigation of mass movements along the shores of Lake MI. Students will assess strength characteristics of unconsolidated sediment in the field, survey the morphology of the movement, and determine the ...

Using GLOBE Data to Study the Earth System part of Earth Exploration Toolbook:Using GLOBE Data to Study Earths System
DATA: Student-collected environmental data TOOL: GLOBE Online Graphing Tool SUMMARY: explore, graph, and compare data from the GLOBE (Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment) Program.

Using Field Lab Write-ups to Develop Observational and Critical Thinking Skills part of Cutting Edge:Courses:Structural Geology:Activities
This adaptation of field labs incorporates writing in the form of "Description" and "Interpretation" sections of a geologic report. It can be used in many types of field labs to improve critical ...

Evolution of Normal Fault Systems During Progressive Deformation part of Cutting Edge:Courses:Structural Geology:Activities
This activity is based on QuickTime movies and color digital photographs derived from sandbox experiments that produce normal faults in a variety of boundary conditions following experiments developed by Ken ...

Structural Control of Giant Rock Avalanches in Argentina part of Cutting Edge:Courses:Structural Geology:Activities
Students analyze the influence of bedrock structures on the locations of giant rock avalanches in Argentina. Activity is available in two versions: 1) short case example that can be used as an in-class activity or ...

Earthquake Location part of Cutting Edge:Courses:Geophysics:Workshop 07:Geophysics Activities
Earthquake location is an interesting and significant aspect of seismology. A number of methods that vary from simple to complex are available for learning about earthquake location. The methods also allow ...

Scorpions as Seismologists part of Cutting Edge:Courses: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 ...

Earthquake! A Term Paper and Presentation Assignment part of Cutting Edge:Courses:Geophysics:Workshop 07:Geophysics Activities
In this writing and oral presentaion assignment, students are challenged to assess a building site for a fictitious organization, the Society for Earthquake Enthusiasts. Each student must choose a historically ...