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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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Problem set: Constructing metamorphic phase diagrams using phase equilibria and the Clausius-Clapeyron equation part of Cutting Edge:Petrology:Teaching Examples
In this problem set students construct a P-T phase diagram for the aluminosilicate polymorphs based on experimental phase equilibria and application of the Clausius-Clapeyron equation. The problem set uses unit ...

Timing of mineralization in the palm of your hand: Cross-cutting relations, copper minerals and ore-forming hydrothermal fluid evolution part of Cutting Edge:Petrology:Teaching Examples
This lab is designed to familiarize students with the geologic history of an ore-deposit, deciphered in the palm of your hand. By determining cross cutting relations of veins and mineralogy, students decipher the ...

Weathering of Igneous, Metamorphic, and Sedimentary Rocks in a Semi-Arid Climate - An Engineering Application of Petrology part of Cutting Edge:Petrology:Teaching Examples
Students examine soils developed on igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary rocks near Denver, Colorado. The 2-week exercise includes sample collection, description, and preparation, determining clay mineralogy by ...

Calculating a Simple Phase Diagram: Diamond=Graphite part of Cutting Edge: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 ...

Extending Mineralogy by Electron Microprobe Analysis part of Cutting Edge: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: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 ...

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 - 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:Geomorphology:Activities
Students will learn how to make measurements and collect data using Google Earth and NIH ImageJ.

Working with Electron Microprobe Data from a High Pressure Experiment - Calculating Mineral Formulas, Unit Cell Content, and Geothermometry part of Cutting Edge:Petrology:Teaching Examples
In this problem set students use electron microprobe analyses of a peridotite partial melting experiment to determine mineral formulas, calculate unit cell content, plot results on a classification diagram, and use ...

Teaching Stable Isotope Geochemistry in an Undergraduate Petrology or Geochemistry Course part of Cutting Edge: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 ...

Introduction to Gibbs Energy part of Cutting Edge:Petrology:Teaching Examples
This is a short project that can be used in-class or as homework. It involves just a few questions and it is intended to help students understand the idea of Gibbs free energy.

Nearest-neighbor analysis and the distribution of sinkholes: an introduction to spatial statistics part of Cutting Edge:Geomorphology:Activities
This is an exercise I use in an upper-division geomorphology course to introduce students to nearest-neighbor analysis, a basic technic in spatial statistics. This technique provides an objective method for ...

Poleward Heat Transport Jigsaw part of Cutting Edge: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: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: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 ...

A Geologic Safari of the East African Rift and the Newark Basin: Why these areas are more alike than you know part of MARGINS Data in the Classroom:MARGINS Mini-Lessons
This activity explores the similarity and differences between the Newark Rift Basin and East African Rift.

Cladogram Construction and Vertebrate Phylogeny part of Cutting Edge:Paleontology:Activities
Students are given pictures of a variety of extant vertebrates. They work in groups to determine which animals are most closely related. Following a series of clicker questions and a discussion of the ...

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.

Paleoecology Lab part of Cutting Edge:Paleontology:Activities
This activity gives students practice in identifying fossils in the context of assemblages and allows them to make paleoecological interpretations.