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Quantitative Skills

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The Earth's Shells - Thicknesses and Densities part of Quantitative Skills:Activity Collection
Len Vacher, Dept of Geology, University of South Florida
This module explores the combination of densities and shell thicknesses that produce an aggregate density of the Earth of 5.5 g/cm3.

Weathering of Minerals part of Quantitative Skills:Activity Collection
Wendy Van Norden, harvard-westlake school
Students determine the % change in mass of mineral samples that have been placed in a rock tumbler. They graph the relationship between the hardness of the mineral and the % change in mass. They then consider why some of the mineral samples do not conform the the relationship they graphed. They investigate the physical properties of the outliers and consider how the physical properties contributed to the rate of weathering, and what kind of weathering occured in the rock tumbler.

Reading Topographic Maps and Calculating Map Scale part of Quantitative Skills:Activity Collection
Leslie Kanat, Johnson State College
Use a topographic map to deliniate a watershed, draw a map bar scale, and calculate a map ratio scale.

Stream Characteristics Lab part of Quantitative Skills:Activity Collection
Wendy Van Norden, harvard-westlake school
Students determine the relationship between the sinuosity of a river and its gradient by calculating gradients and sinuosity, and generating a graph on Excel. They then test the relationship by making measurements on a picture generated on Google Earth.

Population Growth, Ecological Footprints, and Overshoot part of SISL:2012 Sustainability in Math Workshop:Activities
Rikki Wagstrom
In this activity, students develop and apply linear, exponential, and rational functions to explore past and projected U.S. population growth, carbon footprint trend, ecological overshoot, and effectiveness of hypothetical carbon dioxide reduction initiatives.

Choosing Between Home Appliances: Benefits to the Planet and Your Wallet part of SISL:2012 Sustainability in Math Workshop:Activities
Corri Taylor, Wellesley College
Students research various options for new appliances and make purchasing decisions based not merely on purchase price, but also on energy efficiency, which has implications for the planet AND for longer-term personal finances. Students calculate the "payback period" for the more energy efficient appliance and calculate long-term savings.

How much energy do you save by doubling insulation? part of SISL:2012 Sustainability in Math Workshop:Activities
Joseph Skufca
Students will be provided the governing equation for steady state heat transfer across a surface. They will use that equation to explore the effect of changing the insulation value on the amount of energy used.

Using functions in an introductory geoscience course part of Quantitative Skills:Activity Collection
Jennifer Wenner, University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh
A template and two exercises (CO2 and population growth) designed to increase the graphical literacy of students in introductory geoscience and mathematics courses.

Prework for Rivers and Streams Lab (Intro Geology) part of Quantitative Skills:Activity Collection
Rachel Teasdale, California State University-Chico
In order to give Introductory Geology (Physical Geology) undergraduate non-majors students experience and confidence in using basic algebra to calculate very simple stream flow properties, we use a prework assignment prior to the Rivers and Streams Lab. Prework is a worksheet assigned 2 weeks in advance, which asks students to calculate velocity and discharge as well as unit conversions and calculations of stream load. The questions are put into the context of activities they completed earlier in the semester during visits to the stream (on campus) so questions are relevant to their previous experiences. The prework timeframe gives students the opportunity to seek extra help from their instructor prior to the lab period in which they will make additional measurements, similar calcualations and interpretations of their data.

Westward Ho! How Far is Yonder Mountain part of Quantitative Skills:Activity Collection
Len Vacher, Dept of Geology, University of South Florida
PowerPoint module leading students through development of a spreadsheet to calculate the distance of a mountain peak from coplanar vertical angles shot from two points a known distance apart.



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