Brigham Young University
Barry Bickmore is a professor in the Department of Geological Sciences at Bringham Young University. His two main research focuses are in low temperature geochemistry and geoscience education. For more information, visit Barry Bickmore's faculty web page from Brigham Young University.
Materials Contributed through SERC-hosted Projects
The Anatomy of a Rate Law part of Pedagogy in Action:Library:Quantitative Writing:Examples
In this activity, students try to derive the mathematical forms of rate laws involving elementary reactions. It begins with a guided classroom discussion meant to bring out the main factors that affect chemical reaction rates. It ends with a short writing assignment that is meant to help them cement the concepts and learn some basic paragraph organization skills.
Magma Viscosity Demos part of Pedagogy in Action:Library:Interactive Lectures:Examples
In this interactive lecture, geology or earth science students answer iClicker questions and have group discussions about two videos that demonstrate the links between magma composition, temperature, and viscosity, as well as how viscosity controls the explosiveness and morphology of volcanoes. The movies and a Powerpoint file with frames set aside for inserting the movies are provided.
Chemical Equilibrium Misconceptions part of Pedagogy in Action:Library:Mathematical and Statistical Models:Examples
In this geochemistry activity, students explore a STELLA model of anhydrite-solution equilibrium. They find ways to illustrate several points about chemical equilibrium that address common misconceptions using this model. Then they write a mock research paper about addressing common misconceptions about chemical equilibrium in the classroom.
Science as Storytelling for Teaching the Nature of Science part of Teacher Preparation:Resource Collections:Activities
In this exercise, students are assigned to read an essay called "Science As Storytelling," discuss it in the classroom, and complete some short, in-class writing assignments. The essay addresses the common misconception that science is (or is at least pretty close to) a body of facts about the way the world works that scientists discover and students memorize.
Rock Types Lab part of Pedagogy in Action:Library:Indoor Labs:Examples
In this lab, students identify rocks as metamorphic, igneous-plutonic, igneous-volcanic, sedimentary-detrital, or sedimentary-chemical on the basis of characteristics that are linked to their manner of formation. Groups of students classify sets of three rocks at a time, and get feedback from the TA, then switch sets. The focus is on helping them connect the "story" of different rock types (i.e., their history, which students should have previously learned about in some presentation of the "Rock Cycle") with different features that show up in the rocks.
Organizing Scientific Writing part of Process of Science:Examples
In a number of my classes for geology majors I give writing assignments along with some explicit instructions about how to organize their writing. They write initial drafts, which are subjected to peer review according to a standard rubric. They then go over another draft with me in my office, and then submit the final draft.
Observations vs. Explanations part of Process of Science:Examples
In this classroom activity students are asked to put themselves in the place of the first scientists who explained the origin of the Solar System. In groups, they make a list of observations they would try to make if they were trying to come up with such an explanation. The class then discusses the answers given by the different groups and the instructor then describes some of the observations upon which scientists did end up basing their explanation. This simple activity was designed to help students start thinking more like scientists, but it never fails to expose student misconceptions about the nature of observations vs. explanations.
Earth Stories: Earth Science for Elementary Education Majors part of Process of Science:Courses
This course is designed to help Elementary Education majors learn basic geological concepts. This is done in the context of the nature of science and basic scientific thinking skills.
Geochemistry part of Cutting Edge:Course Design:Goals Database
This course is an introductory geochemistry class that focuses on the application of basic chemical principles and problem-solving to geochemical systems.
Brigham Young University: Earth Science for Elementary Education Majors part of Teacher Preparation:Resource Collections:Courses
This is the second part of a 2-semester sequence on the physical sciences required for Elementary Education and Early Childhood Education majors. The first course in the sequence covers principles of chemistry and physics, while this course addresses principles of Earth science. For Dr. Bickmore's reflections on the course and its design, see Earth Science for Elementary Majors: Role in the Program
Science Mini-Lessons for Pre-Service Elementary Teachers part of Pedagogy in Action:Activities
In this activity, groups of students in an Earth Science class for elementary education majors create 5-minute mini-lessons about some concept in the state core science curriculum (grades 1-6). They are required to look up common misconceptions about the concept and target one of them in the lesson. The mini-lessons are then presented to the children of the appropriate grade level at a local elementary school.