Western Washington University
Materials Contributed through SERC-hosted Projects
Rock cycle in chocolate lab part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
This lab activity simulates the rock cycle with a piece of chocolate instead of actual rock. Students melt, crystallize, erode, lithify and metamorphose a single small block of chocolate. Along the way students complete questions and compare the products of each step with actual rocks.
Weathering Experiment part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
This project has students dirty several dishes equally and design experiments to determine which analogs of geologic processes are most efficient for removing the baked-on food. Students calculate rates of weathering and/or erosion, and compare these to actual rock weathering rates.
Scientific Observation Activity part of Process of Science:Examples
In this activity, students learn how to "do" science on their own by exploring their observations of the world around them. Once a student has made an observation, they are asked to create a question about that observation (typically beginning with the words "why" or "how"). Students then make additional observations that are relevant to their question. Using these additional observations, the student answers his/her question and then forms additional hypotheses (inferences) about the process (going beyond the data they have collected to make a prediction) or develops additional questions about the process and discuss how they would proceed to answer these questions. Ideally this activity would be repeated at least once during the term.
General Geology lab part of Process of Science:Courses
This is the lab portion of General Geology (Geology 101), and is designed for novice scientists or science-phobic students. Different aspects of the process of science are addressed each week in the context of learning new hands-on content. This lab is currently being updated to highlight various techniques for conducting science, which will make understanding the process of science a focus of the lab experience.
General Geology part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Courses
General Geology is a survey of the many facets of geology and Earth Science, from the formation of the Universe and Solar System to rocks and minerals to geologic processes and hazards. The course design is based on Earth cycles (rock cycle, hydrologic cycle, hazard cycles) and has three blatantly recurring themes: recruiting majors, improving students' road trips, and ensuring that students never buy/rent a house in a geologically unsafe area.