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Plate Tectonics Activities


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Identifying Plate Tectonic Boundaries for a Virtual Ocean Basin
Steve Reynolds, Arizona State University - Downtown Phoenix
Students observe an ocean basin and two continental margins to identify possible plate boundaries and predict where earthquakes and volcanoes would occur. They also draw the boundaries in cross section.

Mapping Plate Tectonic Boundaries
Michael Kerwin, University of Denver
This activity asks students to explore a National Geographic map showing Earth's plate tectonic boundaries. The exercise lets the students examine relationships between plate tectonic boundaries and geologic ...

Learning Assessment #1 - Plate Tectonics
Michelle Speta, University of Alberta; Leslie Reid, University of Calgary
An in-class activity that tests students' understanding of the basic concepts of plate tectonics.

Plate Tectonics Jigsaw
Anne Egger, Central Washington University
Students participate in a jigsaw activity to learn about types of plate boundaries, becoming an expert in one of five global datasets - earthquakes, volcanoes, seafloor age, topography, and gravity - and then ...

Testing the Fixed-hotspot-moving-plate model
Sara Harris, University of British Columbia
Students examine hot spot tracks, magnetic inclination data, and coral data from the Hawaii-Emperor Seamount Chain to test the hypothesis that hotspots are fixed. Most students have learned somewhere that hotspots ...

Distribution of Active Volcanoes Exercise
Rebecca Teed, Wright State University-Main Campus
In this series of inquiry-based exercises about volcanoes and plate tectonics, students will collect, plot, and interpret data and finish with a role-playing activity and a virtual field trip. -

Emergent Models in Google Earth
Declan De Paor, Old Dominion University
This is one sample of a set of emergent models we are developing for use with Google Earth. Students use the Google Earth time-slider to lift 3D models of the subsurface into view. They can substitute their own ...

Where is that chunk of crust going?
Vince Cronin, Baylor University
I introduce students to GPS, frames of reference, and the permanent GPS stations in the EarthScope Plate Boundary Observatory (PBO) in class, and obtain near-real-time data for two stations from UNAVCO. We use ...

Reading Time Series Plots
Shelley Olds, UNAVCO
This activity provides a brief introduction to GPS and provides a student activity to practice creating and reading time series plots with simplified GPS data and with authentic GPS data from Iceland.

Geomorphology in the news
Nicole Gasparini, Tulane University of Louisiana
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.

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