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Plate Tectonics Activities


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Rock-Tectonics synthesis lab
Dori Farthing, SUNY Geneseo
This lab aims to draw together rock identification and plate tectonics as well as relative age relationships. It gets students to "be" geologists...looking at rock suites and trying to see how they fit ...

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. -

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 ...

Naming Igneous Rocks
Dexter Perkins, University of North Dakota-Main Campus
This project is intended to introduce students to the IUGS rock classification scheme. Samples come from the Wards Collections (which many schools have). Students are provided with both hand specimens and thin ...

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 ...

Observations and Measurements in Geology
Stacey Cochiara, New Jersey City University
This exercise gives students an introduction to topics they will encounter throughout the semester, and future course work. It covers plate tectonics, weathering, and basic rock descriptions.

Metamorphism and Continental Collision
Kenneth Howard, Wake Technical Community College
This is an exercise designed to help students link metamorphism and other geologic processes in context of the plate tectonic theory.

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 ...

Plate Motions
Jeffrey Nunn, Louisiana State University
Students are asked to removed the last 40 Ma of ocean crust from an isochron map and then put the plates back together. This exercise helps students see that plates and plate boundaries canNOT be stationary through ...

Tracking Tectonic Plates Using Two Independent Methods
Laurel Goodell, Princeton University
Students use two independent methods to determine relative plate motions across a plate boundary. They find that plate tectonic theory generally holds up but also discover sophisticated detail (e.g. velocities ...

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