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Quantitative Skills, Thinking, and Reasoning Activities


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Metric System Conversions: Process Oriented Guided Inquiry Learning (POGIL) activity
Jeffrey Pribyl
This activity helps student learn to convert within the metric system and begin learning about process skill necessary for working in groups.

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Calculating the radius of the Earth
Basil Tikoff, UW Madison
Science students often have difficulty thinking about large spatial scales. The purpose of the exercise is to redo Eratosthenes' calculation of the radius of the Earth using data from to sites in ancient Egypt. The excercise teaches about the methodology of science - how Eratothenes figured it out - rather than worried about what the "right" answer is. It can also be used to discuss the role of models in geological thinking.

Economics of installing Solar PV panels: is it worth it to the individual?
Martin Walter
We show that it is economical for an individual to install solar photovoltaic panels in Denver, Colorado; and this is a sustainable strategy for society at large.

Yellowstone! A National Park on a Hot Spot
Module by: Judy McIlrath, University of South Florida Cover Page by: Len Vacher and Denise Davis, University of South Florida
Spreadsheets Across the Curriculum module/Geology of National Parks course. Students use foundational math to study the velocity of the North American Plate over the hot spot, the volume of eruptive materials from it, and the recurrence interval of the cataclysmic eruptions.

Simple vs. Compound Interest -- Spreadsheeting the Difference
Gary Franchy, Southwestern Michigan College
Spreadsheets Across Curriculum module. Students build spreadsheets to tabulate, graph and compare the future value of investments with compound vs. simple interest. Spreadsheet level: beginner.

Take a Deep Breath on the Appalachian Trail in Great Smoky Mountains National Park: How Many Ozone Molecules Do You Inhale?
Module by: Len Vacher, University of South Florida Cover Page by: Len Vacher and Amie Fishinger, University of South Florida
Spreadsheets Across the Curriculum module/Geology of National Parks course. Students work with ratio and proportion and the concept of mole to calculate the number of molecules of ozone in a volume of air from concentration data.

Salmon Use of Geomorphically Restored Streams at Point Reyes National Seashore
Module by: Mark Rains, University of South Florida Cover Page by: Len Vacher and Denise Davis, University of South Florida
Spreadsheets Across the Curriculum module/Geology of National Parks course. Students work with salmon-trace streambed data to study whether removal of a spawning run barrier was effective

Getting to the Point: Exploring Tectonic Motion at Point Reyes National Seashore
Module by: Judy McIlrath, University of South Florida Cover Page by: Len Vacher and Denise Davis, University of South Florida
Spreadsheets Across the Curriculum module/Geology of National Parks course. Students use foundational math to calculate such earthquake-related numbers as fault displacement rate and earthquake recurrence interval associated with the San Andreas Fault at Point Reyes National Seashore.

Finding Your 'Perfect Partner': Evaluating matchmaker profiles usings ratings and cutoff methods
Semra Kilic-Bahi, Colby-Sawyer College
In this activity, students informally explore how the rating systems might be set up in a simple setting which uses the "profile" of eight candidates who have responded to an online dating service. The activity also employs the cut-off method as another decision making method on the same problem.


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