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Earth System Science Courses


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Fog Chamber part of Pedagogy in Action:Library:Interactive Lecture Demonstrations:Examples
Show how clouds and fog are created with a very simple physical model. Materials needed are: A large 1 gallon jar, latex glove, a little water, and matches.

Phases of the Moon part of Pedagogy in Action:Library:Interactive Lecture Demonstrations:Examples
This exercise has students use a simple physical model of the Earth, sun, and moon to understand why the moon changes phases from the perspective of Earthly observers.

Slinky and Waves part of Pedagogy in Action:Library:Interactive Lecture Demonstrations:Examples
Use a Slinky to show:P and S waves, Wave reflection, and Standing waves in interactive lecture demonstration.

Earthquake Demonstration part of Pedagogy in Action:Library:Interactive Lecture Demonstrations:Examples
This demonstration uses an "earthquake machine" constructed from bricks, sand paper, and a winch, to simulate the buildup of elastic strain energy prior to a seismic event and the release of that energy during an earthquake.

Crystallization from Melt Demonstration part of Pedagogy in Action:Library:Interactive Lecture Demonstrations:Examples
This demonstration uses melted phenyl salicylate to show how crystals nucleate and grow as the temperature of the liquid melt decreases.

Sun Spot Analysis part of Pedagogy in Action:Library:Teaching with Data:Examples
Introductory students use Excel to graph monthly mean Greenwich sunspot numbers from 1749 to 2004 and perform a spectral analysis of the data using the free software program "Spectra".

Using Mass Balance to Understand Atmospheric CFCs part of Pedagogy in Action:Library:Teaching with Data:Examples
Students use an interactive online mass balance model help understand the observed levels of chlorofluorocarbon CFC-12 over the recent past.

Problem-Based Learning: UV Menace part of Pedagogy in Action:Library:Cooperative Learning:Examples
Students work as a team to determine the causes, effects, and solutions to ozone depletion. They work out what they need to know, and split the team up to research different parts of the issue.

Energy Balance Climate Model: Stella Mac and PC part of Pedagogy in Action:Library:Mathematical and Statistical Models:Examples
Students explore a Global Energy Balance Climate Model Using Stella II. Response of surface temperature to variations in solar input, atmospheric and surface albedo, atmospheric water vapor and carbon dioxide, volcanic eruptions, and mixed layer ocean depth. Climate feedbacks such as water vapor or ice-albedo can be turned on or off.

Waves Through Earth: Interactive Online Mac and PC part of Pedagogy in Action:Library:Mathematical and Statistical Models:Examples
Students vary the seismic P and S wave velocity through each of four concentric regions of Earth and match "data" for travel times vs. angular distance around Earth's surface from the source to detector.