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Teaching Activities

These teaching activities have been designed with the aim of helping develop students' quantitative skills, literacy, or reasoning. To search by a specific discipline, use the 'Refine the Results' links on the right.


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Investigating Earthquakes: GIS Mapping and Analysis (College Level)
Brian Welch
This is a college-level adaptation of a chapter from the Earth Exploration Toolbook. The students download global quake data over a time range and use GIS to interpret the tectonic context. -

How Fast Do Materials Weather?
Rebecca Teed, Wright State University-Main Campus
A think-pair-share activity in which students calculate weathering rates from tombstone weathering data. -

Carbon Dioxide Exercise
Rebecca Teed, Wright State University-Main Campus
Students work in groups, plotting carbon dioxide concentrations over time on overheads and estimating the rate of change over five years. -

The Modern Atmospheric CO2 Record
Bob Mackay, Clark College
Students compare carbon dioxide (CO2) data from Mauna Loa Observatory, Barrow (Alaska), and the South Pole over the past 40 years to help them better understand what controls atmospheric CO2. -

Back-of-the-Envelope Calculations: Weight of Gold
Barb Tewksbury, Hamilton College
Question Let's suppose that you have a shoe box full of water (the box is waterproof, of course). The shoe box weighs about 9 kg (19.8 pounds). Suppose you emptied the box and filled it completely with rock ...

Two streams, two stories... How Humans Alter Floods and Streams
Eric Baer, Highline Community College
An activity/lab where students determine the changes in 100-year flood determinations for 2 streams over time.

Vectors and slope stability
Eric Baer, Highline Community College
An in-class activity or homework for graphically solving slope-stability problems with vectors.

Petrography and Petrogenesis of a Mid-Ocean Ridge Lava Suite
Matthew Smith, University of Florida; Mike Perfit, University of Florida
This activity is designed to accompany a set of thin sections available from the authors. Students investigate mid-ocean ride basalt petrography and relate observed mineralogic changes to relevant phase diagrams ...

The Heat is On: Understanding Local Climate Change
Dan Zalles, SRI International
Students draw conclusions about the extent to which multiple decades of temperature data about Phoenix suggest that a shift in local climate is taking place as opposed to exhibiting nothing more than natural ...

Floods on the Minnesota River
Ben Laabs, SUNY College at Geneseo
Students download and manipulate data from historical floods on the Minnesota River (could be done for any river) and use to establish a flood hazard zone for St. Peter, Minnesota. This lab was developed by ...

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