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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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Heat Capacity of Minerals: A Hands-On Introduction to Chemical Thermodynamics
David Bailey, Hamilton College
Minerals are inorganic chemical compounds with a wide range of physical and chemical properties. Geologists frequently measure and observe properties such as hardness, specific gravity, color, etc. Unfortunately, ...

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Using Dynamic Digital Maps to Teach Petrology
Christopher D. Condit
In this session we will examine how to utilize Dynamic Digital Maps (DDMs) in undergraduate petrology courses to bring inaccessible and exciting volcanic field areas to the students in the classroom and to engage ...

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Red Beans and Rice: Slope failure experimental modeling
Tom Hickson, University of St. Thomas (MN)
Students replicate a slope failure experiment published in Science (Densmore et al., 1997) using a simple, acrylic slope failure box in an effort to forge a link between autocyclic processes, long-term landscape ...

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Problem set: Constructing metamorphic phase diagrams using phase equilibria and the Clausius-Clapeyron equation
, Smith College
In this problem set students construct a P-T phase diagram for the aluminosilicate polymorphs based on experimental phase equilibria and application of the Clausius-Clapeyron equation. The problem set uses unit ...

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Calculating a Simple Phase Diagram: Diamond=Graphite
Dexter Perkins, University of North Dakota-Main Campus
This is a very short exercise designed to get students to understand how the Gibbs energy equation is used to calculate the location of a reaction in P-T space. I use it in-class and have students work on it in ...

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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. -

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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. -

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CLEAN Selected This activity has been selected for inclusion in the CLEAN collection.
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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. -

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Investigation: When will there no longer be glaciers in Glacier National Park?
An Investigation Question activity developed by Carol Ormand, Wittenberg University.
Students use historical data on the extent of the Grinnell Glacier in Glacier National Park to estimate when the glacier will melt completely.

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Flood Frequency and Risk Assessment
Carol Ormand, Carleton College
Students calculate recurrence intervals for various degrees of flooding based on historical data. Students then do a risk assessment for the surrounding community.

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