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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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Understanding Radioactivity in Geology: The Basics of Decay
Christina Stringer—University of South Florida, Tampa FL 33620 This activity was developed for Spreadsheets Across the Curriculum . National Science Foundation, DUE 0442629.
PowerPoint module leading students through creation and manipulation of spreadsheet to forward model an example of exponential decay—the number of remaining unpopped kernels of popcorn in a bag of popping popcorn.

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. -

Modeling Early Earth Climate with GEEBITT
Cindy Shellito, University of Northern Colorado
This activity requires students to use a simple spreadsheet model to consider the roles of solar luminosity, planetary albedo, and greenhouse gases in controlling surface temperature in the present and during the ...

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. -

Exercise 8: Using LiDAR and GPS data to model the water table in ArcScene
Barb Tewksbury, Hamilton College
Barbara and David Tewksbury, Hamilton College Tutorial for using the new LiDAR tools (LAS dataset and LAS toolbar) in ArcGIS 10.1 (Acrobat (PDF) 13.8MB Nov6 13). Same LiDAR Tutorial as a Word doc (Microsoft Word ...

Cascadia Great Earthquake and Tsunami Suite
Michael Mayhew, National Science Foundation;
Michael Mayhew and Michelle Hall, Science Education Solutions Summary The Cascadia Earthquakes and Tsunami Suite contains five case studies organized around understanding the potential for large earthquakes and ...

Northridge: A Case Study of an Urban Earthquake
Michael Mayhew, National Science Foundation;
Michael Mayhew and Michelle Hall, Science Education Solutions Summary The 1994 Northridge Earthquake Case Study explores the mystery of how such a major fault could have been missed within a tectonic basin that is ...

Roping Geologic Time
Randall Richardson, The University of Arizona
After having talked about the geologic time scale, I ask for two volunteers from the class to hold a rope that is 50 feet long. I say that one end is the beginning of the Earth (4.6 billion years ago), and the other is today. I then give out 16 clothes pins and ask various students to put a cloths pin on the 'time line' at various 'geologic events'. Throughout the activity I have a quiz going on where the students calculate percentages of Earth History for major geologic events, and compare it to their own ages. On their time scale, the dinosaurs died only about two 'months' ago! The exercise is very effective at letting them get a sense of how long geologic time is, and how 'recently' some major geologic events happened when you consider a time scale that is the age of the earth.

Earthquake Shaking and Damage
Eric Baer, Highline Community College
This student homework and problem set has students quantitatively earthquake hazard, shaking and damage.

What is the Relationship between Lava Flow Length and Effusion Rate at Mt Etna?
chuck connor
SSAC Physical Volcanology module. Students use Excel to determine a log-log relationship for flow length vs effusion rate and compare it with a theoretical expression for the maximum flow length.



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