Pedagogy in Action > Library > Developing Quantitative Reasoning > Designing Assignments > Teaching Activities

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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Lake Level Changes in the Arid West
Kirsten Menking, Vassar College
Students use the modeling program STELLA to see what combinations of runoff and evaporation might have lead to Pleistocene lake level oscillations in California's Owens River system.

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My Special Place
Sadredin Moosavi, Tulane University of Louisiana
Students pick a place of significance to them (their Special Place) for analysis in this semester-long project. (A model is provided by the instructor using a place the students are not likely to have visited.)

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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.

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Using Computer Spatial Technologies (Geoplus Petra) for Subsurface Geological Analysis
Dave Barnes, Western Michigan University
The lab project is a culminating activity (following work with conventional core and petrophysical logs) in which the students compile a subsurface "project" using computer spatial technology software, ...

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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 ...

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River Flooding and Erosion
Bill Dupre, University of Houston-University Park
Students take a real-life situation (river flooding and erosion), use real flood and map data, and make predictions and recommendations as to what to do to help alleviate the problem.

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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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Determining Mantle Temperature and Composition from Discontinuities
Anna Courtier, James Madison University
This pair of activities uses observations of mantle discontinuity structure to examine mantle heterogeneity and differences in the depth extent of melt sources for ridges and "hotspots." The first ...

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Finding the Moho under Milwaukee
Vince Cronin, Baylor University
A seismogram was recorded at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee by Keith Sverdrup during the explosive demolition of a section of the nearby Hoan Bridge on December 28, 2000. The explosive demolition and ...

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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 ...

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