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Activity Browse

Browse this collection of activities that all incorporate teaching with data. Activities have been submitted via a number of projects.


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Long Term Ecological Resources
Scott Cooper, UW-La Crosse
Students analyze data on temperature and precipitation collected from 26 different Long Term Ecological Research sites and compare them with annual net primary productivity. The students then form an ecological rule to explain their results.

Phenylketonuira
Scott Cooper, UW-La Crosse
In this activity, students are assigned different alleles of the gene for phenylalanine hydroxylase to research using OMIM (Online Mendelian Inheritance in Man). They are then asked to both explain and illustrate how this mutation may cause the disease phenylketonuria (PKU).

Writing a Wikipedia Genetic Disease Article
Jeff Bell
Writing a Wikipedia article about a genetic disease is a good culminating activity for a genetics course or module, as it requires synthesizing and interpreting a wide range of genetic information. This assignment also includes a potential service component, which is normally very difficult in genetics.

Monohybrid Fruit Fly Crosses: A Simulation
Jeff Bell
This assignment uses a computer simulation of fruit fly genetics to have students design and interpret monohybrid crosses of a trait with simple dominant and recessive alleles. Detailed instructions with animated examples, background material, a sample report and a rubric are included.

Searching Genbank
Jeff Bell
An active problem-based assignment that uses the Genbank database to teach the basics of molecular biology and molecular evolution

Plant Pest Control
Jim Bidlack
This learning experience introduces participants to scientific inquiry, hypothesis formation, experimental design, data analysis, and interpretation.

Stream Characteristics Lab
Wendy Van Norden, harvard-westlake school
Students determine the relationship between the sinuosity of a river and its gradient by calculating gradients and sinuosity, and generating a graph on Excel. They then test the relationship by making measurements on a picture generated on Google Earth.

Influence of Outliers on Correlation
Roger Woodard
In this visualization activity, students will observe their instructor create a scatterplot and observe how the correlation coefficient changes when outlier points are added. Students are then given a follow up assignment which guides them through the applet. In addition, the assignment provides insight about outliers and their effect on correlation.

Coke vs. Pepsi Taste Test: Experiments and Inference about Cause
This lesson plan and activity are based on material from the NSF-funded AIMS Project (Garfield, delMas and Zieffler, 2007). For more information contact Joan Garfield at jbg@umn.edu
The Coke vs. Pepsi Taste Test Challenge has students design and carry out an experiment to determine whether or not students are able to correctly identify two brands of cola in a blind taste test. In the first ...

Reese's Pieces Activity: Sampling from a Population
This activity is based on an adaptation by Joan Garfield and Dani Ben-Zvi of an activity from Rossman and Chance (2000), Workshop Statistics: Discovery with Data, 2nd Edition.
This activity uses simulation to help students understand sampling variability and reason about whether a particular samples result is unusual, given a particular hypothesis. By using first candies, then a web applet, and varying sample size, students learn that larger samples give more stable and better estimates of a population parameter and develop an appreciation for factors affecting sampling variability.

Simulating Size and Power Using a 10-Sided Die
Erin Blankenship, University of Nebraska--Lincoln
This group activity illustrates the concepts of size and power of a test through simulation. Students simulate binomial data by repeatedly rolling a ten-sided die, and they use their simulated data to estimate the size of a binomial test.

Simulating the Effect of Sample Size on the Sampling Distribution of the Mean
David Lane, Rice University
A java applet that simulates the sampling distribution of the mean. It allows students to explore the effect of sample size.

Simulating a P-value for Testing a Correlation with Fathom
Robin Lock, St. Lawrence University
This activity has students use Fathom to test the correlation between attendance and ballpark capacity of major league baseball teams by taking a sample of actual data and scrambling one of the variables to see how the correlation behaves when the variables are not related. After displaying the distribution of correlations for many simulated samples, students find an approximate p-value based on the number of simulations that exceed the actual correlation.

Using an Applet to Demonstrate Confidence Intervals
Roger Woodard
Students will utilize an applet to further expand their knowledge of confidence intervals.

Virtual Photoelectric Lab
This page authored by Terry Bradfield, based on a simulation authored by Angel Franco Garcia. The original activity (in Spanish) is located at: http://www.sc.ehu.es/sbweb/fisica/cuantica/fotoelectrico/fotoelectrico.htm
This is a virtual lab activity on the photoelectric effect based on a Java applet simulation of the experiment.

Ocean Circulation
Bob Mackay, Clark College
Students view and analyze buoy, satellite, temperature vs. depth data to learn about ocean circulation and how is related to atmospheric circulation. -

Reflection and Absorption of Light
Bob Mackay, Clark College
Students use a microcomputer connected to a light sensor and temperature probe to explore the reflection and absorption of light. -

Comparing Sunscreens
Bob Mackay, Clark College
Students use a microcomputer connected to an ultra-violet sensor to compare the relative blocking power of different SPF sunscreens for the UVB region of the solar spectrum. -

Where is North?
Bob Mackay, Clark College
Students use a microcomputer connected to a magnetic field sensor to measure the magnitude and direction of their local Earth's magnetic field . -

Annotating Change in Satellite Images
Rebecca Teed, Wright State University-Main Campus
During this exercise, students compare a series of satellite images taken 3-4 years apart to investigate the effects of human land use and annotate the images using ImageJ software. -


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