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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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Using Mass Balance to Understand Atmospheric CFCs
Bob Mackay, Clark College
Students use an interactive online mass balance model help understand the observed levels of chlorofluorocarbon CFC-12 over the recent past. -

Reading Time Series Plots
Shelley Olds, UNAVCO
This activity provides a brief introduction to GPS and provides a student activity to practice creating and reading time series plots with simplified GPS data and with authentic GPS data from Iceland.

Dating Students: Relative vs. Numerical Time
Susan Zimmerman, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
This activity introduces students to the fundamental ideas of relative versus radiometric dating, using the students themselves as a sample population. In the first half, the students attempt to order the people in ...

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.

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.

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.

Protein Evolution
Scott Cooper, UW-La Crosse
In this activity students explore the evolution of proteins by comparing 2D and 3D alignments of orthologs and paralogs.

Forecasting Lake Effect Snow in Lake Superior region
Bill Rose, Michigan Technological University
This exercise is designed to present the realistic problems of forecasting weather. Lake effect snows are hard to forecast because they depend on information that isn't part of the regular set of information ...

Climate Change and Atlantic Hurricanes: A GIS Inquiry
Chris Van de Ven, Albion College
Students make hypotheses about how hurricane numbers, locations, or intensities have been changing, and then use hurricane tracks, wind speed, barometric pressure, and dates to test their hypotheses.

Tropical Cyclones, Sea Surface Temperature, and Beyond
Danielle Schmitt, Princeton University
The activity will use historical data of sea surface temperature and tropical cyclone origin and/or tracks to identify trends. Students use Arc GIS to explore projected SST changes and predict areas where tropical ...

Hurricane Tracking
Lisa Doner, Plymouth State University
This is a homework assignment that focuses student attention on ongoing hurricane/tropical storm development, often during the height of hurricane season. The students are directed to a web site (I like ...

Hurricane Investigation
Melinda Huff, Northeastern Oklahoma Agricultural and Mech Coll
This is a simple homework assignment that will reinforce topics discussed in lecture as well as enabling students to search and analyze information on the web.

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

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.


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