Activities and Examples: Using Data in the Classroom Today

This collection contains links to on-line activites for teaching STEM concepts with data of all types and examples that describe ways in which on-line, published, and student-collected data are currently used in teaching and learning.

This collection includes both data activities identified from across the web as well as a local example collection.

The initial example collection was created in collaboration with the Geological Society of America where the examples were given in a poster session "Using Data to Teach Earth Processes: An Illustrated Community Discussion" sponsored by the NAGT On the Cutting Edge program. We invite you to contribute additional examples in any of the STEM disciplines.

Each example includes a description of the activity, its learning goals, the context in which it is used, information on the needed data, tools, and activities and suggestions for evaluation.


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Exploring Seafloor Topography part of Earth Exploration Toolbook:Sea Floor
DATA: Digital Elevation Model Data. TOOL: GeoMapApp. SUMMARY: Explore a timeline about how we have learned about the oceans. Construct a profile across the Atlantic Ocean and create 3-D visualizations of the seafloor.

The Woodlark Basin as a Natural Laboratory for the Study of the Geological Sciences part of MARGINS Data in the Classroom:MARGINS Mini-Lessons
This activity guides the students through a set of geological problems related to the Woodlark Basin, Papua New Guinea.

Physical and Chemical Variations Along the Central American Volcanic Arc part of MARGINS Data in the Classroom:MARGINS Mini-Lessons
The Central American volcanic arc displays large arc-parallel variations in chemical composition that yield important clues concerning the complex origin of magmas in subduction zones. In this exercise, students use data compiled for the NSF MARGINS program to compare heights, volumes, and whole-rock compositions of 39 Quaternary volcanic centers along the Central American arc, together with crustal thicknesses, to assess the possible sources of the magmas and the petrologic processes that have modified them prior to eruption.

Crystal Structures as Geobarometers part of Integrating Research and Education:Crystallography:Cpx Geobarometer
Kent Ratajeski, kratajeski@montana.edu Department of Earth Sciences, Montana State University, Bozeman, MT Published Jan. 4, 2005 Description This exercise is based on the recent formulation of a geobarometer ...

Order/Disorder Within Crystal Structures as a Function of Temperature part of Integrating Research and Education:Crystallography:Olivine Structure at High Temperatures
Kent Ratajeski Department of Earth Sciences, Montana State University, Bozeman, MT Published Jan. 25, 2005 Description The olivine unit cell. Crystallographic sites house Si (black), O (red), and the M1 (brown) ...

Properties of Rhyolite Magma part of Cutting Edge:Courses:Petrology:Teaching Examples
The purpose of the exercise is to acquaint igneous petrology students with properties of silicic magmas, and to emphasize the effect of water content on viscosity of silicic magmas. Students have to determine the ...

Flow of Andesite Lava part of Cutting Edge:Courses:Petrology:Teaching Examples
The purpose of the exercise is to familiarize igneous petrology students with flow properties of lava, especially viscosity, and to have them consider effects on viscosity due to temperature, crystallinity and ...

Chemical Differentiation in the Palisades Sill part of Cutting Edge:Courses:Petrology:Teaching Examples
The purpose of this assignment is for students to synthesize field observations, petrography, and whole-rock chemical analyses in order to investigate chemical differentiation processes in a basaltic magma chamber. ...

Homework on Stoke's Law and Magmatic Differentiation part of Cutting Edge:Courses:Petrology:Teaching Examples
This homework has two parts. In the first part, the students use Stoke's Law to determine (a) the relative sizes of olivine and plagioclase settling at the same velocity (and relate their answer to ...

Thermobarometry Problem Set part of Cutting Edge:Courses:Petrology:Teaching Examples
This homework assignment gives students first-hand experience with thermobarometric calculations. Because many of my students are math challenged, I give them a choice of solving the equations by hand or with ...