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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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 ...

Variation Diagrams and the Evolution of Thingmuli Lavas, Iceland part of Cutting Edge:Courses:Petrology:Teaching Examples
In this problem set students are provided with an EXCEL spreadsheet containing major element analyses of lavas frm Thingmuli Volcano in Iceland. They are asked to construct variation diagrams (Harker plots) and ...

Geothermal Gradients part of Cutting Edge:Courses:Petrology:Teaching Examples
In this problem set the students use two different equations to calculate a conductive geothermal gradient using a spreadsheet program like Excel. Once they have the geothermal gradient plotted, they are asked to ...

Magma Modification in the central Sierra Nevada Batholith part of Cutting Edge:Courses:Petrology:Teaching Examples
This exercise is centered around a suite of rocks from the Sierra Nevada batholith. The activities are designed to give petrology students a capstone experience for the igneous portion of the upper-level Petrology ...

Using Mass Balance to Understand Atmospheric CFCs part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Teaching with Data:Examples
Students use an interactive online mass balance model help understand the observed levels of chlorofluorocarbon CFC-12 over the recent past. -

Water Quality-Total Dissolved Solids part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Teaching with Data:Examples
Students use a microcomputer connected to a conductivity probe to measure the total dissolved solids in local area water samples. -

Sun Spot Analysis part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Teaching with Data:Examples
Introductory students use Excel to graph monthly mean Greenwich sunspot numbers from 1749 to 2004 and perform a spectral analysis of the data using the free software program "Spectra". -

Plate Tectonics writing assignment suitable for Calibrated Peer Review part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Peer Review:Examples
This is an example of a writing assignment focussed on the use of data to support the theory of plate tectonics. -