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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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 ...

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. -

Homework on Volcanic Rock Chemistry and Binary Phase Diagrams part of Cutting Edge:Courses:Petrology:Teaching Examples
This homework has 2 main parts: In the first part, students are given bulk compositions for 6 volcanic rocks and asked to classify them, think about their normative compositions, and given likely tectonic settings ...

Major Element Fractionation During Differentiation part of Cutting Edge:Courses:Petrology:Teaching Examples
This problem set introduces some of the more advanced uses of Excel to not only calculate how the chemistry of a magma changes with crystallization but also to see how the liquidus assemblage can drastically change ...

Learning Thermodynamics and Using Spreadsheets part of Cutting Edge:Courses:Petrology:Teaching Examples
These files contain a set of three Excel files to balance mineral reactions, to explore variation of thermodynamic properties as a function of P, T and composition and to explore stability of different mineral ...

Iceland Lavas Lab part of Cutting Edge:Courses:Petrology:Teaching Examples
The purpose of this exercise is to link volcanic rock petrology (hand samples and thin sections) with volcanic rock analytical data to hypothesize on crystal fractionation/accumulation control on lava composition.

Origins of Mafic Enclaves in the Dinkey Creek Pluton, Central Sierra Nevada Batholith, California part of Cutting Edge:Courses:Petrology:Teaching Examples
In this lab exercise, students use and substantial spreadsheet of major, minor and trace element data compiled from studies of the Dinkey Creek pluton (Sierra Nevada batholith) and its microgranular mafic enclaves. ...

Binary eutectic in-class exercise (Di-An) part of Cutting Edge:Courses:Petrology:Teaching Examples
In this activity students work through a binary eutectic phase diagram in small groups and try to determine a set of generalizations that explain the behavior of such systems (e.g., "the first liquid produced ...