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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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.

Connecting Cross-Sectional Data from the Red Sea to Plate Tectonics part of MARGINS Data in the Classroom:MARGINS Mini-Lessons
Students will use map views and cross-sectional profiles across the Red Sea to determine plate tectonic processes in the region. Google Earth is a technological tool used to facilitate the investigation.

Using Data to Teach Earth ProcessesAn Illustrated Community Discussion at the 2003 Annual Meeting of the Geological Society of America part of Cutting Edge:Data, Simulations and Models:Workshop 03:Activities
Bob Bauer, University of Missouri - Students and faculty participate in an integrated effort to characterize hydrologic relationships using hydrologic, geologic & geophysical data -

Using GLOBE Data to Study the Earth System part of Earth Exploration Toolbook:Using GLOBE Data to Study Earths System
DATA: Student-collected environmental data TOOL: GLOBE Online Graphing Tool - Explore, graph, and compare data from the GLOBE (Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment) Program.

Describe and Interpret Images: Folded Strata part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Interactive Lectures:Examples
In class, have students make a simple sketch of an outcrop shown in a slide (or computer projection) then discuss possible interpretations. -

Stratospheric Ozone part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Teaching with Data:Examples
Students explore observational data from ozone-sondes, TOMS, and UARS measurements to learn about changes in stratospheric ozone over the past several decades. -

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". -

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. -

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 ...