Classroom and Lab Activities

This collection of teaching materials allows for the sharing of ideas and activities within the community of geoscience teachers. Do you have a favorite teaching activity you'd like to share? Please help us expand this collection by contributing your own teaching materials.

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Results 1 - 10 of 397 matches

Did Early Farmers Alter Climate?
Sue Swanson, Beloit College
The overarching goal of this exercise is for students to explore the early anthropogenic hypothesis, which claims that early agriculture had a substantial impact on greenhouse gases and global climate thousands of ...

On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
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Mock United Nations Climate Negotiations Exercise
Shangrila Wynn, The Evergreen State College
This is a version of the UN climate mock negotiations exercise developed by Shangrila Joshi Wynn.

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Exploring Climate Change Effects on Water Availability and Agriculture
Betsy Bancroft, Gonzaga University
This activity has students work together to summarize regional effects of climate change and other environmental issues, which a focus on how these issues may influence agriculture and water availability. Students present a region to the group and create a layperson summary of the effects of climate change and other environmental change on their region.

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Engaging Campus Conversations about Climate Action
Nicky Phear, The University of Montana-Missoula
Campus Climate Conversations are designed to be both educational and "deliberative," meaning students, staff, and faculty interact with one another in small groups to share views and ideas about climate action strategies. This activity is structured to enhance education and engagement, and to generate collaborative climate action strategies.

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Climate Change Mind Map
Woody Moses, Highline Community College

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Sea Ice Predictive Model
Joceline Boucher, Maine Maritime Academy
This is a quick (~25 min) classroom activity designed to stimulate thinking about sea ice, climate change, and differences between Arctic and Antarctic conditions.

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Greenhouse Effect Lab
Krista Larsen, Carleton College
In this lab, students measure temperature changes inside soda bottles (one with CO2 added, the other with only air inside) as incandescent light is shined on them to model the Greenhouse Effect.

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Scientific Debate and the Nature of Certainty
Laura Triplett, Gustavus Adolphus College
Students discuss and learn about the nature of scientific knowledge in the context of scientific and non-scientific debates about climate change. This 50-minute module can be taught in a small- to very large-size introductory religion, philosophy or ethics class.

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Relating Late-Quaternary Plant and Animal Distributions to Past and Future Climate
Samantha Kaplan, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point
A guided activity for students to explore the relationship between climate and plant and animal distributions in the past, present, and future. Students use the Neotoma Paleoecology Database, USDA Climate Change Tree Atlas, USGS Atlas of Relations Between Climatic Parameters and Distributions of Important Trees and Shrubs in North America (Professional Paper 1650 A/B), and climate model output.

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Species distributions in response to environmental gradients in the Upper Midwest of the United States - an example using the Neotoma database
Alison Smith, Kent State University-Main Campus
Pollen and ostracode records are used here to examine the migration of a major ecotone (transition zone between two biomes) in the Northern Midwest known as the prairie-forest border. Using the Neotoma database, we can explore the modern geographic distribution of prairie and forest vegetation (represented by pollen data) and of saline and freshwater lakes (represented by ostracodes, microscopic aquatic crustaceans) and then track the shifting boundary of the prairie forest border over the most recent 12,000 years using a lake sediment core.

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