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Classroom Activities

These classroom and lab activities use data, simulations or modeling to teach geoscience topics. Examples include the use of model output, chemical analyses, remote sensing data, interactive data tools, or large databases.

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Igneous Rock Compositions and Plate Tectonics part of Cutting Edge:Petrology:Teaching Examples
In this exercise, students use whole-rock major- and trace-element compositions of igneous rocks from a variety of tectonic settings and locations to explore the importance of plate setting in determining magma ...

On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
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Where is that chunk of crust going? part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
I introduce students to GPS, frames of reference, and the permanent GPS stations in the EarthScope Plate Boundary Observatory (PBO) in class, and obtain near-real-time data for two stations from UNAVCO. We use ...

On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
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Working with Electron Microprobe Data from a High Pressure Experiment - Calculating Mineral Formulas, Unit Cell Content, and Geothermometry part of Cutting Edge:Petrology:Teaching Examples
In this problem set students use electron microprobe analyses of a peridotite partial melting experiment to determine mineral formulas, calculate unit cell content, plot results on a classification diagram, and use ...

On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
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Using Excel to plot numerical and analytical forms of the diffusion equation part of Cutting Edge:Early Career:Previous Workshops:Workshop 2010:Teaching Activities
This computer-based assignment forces students to compare and contrast integral and differential forms of the conservation of mass equation, as well as analytical and numerical approaches to solution. Students are ...

On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
Learn more about this review process.

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 ...

Using the EXCEL Woburn Flow and Transport Model to Teach Modeling Concepts part of Cutting Edge:Hydrogeology:Activities
Modeling ties together many subjects taught in an introductory hydrogeology course. The goals of this activity are for students to learn why scientists and engineers use models, what types of models are commonly ...

Plotting Florida River Data Using Excel part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
This exercise is used to prepare students to analyze data they will collect during their group project. It familiarizes students with previously collected data, and builds skills graphing and interpreting data.

Hurricane Tracking part of Cutting Edge:Hurricanes-Climate Change Connection:Activities
This is a homework assignment that focuses student attention on ongoing hurricane/tropical storm development, often during the height of hurricane season. The students are directed to a web site (I like ...

Abrupt climate change, greenhouse gases, and the bipolar see-saw part of Cutting Edge:Early Career:Previous Workshops:Workshop 2010:Teaching Activities
In this activity, students work with paleoclimate proxy data (d18O, CH4, CO2)from the Byrd and GISP2 ice cores. Students prepare a graph of paleoclimate data and use the graph to answer several questions about the ...

Net Radiation and Temperature part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
This assignment helps students think about how net radiation affects surface temperature.

Harker Diagrams part of Integrating Research and Education:EarthChem:Compositional Diversity in Volcanic Suites
Kent Ratajeski Department of Earth Sciences, Montana State University, Bozeman, MT Published Oct. 26, 2004. Description In this exercise, students use whole-rock major- and trace-element compositions of volcanic ...

Crystallization-Differentiation of the Kilauea Iki Lava Lake part of Integrating Research and Education:EarthChem:Kilauea Iki Lava Lake
Kent Ratajeski Department of Earth Sciences, Montana State University, Bozeman, MT Published Oct. 26, 2004. Description In this exercise, students use major-element compositions of whole-rocks, volcanic glasses, ...

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) ...

An Isograd and Mixed-Volatile Exercise Using Data from the Ubehebe Peak Contact Aureole part of Cutting Edge:Petrology:Teaching Examples
This is a problem set for an introductory or advanced petrology course. It uses field data to help teach the determination and balancing of mixed-volatile reactions and locating isograds in siliceous dolomites in a ...

Cause of the Mogul, Nevada, Earthquake Swarm, Spring 2008 part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
Students examine data from fault- and magma- related earthquakes and determine distinguishing characteristics. They then apply these criteria to determine the cause of the Mogul earthquake sequence (that most of ...