Activities for Introductory Geoscience

Here you will find a wide range of activities for teaching introductory geoscience courses. you can refine your search by selecting the topic or resource type, or by typing in search terms into the search box in the box below.

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Exploring Spreadsheets with Microsoft Excel part of Activities
This activity takes place in a laboratory setting and requires ~1.5-2 hours to complete. Students work with a large set of earthquake data, examine types of charts available in Excel, and use a spreadsheet to ...

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Igneous Rocks and Triangle Diagrams part of Activities
This activity takes place in a laboratory setting and requires ~1.5-2 hours to complete. Students observe igneous rock compositions and plot them on triangle diagrams, normalize rock compositions using a ...

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Seafloor Spreading: Bathymetry, Anomalies, and Sediments part of Activities
This activity takes place in a laboratory setting and requires ~1.5-2 hours to complete. Students study the bathymetry of the South Atlantic, use magnetic reversals to interpret marine magnetic anomalies, and ...

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Feldspar Minerals and Triangle Diagrams part of Activities
This activity takes place in a laboratory setting and requires ~1.5-2 hours to complete. Students learn how to read a triangle or ternary diagram. They determine physical properties of feldspars and interpret two ...

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Working with State, National, and Global Petroleum Data part of Activities
This activity takes place in a laboratory setting and requires ~1.5-2 hours to complete. Students work with data on oil production in Illinois, the United States, and the world, creating graphs to interpret data on ...

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Introduction to Google Earth part of Activities
Students utilize a variety of tools in Google Earth to answer questions

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Learning Assessment #7 - Maps & Structures part of Activities
An in-class activity that tests students' understanding of geological maps and structures (faults and folds).

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Learning About Marine Sediments Using Real Data part of Activities
This exercise set explores marine sediments using real core photos and composition data from the scientific ocean drilling programs DSDP, ODP, and IODP in an inquiry-based approach.

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Learning Assessment #5 - Geologic Time (2011) part of Activities
An in-class activity that tests students' understanding of the principles of relative age, absolute age and numerical age bracketing.

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Learning Assessment #3 - Igneous & Sedimentary Rocks (2011) part of Activities
An in-class activity that tests students' understanding of igneous and sedimentary rocks and processes.

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Learning Assessment #1 - Plate Tectonics part of Activities
An in-class activity that tests students' understanding of the basic concepts of plate tectonics.

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Florida River Project: Sedimentary and metamorphic rocks lab part of Activities
This fairly traditional rocks-in-boxes lab has been incorporated into a semester-long project. At the end of the lab, students apply their rock-identification skills to rocks from their study area.

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Emergent Models in Google Earth part of Activities
This is one sample of a set of emergent models we are developing for use with Google Earth. Students use the Google Earth time-slider to lift 3D models of the subsurface into view. They can substitute their own ...

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Who Polluted Surface and Groundwater in This Place? part of Activities
Students use water-well data and geology to determine which site caused groundwater and surface-water contamination.

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Analyzing your Hometown Stream using On-line USGS NWIS Data part of Activities
Students analyze discharge records of streams or rivers of interest to them using on-line USGS NWIS data.

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Heat Transport in the Climate System part of Activities
This is an introductory activity designed for small groups in a single 50 minute class period. The exercise stresses interpretation of data from a simple graph, and helps students to integrate information on heat ...

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Volcanoes Writing Assignment part of Activities
Students write an original work of fiction pertaining to the geology of stratovolcanoes and their eruptive hazards.

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Downloading Earthquake Data from the USGS Earthquake Hazards Site for Anywhere in the World and Studying it Using ArcGIS part of Activities
Students download earthquake data from the USGS Earthquake Hazards website and plot and anlyze the earthquakes using ArcMap and ArcScene.

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Using ArcGIS to Study the New Lakes in the Toshka Basin in Egypt and Evaluate Egypt's New Valley Project part of Activities
In this assignment, students use ArcGIS to analyze the new lakes that have formed in the Toshka Depression, Egypt as a result of overflow from Lake Nasser and use their analyses to evaluate the wisdom of the plan ...

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Computerized Field Trip Preview of the Berkshire Mountains part of Activities
This is a computer (Windows, Macintosh) based exercise designed to take about two hours. Students use a 5 page short-answer study sheet with the Berkshire Field Trip Map, Guidebook and associated images of the ...

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