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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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Groundwater Lab part of Activities
This lab uses "ant farm" groundwater models to demonstrate groundwater flow and the behavior of wells. The lab is organized so that students have to predict the behavior of the model before observing it.

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Physical Geology: Idaho Field Trip part of Activities
Optional field trip to local sites of geologic interest/relevance.

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Groundwater Consulting Lab part of Activities
Students are given a real-world scenario in this lab exercise in which they must determine the extent of groundwater contamination while staying within a budget. They progressively request more information and ...

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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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Floods on the Minnesota River part of Activities
Students download and manipulate data from historical floods on the Minnesota River (could be done for any river) and use to establish a flood hazard zone for St. Peter, Minnesota. This lab was developed by ...

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

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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 #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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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 #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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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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Weathering Experiment part of Activities
This project has students dirty several dishes equally and design experiments to determine which analogs of geologic processes are most efficient for removing the baked-on food. Students calculate rates of ...

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Weekly Reflections part of Activities
This is a weekly short writing assignment that forces students to summarize materials presented in class, to reflect on their own performance and understanding of the material, and to relate it to their individual ...

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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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Where is that chunk of crust going? part of 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 ...

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Topographic Maps part of Activities
This exercise is a lab exercise to introduce elevation, landforms, and topographic maps to Introductory-level students. It is used to convey the principles of land variability and the processes that shape the ...

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Campus Map Scale part of Activities
Students are given a map of the campus and asked to devise a method to determine the map scale. The method for determining scale is not prescribed, requiring the students to work in small groups to brainstorm a ...

Measuring the Earth part of Activities
With a colleague at the University of Kansas, we measure the size of the Earth using the method of Eratosthenese. This is handy because the UH and KU campuses are almost directly on a N-S line.

Tracking Tectonic Plates Using Two Independent Methods part of Activities
Students use two independent methods to determine relative plate motions across a plate boundary. They find that plate tectonic theory generally holds up but also discover sophisticated detail (e.g. velocities ...