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Teaching Activities

These teaching activities have a strong spatial thinking component. Search the collection to find activities suitable for your classes.

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Results 1 - 20 of 4800 matches

Mysterious motions along the Pacific Northwest Coast
John Taber, IRIS Consortium
Students work in small groups to analyze and interpret Global Positioning System (GPS) and seismic data related to "mysterious ground motions" first along the northern California coastline, and then in ...

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What's Shaking in Greenland?
John Taber, IRIS Consortium
Students will work in small groups to compare the rate of icequake occurrence in Greenland to measured air temperature over time. This activity emphasizes the Earth systems concept by connecting seismic and ...

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Induced Seismicity: Are humans causing earthquakes?
John Taber, IRIS Consortium
In this lab, students investigate a hotly debated topic relevant in the political, economic, and scientific arenas. They will examine the processes involved in unconventional oil and gas resource production, ...

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Seismic Design Competition
Eric Hultgren, Wheaton North High School (IL)
This project is a modified version of the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute Student Leadership Council's Seismic Design Competition. This project has teams of students work to research, plan, build and ...

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Mt. St. Helens Volcanic Ashfall Eruption
Eileen Herrstrom, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
This activity takes place outside of the classroom and requires ~1 hour to complete. Students recreate the map of the Mt. St. Helens ash plume of 1980 and use their maps to answer a series of questions about this ...

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Slicing Cylinders
Carol Ormand, Carleton College
Students identify and draw slices through cylinders and partial cylinders, and use gestures to visualize slicing planes. This practice with visualizing slices through idealized geometric shapes is preparation for visualizing slices through geological features.

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Slicing Fruit
Tom Hickson, University of St. Thomas (MN)
Students identify and draw slices through fruit, as practice for drawing slices through more complex features.

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Understanding Polyhedral Diagrams
Carol Ormand, Carleton College
Students identify individual polyhedra in a variety of diagrams and answer questions about shared oxygens in diagrams of common silicate structures.

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"ZirChron" Virtual Zircon Analysis App
Mark Schmitz, Boise State University
This web-based app is designed to help students evaluate a radioisotopic age and its uncertainty based upon the collection of data, the application of statistics, and the interpretation of geological and analytical ...

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Earthquake Hazards: The next big one?
John Taber, IRIS Consortium
In this activity, students explore of the concept of probability and the distribution of earthquake sizes, and then work to understand how earthquake hazards are described by probabilities. Students then work in ...

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Library Research Lab: Does the Ozone Hole cause Global Warming?
Carsten Braun, Westfield State University
In this lab activity students get to investigate a specific question (Does the Ozone Hole cause Global Warming?) and formalize their investigation as a briefing paper for the President of the United States. This ...

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Florida River Project - individual and group research project
Kim Hannula, Fort Lewis College
The Florida River Project is a semester-long project involving (1) an individual project in which students pose a scientific question and use existing data to test their hypothesis, and (2) a group project in which ...

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Introduction to Scientific Journals
Avery Shinneman, University of Washington-Bothell Campus
In this activity, students are introduced to locating and reading peer-reviewed scientific journal articles. It helps ease students into the process of locating, reading, and using journal publications. This ...

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Building Content Knowledge in a Student Research Team
Deanna van Dijk, Calvin College
At the beginning of a course-based research project, each student in a research team is asked to read primary literature related to the team investigation. A mix of provided readings and readings found by the ...

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Student-designed Authentic Research Projects in a Non-major Environmental Geology Course
PRAJUKTI Bhattacharyya, University of Wisconsin-Whitewater
Student-designed, data-based authentic research projects can be useful tools for incorporating a dimension of authentic research in non-major science courses. Such an approach has been followed in a geoscience ...

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Introduction to Ocean Acoustics: Guided Problem Solving
Joceline Boucher, Maine Maritime Academy
Students learn about sound propagation in the ocean through instructor-guided problem solving. The activity promotes a conceptual understanding of the physical and chemical factors that influence ocean acoustics, ...

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Tell Me About the Forest (Dead Can Dance)
Robert Gastaldo, Colby College
Most students entering university have some experience with trees growing in a forest ecology. Most student perspectives are that of a northern hemisphere chauvinist. Several other forest structures now exist but ...

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An abrupt global climate change event in Earth history- Evidence from the ocean
Kevin Theissen, University of St. Thomas (MN)
Students work in pairs to explore and synthesize key paleoceanographic evidence for the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM)as found in marine sediment cores collected and analyzed during Ocean Drilling Program ...

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Exploring El Niño
Kevin Theissen, University of St. Thomas (MN)
In this introductory-level lab activity, students first view a 20-minute portion of an informative video to learn about the operation of an array of moored buoys that is used to detect changes in the El Niño ...

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Exploring topographic steady-state in Taiwan
Karen Gran, University of Minnesota-Duluth
This activity is designed as both an introduction to GIS and an exploration of topographic steady-state. Students analyze DEMs from Taiwan to extract topographic profiles across the range. They reconstruct a series ...

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