Taking the Pulse of Yellowstone's "Breathing" Volcano
This activity was selected for the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Collection
Resources in this top level collection a) must have scored Exemplary or Very Good in all five review categories, and must also rate as “Exemplary” in at least three of the five categories. The five categories included in the peer review process are
- Scientific Accuracy
- Alignment of Learning Goals, Activities, and Assessments
- Pedagogic Effectiveness
- Robustness (usability and dependability of all components)
- Completeness of the ActivitySheet web page
For more information about the peer review process itself, please see https://serc.carleton.edu/teachearth/activity_review.html.
This page first made public: Jun 1, 2012
Skills and concepts that students must have mastered
How the activity is situated in the course
Content/concepts goals for this activity
Explain the sources of energy behind volcanic processes.
Describe why and how volcanoes are monitored.
Explain the role that geodesy has played in advancing scientific understanding of volcanic hazards.
Describe how volcanic processes alter the surface of the Earth.
Higher order thinking skills goals for this activity
Analyze data spatially and temporally using Google Earth and Excel.
Use data to inform societal decisions about infrastructure development.
Other skills goals for this activity
Description and Teaching Materials
Details of the assignment are within the attached files.
Teacher Notes for Yellowstone activity (Microsoft Word 2007 (.docx) 2.3MB Jul17 12)
Student Instructions for Yellowstone activity (Microsoft Word 2007 (.docx) 1.5MB Jul17 12)
Google Earth Preparatory Homework (Microsoft Word 2007 (.docx) 60kB Jul17 12)
Science of Predication: Monitoring Volcanic Activity PowerPoint (PowerPoint 2007 (.pptx) 10.9MB Jul17 12)
Student data PowerPoint presentations for Yellowstone activity (zipped) (Zip Archive 26.2MB Jul17 12)
Google Earth data files (zipped) (Zip Archive 82kB Jul17 12)
Teaching Notes and Tips
Many teaching notes are within the Teacher Notes file posted above.
If your students do not have experience with Google Earth, have them do the Google Earth Homework as a preparation for this project. http://serc.carleton.edu/sp/library/google_earth/UserGuide.html also has excellent resources for having students work with Google Earth.
Formative assessment: The preliminary assessment is covered above. Additional formative assessment comes as you monitor student conversations and ask questions to gauge understanding.
Summative assessment: The primary final assessment will come from the presentation of results and analysis. We recommend developing a simple rubric to aid in grading whatever final project you assign. You can also engage the students in a final debrief and encourage metacogmition by asking them to describe what they have learned. Ask them to reflect on how they think or feel differently about Yellowstone, volcanoes, national parks, and so on? What do they think about the processes they followed while working on the problem?
If you asked them originally to make a concept map, ask them to revise it using a different color so that they can see how much they've learned. Similarly, if you gave them a writing prompt, give them the prompt again and, after they've written, hand back their original responses so that they can see how they have changed.