This is a partially developed activity description. It is included in the collection because it contains ideas useful for teaching even though it is incomplete.

Initial Publication Date: February 11, 2008

How much work to learn about the Earth?

Ed Nuhfer and Team in the Monday 1:00 workshop on Marine Geoscience Data System
Topic: Appreciate the work it takes to construct a historical science and test multiple working hypotheses. The Marine Geoscience Data System was a real gem of a demo! In addition, many wonderful textbook illustrations exist. But when students see these compilations, the process required to produce them and the resultant understanding is seldom understood.
Course Type: introductory


The teacher could use any data base used to produce the map--say the plate boundaries or the earthquake movie of occurrences through time in a region. But in this case the teacher can show the big picture, then ask students to pick one data point and research the work needed to produce it. This tool is wonderful because the primary data bases are linked. It would be difficult to find these on one's own.


The method(s) of science required to produce a map or text figure.
How building a historical science data base differs from the laboratory approach of discovery by a single person or small team of scientists.
The work involved to produce one point
Possibly--the expense involved to produce one point.
Awareness of career opportunities to contribute to such studies.
Dispel the myth that "It has already been done; there's nothing major to be discovered."


Well structured exercise with all major points tracked with knowledge survey items that cover the essentials we want students to learn--give pre, during, and post. Possible pre-exercise timed essay (twenty minutes) to include all they know about the issues compared to timed essay to include all they know after the exercise.


The web site for the Marine Science Data System