Tuesday 1:30pm-4:00pm Northrop Hall: 340
Fractional Crystallization of an M&M Magma Chamber Modified for Large Courses
Euan Mitchell, Miami University-Oxford
This activity is a modification of the existing SERC activity "Using an M&M® Magma Chamber to Illustrate Magmatic Differentiation." The modification makes the activity more suitable for use in large enrollment courses without unreasonable numbers of M&Ms. The 'magma chamber' is contained within a PowerPoint slide, and M&Ms are replaced with colored circles. After identifying the chemistry of each mineral and the appropriate elements needed to form it, the magma chamber is crystallized in 10 steps, with circles representing the appropriate number and composition of minerals being removed to the bottom of the PowerPoint slide. After each step the slide is copied and pasted to provide the starting point for the next step. In this way students have a permanent record of both liquid and cumulate mineral compositions at each stage of the activity. After completing all 10 steps students perform some calculations of liquid composition and make plots of trends of each of the six elements involved. Reflection questions guide students to think about the process they have just represented, as well as prompting them to consider the level of realism of the model and potential improvements.
Silicate Mineral Structures and Viscosity
Karin Barovich, University of Adelaide
First year science students in introductory geology struggle with the concept of silicate structures, tetrahedral bonding, Si:O ratios and also later the concept of magma polymerisation and viscosity. This activity is a collaborative demonstration of those concepts. It starts with groups of four students (oxygen anions) taking hold of the four ends of two pieces of rope tied in the middle (the silicon atom). To demonstrate increasingly complex silicate structures rope bundles are linked by humans (the oxygens) in chains, sheets and finally framework structures as students take ends of bundles with both hands. The seated audience assists in counting the Si atoms and the O numbers for each increasingly complex structure. For polymerisation/viscosity I have each increasingly complex rope group try to walk about the room. Simpler structures such as single tetrahedra groups move about more easily. I also demonstrate how easily I can roam between isolated structures vs highly polymerised structures. I formatively assess the concepts through a silicate structure (Si:O ratio) worksheet that we do together. The same material is also assessed through exams.
Library Research Lab: Does the Ozone Hole cause Global Warming?
Carsten Braun, Westfield State University
In this 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 activity is easily modified for other questions and thus usable in many different circumstances. This activity has several objectives. First, students are introduced to the library and how to critically and effectively evaluate online sources, for example using the CRAP Test. Second, students practice their writing skills by preparing a professional briefing that includes figures and an annotated bibliography. Third, students realize that the ozone hole does not cause global warming, but that there are many interesting connections between human activities, ozone, and climate change. This activity is easily modified and thus usable in many different teaching and learning situations, depending - for example - if the course includes a lab section or the availability of library instruction and support. The question(s) used can also be changed to account for current events or course topics and themes.
Sunrise, Sunset: Using Personal Observations to Understand Changing Sun Patterns from an Earth Perspective
Peggy McNeal, Towson University
When students learn about Earth-Sun relationships from models of the solar system, they discover that Earth's axial tilt is the cause of variable sun angle and the seasons. However, they experience this using an "eye in the sky" perspective that is not accessible through personal experience. Making the mental translation to a view from Earth is a spatially difficult task. This project engages students in recording spatio-temporal, personal observations of the sun in a way that is relevant and exciting. Activities include learning about a "mind-blowing ancient solar calendar", interacting with sun path and ecliptic simulators, and creating a montage of sunset pictures with solar angle measurements that beautifully display their observations. Students will: - observe that the length of the path of the Sun across the sky, and hence the length of day change in a predictable pattern over the course of a year; - notice that the elevation angle of the Sun in the sky, and hence the sun angle changes in a predictable pattern over the course of a year; - recognize that varying sun angle and length of day change the intensity and length of exposure to the Sun, thus affecting temperature and causing seasonal change.
How can we use rock characteristics to interpret rock origin?
Robyn Dahl, Western Washington University
Students employ the jigsaw method to characterize four rock types (A=sedimentary, B=metamorphic, C=igneous extrusive, and D=igneous intrusive), infer formation processes and determine how they are related via the rock cycle. In addition to learning content, this activity can be used to model the jigsaw method for pre-service teachers. Students start in four-person "home groups." Within home groups, each student is assigned to one specialty rock type (labeled only as A B C or D, with no extra information). Students split into "specialty groups," and are given a set of 10 specimens of their rock type. Students observe and describe each of the specimens, then the specialty group creates a consensus general description for their rock type. Students return to their home groups, share descriptions and speculate about how their observations might provide information on processes of formation. Students then put their descriptions aside and do guided background research on how rock characteristics (textures) relate to formation processes of sedimentary, intrusive igneous, extrusive igneous and metamorphic rocks, and the rock cycle. To complete the assignment, students use their descriptions and newly acquired content knowledge to infer formation processes for each of their specialty rock types, and hence classify rock types A-D.
Fire Weather Forecasting: Practicum
Cody Kirkpatrick, Indiana University-Bloomington
I will show attendees the Just-in-Time activity that students complete before coming to class; then, we will demonstrate the jigsaw activity itself, working in teams and switching to join other teams; and finally (if time permits) we will mimic the post-activity discussion and reflection that the class completes.