Share-a-Thon Presentations

Tuesday 1:30pm-2:40pm Burge Union Forum C/D
Share-a-Thon Part of Share-a-Thon Presentations

This event will begin with a round-robin 1-2 minute "lightning" round to preview each activity, with the remaining time for attendees to circulate among presenters to interact in a small group format. Presenters will have a table to set up the materials for their activity as Share-A-Thon attendees circulate. The goal of this event is for presenters to share their favorite activities or lessons with colleagues who will get an overview of activities and have time to ask questions. Presenters are asked to provide attendees with an overview and information about the activity (handout, online link) so that it can be reproduced by attendees in their own classrooms.
1:30pm-2:40pm
What do cats and quartz have in common? Introducing mineral properties using images of cats and dogs.
Sarah Glancy, University of Hawaii-West Oahu

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The goal of the activity is to introduce students to the concept of using different mineral properties, such as streak and hardness, to identify minerals. Students are first told that minerals are classified but are not told how scientists do this. Students are then given an envelope with images of cats and dogs in it and asked to "classify" the images. Most students immediately put the animals into two groups: cats and dogs. Students then consider how they automatically classified these animals using "properties." Students learn that the most "obvious" properties, such as size and color, aren't always optimal properties to use for classification.
1:30pm-2:40pm
Mineral Structural Formulae & Stochiometry
Brendan Hanger, Oklahoma State University-Main Campus
Greg Yaxley, Australian National University

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This is an Excel-based activity used in mineralogy and petrology courses to introduce the concept to determining the mineral structure formulae (or cations per atomic functional unit) from given mineral oxide data, as obtained using an electron microprobe. This activity serves four main purposes: 1) introducing students to geochemical data and its format (weight % oxide); 2) understanding the new to perform checks for data quality; 3: deepening understanding of mineral solid solutions; and 4) learning to use Excel effectively when dealing with repeated calculations. The first time I use this activity, I have students develop an excel spreadsheet that will convert oxide weight % data into cation data appropriate for reading off the exact structural formula when the type of mineral is known (e.g. Mg1.81Fe0.17Ni0.02SiO4 for an olivine). I repeat the activity throughout the semester and increase the complexity of the minerals, eventually presenting data of unknown minerals, requiring students to determine the mineral in addition to the formula (e.g. is it olivine, clinopyroxene, feldspar), as well calculating end-members and Mg-numbers. Advantages of this approach include students learning to develop a functional spreadsheet, and the eventual ability to interpret whether an analysis is of sufficient quality to be used.
1:30pm-2:40pm
"Cubing" for Visualization Literacy: Increase student engagement with Earth science phenomena using tactile cubes
Elizabeth Joyner, NASA

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NASA's newly-designed data visualization cubes provide a flexible instructional strategy that encourages students to dive deeper into a variety of Earth science visualizations. Inspired by NASA's atmospheric scientist, Dr. Margaret Pippin, and the Next Generation Science Standards, these resources help students to better understand their data and communicate their findings. Leveraging the tool available from My NASA Data, Live Access Server, these cubes help students explore Earth System phenomena.
1:30pm-2:40pm
Illustrating the Process of Science Using Leaf-Margin Analyses
Wendi Williams, South Texas College

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The activity is derived from a Smithsonian Institution Middle to High School lesson distributed approximately 10 years ago using Leaf-Margin Analyses on fossil leaves from Wyoming, U.S. (based on work by Dr. Scott Wing and others). The activity uses high resolution images of fossil leaves from deciduous trees just before and during the Paleocene - Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM). Students use these images to acquire data, calculate average annual air temperature for two stratigraphic localities (representing different ages), then put into the context of "then and now." In terms of my community college's seven general education outcomes, this modified activity easily helps addresses four: develop higher order thinking skills, achieve mathematical literacy, use computers proficiently, and employ a variety of sources to locate, evaluate, and use information. My adaptations are in having modified materials for Universal Design* and how the activity is pedagogically implemented. *With multi-modal modifications to include Persons with Disabilities.
1:30pm-2:40pm
Geodetic Learning Resources for Your Classroom
Shelley Olds, UNAVCO
Donna Charlevoix, UNAVCO
Beth Bartel, UNAVCO

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UNAVCO Education and Community Engagement has developed learning modules and supplemental materials focused on geodesy and geodetic applications that are freely available to educators and the public. In this Share-a-thon, we will share a suite of resources for your courses (higher education and secondary level). GEodesy Tools for Societal Issues (GETSI) teaching materials feature geodetic data and quantitative skills applied to societally important issues (climate change, natural hazards, water resources, environmental management). The UNAVCO Tectonic Motions posters display velocities of high precision Global Positioning System (GPS) stations on maps of Alaska and the Western United States. Using these posters, students are able to describe how the surface of Earth is changing over time by interpreting the vectors of GPS data. Infographic posters can be displayed in labs and as general learning supplements: "What GPS Can Tell Us About Earth" explores how scientists can use GPS to measure snow depth, sea level, and more; "What is Geodesy?" introduces students to how geodesy works and what we can do with geodesy; "Measuring the Changing Shape of Our Earth" explains InSAR, a remote sensing geodetic technique for measuring topography and deformation.
1:30pm-2:40pm
Implementing the Geoscience Education Research Project as a Poster in Intro Courses
Katherine Ryker, University of South Carolina-Columbia
Karen Kortz, Community College of Rhode Island

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Students complete a scientific research project including asking a question, developing methods, collecting data, analyzing and interpreting data, and communicating results as described by Karen M. Kortz here: https://serc.carleton.edu/NAGTWorkshops/undergraduate_research/workshop_2014/activities/88699.html. The research question begins "What do other students think about _____" and students fill in the blank with a topic that interests them from the class. Although it is geoscience education research, it involves students in the process of science while learning about a topic of their choosing, making it an effective learning tool for all students. At the end of the semester, students share their results in the form of a poster session. Each student (or student group) prepares a poster that includes their research findings and the scientific ideas behind their topic. At one school, students also draw from popular press articles to make their topic as locally relevant as possible. The goal is to have students learn the process of science while learning a topic of their choosing, which will vary by student. Outcomes include developing skills of analyzing data, synthesizing ideas, evaluating results, generating conclusions and recommendations, critiquing peer work, presenting, and working in groups.
1:30pm-2:40pm
Greenhouse effect laboratory activity as an introduction to climate change
Devon Colcord, Indiana University-Bloomington
Cody Kirkpatrick, Indiana University-Bloomington

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DemonstrationAt the Rendezvous, we intend to have the complete setup for this lab exercise, including a heat lamp shining through the various "atmospheres" while we monitor the temperature of the "Earth's surface" via infrared thermometers and a thermal camera. Abstract The greenhouse effect is taught in a variety of different Earth science classes, however it is often taught solely through the discussion of abstract diagrams. Here, we present a laboratory exercise that allows students to explore the greenhouse effect in action and directly relate what they observe back to known theory. In the activity, different "atmospheres" – bags devoid of greenhouse gases versus bags containing 100% greenhouse gases such as methane – are placed over beds of sand, which represent Earth's surface, and are heated via heat lamp. The resulting surface temperatures are then measured to demonstrate the greenhouse effect. This laboratory exercise builds on the CO2-in-a-bottle demonstration, which focuses solely on the temperature of the gases inside the bottle, while our activity mimics the complete greenhouse effect including the impact on Earth's surface temperatures. After completing this activity, students have a more thorough understanding of short- and long-wave radiation and their interactions with greenhouse gases, which can then lead to more detailed discussions about Earth's climate. Context Our 100-level introductory atmospheric science course for both majors and non-majors consists of two lectures and one laboratory session each week and covers topics in both weather and climate. This activity is used in the first lab session focusing on climate, after students have been introduced to the greenhouse effect during the previous lecture session. Students gain a hands-on understanding of how greenhouse gases influence Earth's energy budget. This allows us to then continue our discussions of Earth's climate system in more detail, as well as introduce paleoclimate and anthropogenic climate change. Why It Works Understanding the greenhouse effect is critical to understanding Earth's climate in the past, present, and future. The greenhouse effect, however, is often taught solely through tedious discussions of short- and long-wave radiation accompanied by a diagram with arrows pointing from the Sun to Earth back to space and back to Earth again. While it is certainly imperative to understand the greenhouse effect conceptually, this activity allows students to bring these diagrams to life. Students come to lab already having this conceptual understanding of the greenhouse effect and then during lab, they can actually explore those processes at work, reinforcing the concepts presented in lecture. This allows a more solid foundation to build upon for discussions about past carbon dioxide concentrations, as well as how changing greenhouse gas concentrations will affect global temperatures in the future.