Friday Teaching Demos

Friday 1:30pm-3:00pm TSU - Humphries: 221
Teaching Demonstration Part of Friday Teaching Demos

Session Chairs

Michael Gibson, The University of Tennessee-Martin
Aida Farough, Kansas State University
1:30pm-1:50pm
Paleo-Peterson Grabs of Ancient Sea Floors as a Tool to Understand Longer Term Sea Level Change
Michael Gibson, The University of Tennessee-Martin

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The fossiliferous sediment record contains the necessary comparative information for us to evaluate modern sea level change consequences. How does one bring the modern ocean experience into a land-locked classroom and demonstrate the long-term nature of the paleo-record of sea level change? The Paleo-Peterson Grab activity models how to use fossiliferous marine sediment samples, abundant throughout the southeastern U.S., and that preserve much of the same information regarding marine biodiversity, ecology, sediment characteristics (to some degree ocean water depth and chemistry), to reconstruct the effects of past sea level changes. This activity models this approach by using "grab" samples from the Coon Creek Lagerstätte (72 million years old, West Tennessee) and Eastover Formation (7 million years old, Virginia Coastal Plain), both marine substrates from two different global sea level changes, that are re-hydrated to resemble the modern Peterson grabs. Typical grab sample analyses of sediment composition, sedimentary structures, biodiversity, functional morphology studies, etc. are run. Modern Peterson grabs from the Gulf of Mexico are compared with the sediments and biota from these past two global sea level changes that are still preserved within today's Atlantic and Gulf Coast regions.
1:50pm-2:10pm
Computers and instrumentation, opening the black box
Lauren Sahl, Maine Maritime Academy
Karin Lemkau, Maine Maritime Academy
Sarah O'Malley, Maine Maritime Academy
David Avery, Maine Maritime Academy

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This activity introduces students to electrical circuits, building a temperature sensor, calibrating the sensor, altering a computer code and taking some data with the sensor. Although this sounds complicated the activity is organized in such a way that it is very successful in the classroom. I would like to introduce the activity to educators because it appears to be complex, but isn't. By overcoming that initial reluctance I hope more people will use the activity.
2:10pm-2:30pm
Teaching about geologic structures with craft foam models and hands-on guided exploration activities
Andrea Bair, Delta College

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Classroom instruction on geologic structures often involves models demonstrated by the instructor, and/or student construction of paper or clay models. While these models can be useful for conceptual learning, they each have significant downsides. Student-constructed models require significant class time to make, and students' subsequent learning can be hampered if their models do not illustrate key features well. Use of only instructor demonstrations of more permanent or expertly constructed models is less desirable than hands-on manipulation by students themselves, but a full classroom set students can explore is often prohibitive because of constraints on space, money, time, or construction challenges. I developed a set of activities for introductory geology courses using a guided exploration of easy-to-construct craft foam models of fault blocks and loose sheets that allow students to create common types of faults and folds by application of directional stresses. Since using the models and activities in physical geology, student discussions using the foam models instead of constructing their own clay models have focused more on conceptual understanding, and scores on assessment questions targeting links between stress types and related geologic structures have improved. Common student learning difficulties are less common after instruction and practice, and student satisfaction increased.
2:30pm-2:50pm
Magnitude vs. Intensity: An Application of the Science Writing Heuristic for Physical Geology
Larry Collins, Washington State University-Vancouver

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The recent adoption of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS Lead States, 2013) have established a high pedagogical standard for instructors. These standards are also important for two-year and four-year faculty as they recognize the importance of having a knowledge of scientific practice. In this teaching demonstration, we seek to engage participants in the Science Writing Heuristic approach. This well-researched approach to instruction recognizes that the language practices of science are important to understanding scientific practice and learning content as are the material aspects of science such as experimentation (Hand, Park, & Suh, 2018). It consists of three phases including the framework for scientific practice phase, the argument phase, and the summary writing phase (Hand, 2016). We seek to model how this approach can be used to help students understand the difference between magnitude and intensity during a unit on earthquakes. This lesson has been implemented in a teacher education course for pre-service teachers who are seeking teacher certification in either earth/space science, biology, or chemistry and can be embedded into an introductory physical geology course. We will illustrate how to help students establish a scientific question that is in alignment with the intended learning outcome, the types of exercises that are useful for priming students to engage in argumentative dialogue in lecture, formative assessment strategies to use during peer-peer dialogue, and examples of summary writing exercises that are useful for assessing student learning. After completing this lesson, students should be able to demonstrate a stronger conceptual understanding of magnitude and intensity when studying earthquakes through interpretation of data and several rounds of peer-peer dialogue when given the proper supports.