Stephanie Sabatini, North Carolina State University
Fred Marton, Bergen Community College
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.
Scaffolded exercises in the design of an ocean observing study for introductory undergraduates
Sasha Seroy, University of Washington-Seattle Campus
This is a series of in-class worksheet activities which prompt students to design multiple ocean observing studies, each time using different tools, over the course of a quarter. Students are given the same locally-relevant scientific question (How do seasonal cycles affect phytoplankton distributions along the Washington Coast?) and are asked to design a study to address the question at three different points in the course. Each time the students revisit the question, they have to design a new study with different tools (e.g. ships, AUVs, satellites) and reconsider the relevant time/space scales, data needed, study limitations, sketch their sampling plan on a map and explain their rationale.
Paperless earthquake location
Fred Marton, Bergen Community College
Students are typically taught to locate earthquakes by deriving epicentral distances from S-P times. This activity replaces printed seismograms and travel time curves with Google Sheets/PowerPoint slides that they can manipulate themselves. First, students use seismograms that have vertical guidelines added to them, which they use to identify P- and S-wave arrivals. Next, after determining the S-P time for a station, they use a travel time graph with a vertical bar that can be adjusted to match the S-P time and then it can be moved so that its length spans the time between the S- and P-wave travel time curves, allowing students to read off the distance from the station to the earthquake. Once distances for three stations are determined, students use IRIS's Earthquake Triangulation tool to plot the distance circles and determine the earthquake's epicenter.
An Inquiry-Based Approach to Rock Classification and Identification
Sabrina Brown, Defiance College
This series of three laboratory activities focused on igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic rocks, respectively, encourages inquiry-based interaction with the concepts of rock classification and identification. To begin, students are tasked with sorting an unlabeled set of rocks into 2-4 groups based on rock properties. Then, students are presented with second set of different unlabeled rocks. They are tasked with fitting these new rocks into their previous classification scheme or modifying the scheme to fit all the unknown rocks. Students share with other groups or as a class (depending on time and number of students) to synthesize the physical properties important to identifying that group of rocks (igneous, sedimentary, metamorphic). Then, students are provided with a short, applied lesson over the rock characteristics important for classification before being tasked with properly identifying the set of samples they have been working with throughout the laboratory period.
Spatial Thinking Training Activities for Undergraduate Geology Students
Stephanie Sabatini, North Carolina State University
David McConnell, North Carolina State University
We have created a set of spatial thinking training activities as part of a newly developed 1-credit course (Visualizing Geology in 3D and 4D) for sophomore geology students. The course is structured around the spatial thinking typology developed by Newcombe and Shipley (2015), wherein each 110-minute lab period provides targeted spatial thinking instruction and exercises focused on specific skills and strategies. The course begins with exercises in which students grapple with the scale of geologic objects and processes, then migrates to pattern recognition, spatial transformations, and spatial relationships between geologic objects. Through our set of spatial thinking training activities and targeted instruction, we aim to equip undergraduate geology students with the spatial thinking skills necessary for success in the geology curriculum. Our presentation will showcase several activities, including sorting exercises, a tactile structure contour map exercise, and exercises using simple 3-D card models. We will demonstrate how they can be easily integrated into existing geology courses to enhance student learning outcomes. The sorting exercises challenge students to think about the relative scale of geologic objects, events, and processes; while the structure contour and 3-D card model exercises helps students develop the ability to translate between two-dimensional maps and three-dimensional landscapes.
Martin Farley, University of North Carolina at Pembroke
This is an activity intended to get Oceanography students to look and understand components of an equation. I always do this when I see equations: Which terms are constants? Do you know the constant's value (if not, can you figure it out?)Do some variables change within limits? If so, how does this constrain the output of the equation?Coriolis Acceleration = 2 Ω v sin φ where Ω = Earth's angular rotation (radians/unit time), v = linear velocity of the object (metric), and φ = latitude (in degrees) (it's also a vector equation)Ω is a constant, but who has that memorized? Students can calculate it, however. The sin φ obviously varies within limits (from 0 to 1 from equator to pole) thus constraining the acceleration.After students figure this out, I have them calculate Coriolis acceleration at the latitude of UNC-Pembroke and compare it to the acceleration due to gravity for context on magnitude (although this is in a different direction) to see its importance for objects like speeding cars. I finally ask them to consider phenomena in which this acceleration would be important.
3d model for visualizing earthquake focal mechanisms
Joann Stock, California Institute of Technology
Students use a transparent hemisphere and a rigid inset of two perpendicular planes. The inset represents the earthquake fault plane and auxiliary plane. The students use erasable whiteboard markers to trace the intersections of the planes with the lower hemisphere. Then they remove the inset and look down on the transparent hemisphere to see how the fault plane traces appear from above. They can then draw this 3D perspective on a sheet of paper to show what the focal mechanism looks like.
Incorporating Analogical Reasoning into Earth Science: A Content-Agnostic Lesson Plan
Katherine Ryker, University of South Carolina-Columbia
Eliza Braden, University of South Carolina-Columbia
Valerie L. Shalin, Wright State University-Main Campus
Dena Fender, Richland School District Two
Hengtao Tang, University of South Carolina-Columbia
Nitin Jain, EngageFastLearning Inc
Thilini Wijesiriwardene, University of South Carolina-Columbia
Amit Sheth, University of South Carolina-Columbia
This 90 minute lesson plan is written to engage students with analogical reasoning that can be used at any point in the curriculum regardless of content. Students are provided with a basic introduction to analogies that includes examples. This learning is contextualized using a candy-based analogy to understand Earth's structure. From there, students are asked to generate a list of both recent Earth science concepts they've covered in class and life experiences they have had (e.g. going to church, making a quilt). Students then work in small groups to develop an analogy explaining an Earth science concept (target domain) using their chosen life experience (source domain). In this way, students are able to better connect content to what is meaningful and interesting to them from their lived experiences. By the end of the lesson, students will be able to create an analogy demonstrating the relationship between two or more ideas recently discussed in class, explain this analogy to one or more classmates, and provide feedback to others on their analogy and/or reasoning.
Lawn games in lab: Two-sided bean bags, numerical age dating, and gamifying radioactive decay
Christy Visaggi, Georgia State University
Learning about radioactive decay and how rocks are dated is often a challenge for students in introductory geology. Standard laboratory exercises involve studying half-lives by examining changing parent-daughter ratios as an element decays. Several well-known strategies, such as using M&Ms or coins, offer ways to make learning about radiometric dating more fun and relatable. The activity presented here offers a new and unique approach to engage students in learning these concepts as they 'go through the motions' of radioactive decay by playing a variation on the popular lawn game cornhole (aka bean bag toss). Two-sided bean bags are used as the 'game pieces' of the decay process where the color on one side (e.g., red) reflects the parent material and the color on the other side (e.g., gray) reflects the daughter product. Boxes with dividers that hold the bean bags represent the source mineral crystal (e.g., zircon). Teams of students go through rounds of tossing bean bags into a bucket, where after each round (simulating a half-life), bean bags are placed back into the box in a way that shows the changing ratio of parent to daughter isotopes (by noticing shifts in colors that are 'face up' after successive rounds).
The Versatility of a Simple Box of Random Rocks for In-Person and Online Instruction
LeAnne Teruya, San Jose State University
This activity will demonstrate several ways in which a simple box of random rocks can be used in a variety of ways for hands-on learning about composition and texture in rocks, and rounding, porosity, and permeability. Using photos of rocks and Google Jamboard, most of these activities can be done in an online environment, also.
Virtual Reality Spatial Training: Strike and Dip
Katharine Johanesen, Juniata College
Christopher J Green, Juniata College
This immersive virtual reality (VR) lesson provides scaffolded practice with the spatial concepts necessary for measuring strike and dip with a compass/clinometer such as a Brunton compass. The module begins with tutorial instruction on using the controls in VR, then proceeds to a station focusing on the Water Level Task (WLT): a cognitive test measuring the understanding of horizontal. The station includes liquid-filled vessels the student can manipulate and a randomized quiz of the WLT to test their understanding. After this station, the student is reminded of the compass setup and proper orientations of measurement. Then they are presented with a table that can be tilted and turned: numbers beside the table update to reflect its orientation. The student is asked to use the compass tool to measure the strike and dip of the tilted table and compare their answers to those displayed. When combined with traditional instruction on strike and dip, this activity helps students to break down the task and practice it conceptually without field distractions and with automatic feedback. Through this activity, students will: 1) Practice the spatial concept of horizontal, 2) Learn the basics of a compass/clinometer, and 3) Practice measuring strike and dip.
Reef Survivor Jamaica- Modification of an undergraduate geoscience board game for Jamaican communities (middle school children and adults)
Caitlin Currie, The University of Texas at Austin
Estefania Salgado-Jauregui, The University of Texas at Austin
Claire Williams, The University of Texas at Austin
Educational geoscience games have been increasing in popularity because they promote learning through amusement and encourage learners to engage with complex systems. This educational board game teaches players about reef ecology, evolution, and environmental perturbations by having players work together to build a resilient reef. The game blends informed decision-making and chance by allowing players to choose their reef community in the face of unpredictable mutations and/or disasters. "Reef Survivor" was initially developed for an undergraduate lab but was modified for use with local communities of adults and middle school-aged children in Jamaica. By tailoring the environments and reef organisms to local Jamaican examples, this activity blended place-based education with game-based learning. Place-based learning and game-based learning are important components that help participants develop meaningful and relevant learning experiences. Through place-based education, students become environmentally conscious and build connections between their surroundings and important Earth Science phenomena. The usage of game-based activities builds on the natural competitiveness and collaboration common in a multitude of cultures, increasing engagement and motivation in the classroom. Through culturally-responsive teaching, educators can use these tools to create a space where students construct their knowledge with concepts directly pertaining to them.