InTeGrate Modules and Courses >Exploring Geoscience Methods
 Earth-focused Modules and Courses for the Undergraduate Classroom
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These materials are part of a collection of classroom-tested modules and courses developed by InTeGrate. The materials engage students in understanding the earth system as it intertwines with key societal issues. The materials are free and ready to be adapted by undergraduate educators across a range of courses including: general education or majors courses in Earth-focused disciplines such as geoscience or environmental science, social science, engineering, and other sciences, as well as courses for interdisciplinary programs.
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Summary

This module gives pre-service secondary science teachers the opportunity to use and reflect on geoscientific thinking. The module begins with an exploration of how geoscience methods are similar to and different from the stereotypical experimental scientific method. Then, students use methods of geoscience (e.g., systems thinking, multiple converging lines of evidence, developing spatial and temporal frameworks) in a data-rich, interdisciplinary exploration of the human impacts of global climate change. They will use spatial and temporal data, data visualizations and Google Earth to address the scientific question "To what extent are coastal communities at risk due to climate change?" and the socio-scientific issue "To what extent should we build or re-build coastal communities?" Finally, pre-service teachers explore high-quality, freely available curricular resources to develop a standards-based, interdisciplinary lesson that embeds geoscientific thinking and content as part of biology, chemistry, Earth science, physics or social science instruction. Pre-service teachers further explore societal impacts in the lessons that they develop. The module can be taught in 6-12 hours of class time, plus substantial homework.

Strengths of the Module

Students who learn with this module will:
  • Develop a deeper understanding of the process of science and how to foster that understanding in their students
  • Engage in a data-rich activity that is well-aligned with the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
  • Make an argument about the development of coastal communities based on evidence from sea level rise and tropical storm intensity
  • Become familiar with high-quality, online resources for teaching Earth science
In working with data, students will:
  • Use Google Earth to measure distances, elevation, and areas
  • Graph numerical data in Excel, and analyze the graphs for trends
  • Use climate forecast models to make predictions

NGSS Logo Very Small

These materials have been reviewed for their alignment with the Next Generation Science Standards. At the top of each page, you can click on the NGSS logo to see the specific connections. Visit InTeGrate and the NGSS to learn more about the process of alignment and how to use InTeGrate materials to implement the NGSS.

NGSS in this Module

The purpose of this module is to introduce pre-service secondary science teachers to the methods of geoscience thinking, engage them in such methods and provide an opportunity to gather curricular resources for future teaching practice. After reading and evaluating informational articles about the methods of geoscience, students engage in an authentic and data-rich, lab-based activity that uses multiple digital tools to analyze and interpret data, address a real-world problem, make hypotheses, support claims and construct arguments from evidence. The final unit engages students in developing a full lesson plan based on the resource that emphasizes the methods of geoscience.


A great fit for courses in:

  • Secondary science methods*
  • Earth science education
  • Elementary science methods
  • Nature of science
  • Environmental studies


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These materials are part of a collection of classroom-tested modules and courses developed by InTeGrate. The materials engage students in understanding the earth system as it intertwines with key societal issues. The collection is freely available and ready to be adapted by undergraduate educators across a range of courses including: general education or majors courses in Earth-focused disciplines such as geoscience or environmental science, social science, engineering, and other sciences, as well as courses for interdisciplinary programs.
Explore the Collection »