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Grand Canyon Observations & Hypotheses

Author Profile
This material was originally created for On the Cutting Edge: Professional Development for Geoscience Faculty
and is replicated here as part of the SERC Pedagogic Service.
Pam Nelson, Glendale Community College
Course: Introduction to Geology - Historical Geology
Maximum of 24 students
The most effective way to develop geoscience skills in your students is to make opportunities for them to practice those skills.

The Activity

My first class subject is the scientific method. I have students make observations of the Grand Canyon from a slide. Each pair of students is to come up with 5 simple observations and 5 hypotheses to go with them. It helps to get the students thinking about the difference between the two and gets them to communicate with at least one other person in the course on the very first day. One of them must then come up and write their favorite observation/hypothesis pair on the board. Then I go over the entire list with the class.

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