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Structural Smoothies

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.
Dyanna Czeck, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Course: Structural Geology
12 students
Students remember what they have seen and done much better than they remember what you have told them.

The Activity

On the first day of class, we talk about the various approaches to structural geology and the idea of Lagrangian versus Eulerian reference frames. To do this, we make smoothies (yogurt, fruit, juice, etc.) in groups. The students predict how theirs will taste. Then they exchange smoothies, taste them and try to decipher the ingredients that the other groups have used. We compare these two different styles to forward versus backwards modeling, and talk about which we would use at an outcrop, which in a numerical model, etc.