GEOLogic: Terrestrial and Jovian Planets

Initial Publication Date: June 1, 2006 | Reviewed: July 21, 2015

Summary

GEOLogic questions are puzzles that were developed to support students understanding of geoscience concepts while challenging them to develop better logic and problem solving skills.
In this two-part example, students are given clues about properties about the terrestrial and Jovian planets respectively and asked to match up the planet with the correct equatorial radius, mean orbital velocity, and period of rotation. There are also some overarching questions dealing with both groups of planets.

Used this activity? Share your experiences and modifications

Learning Goals

  • To develop students' problem solving skills by requiring them to examine problems from multiple points of view
  • To expose students to real geologic data and common concepts and units (rates, distance, time, etc.)

Context for Use

This activity is appropriate for a high school science class or an introductory level undergraduate geoscience course. The activity can be given as an in class assignment or for homework.

Description and Teaching Materials

Teaching Notes and Tips

See the author's paper under Resources.

Assessment

As long as the student makes a substantial effort towards solving the problem, they receive credit for the assignment. Alternatively, GEOLogic problems could be used as extra credit exercises which would be graded more rigorously.

References and Resources

Guertin, 2000 . Using Logic Problems in Introductory-Level Geoscience Courses to Develop Critical Reasoning and Basic Quantitative Skills, Journal of Geoscience Education, 48(4), 423.
- In this paper, the author describes the development and implementation of GEOLogic problems as well as her reasoning for the focus on logic problems and problem solving.