# Tools and Data

## Tools To Aid Quantitative Teaching and Learning

There are a number of software packages available that can be used by faculty and students in teaching and learning and practicing quantitative skills. Here are some examples along with resources for using them in the classroom.

Mathematica
Mathematica Tutorials: These self-paced tutorials by Bill Titus at Carleton College expose novices to the Mathematica software package and explore some of its abilities.

Spreadsheets can be a very powerful tool for getting students comfortable interacting with numbers and data sets.

• What is Excel?
Microsoft Excel is the most common spreadsheet available to most faculty and students. This tutorial, written by Bob MacKay of Clark College, discusses why it is useful and how to make use of it in the classroom. There are also several basic and more advanced examples of activities using Excel in a Geoscience context.
• Teaching with Spreadsheets Across the Curriculum
Spreadsheets Across the Curriculum (SSAC) is an effort to use spreadsheets as a way of raising the quantitative literacy of students across all subject areas. There is a growing collection of activities asking students to figure out how to solve questions using the technology that already sits on their desks.

Stella
How to use Stella: Stella is an object-oriented modeling environment. Models can be created with Stella by connecting four or five different icons together in different ways into a model framework so that the structure of the model is very transparent. This module, written by Bob MacKay of Clark College, gives an introduction to the environment and what can be done with it.

Matlab
Matlab Tutorial: This page gives a good introduction to the Matlab computational and programming environment. It is a basic introduction suitable for students who have not used Matlab before.

## Scientific Data Sets

Teaching with real scientific data can be an excellent way for students to learn and practice their quantitative literacy and reasoning.

Originally developed for the NSDL Using Data in the Classroom portal, DataSheets concisely describe particular scientific data sets in a way that is useful to educators interested in teaching with the data. We've made the geoscience subset of DataSheets available here for you. To see the full interdisciplinary set, check out the Using Data in the Classroom portal.

## Online Data Sources and Tools

Browse through our catalog of online sources of data sets and tools to work with them.