Maps As Scientific Tools

Michelle Kinzel
San Diego Mesa College
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This lesson is designed to reinforce the basic skill sets and concepts introduced in Lessons 1‐3 of this module. Students will use the steps of the Geographic Approach to explore data sets and images in a scientific manner.

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High school and undergraduate students.

Skills and concepts that students must have mastered

Students should have completed Lessons 1-3 of this module and be familar with the steps of the scientific method or the geographic approach.

How the activity is situated in the course

This is lesson 4 of 5 in the course.
It is necessary to use data sets from prior lessons for the exercises.


Content/concepts goals for this activity

Lesson Objectives: At the end of the lesson, students will be able to
  • Collect data about the height of physical features, use contour lines and the GeoMapApp grid to visualize features, and use the Distance Profile Tool to explore physical features.
  • Use GeoMapApp as a tool to examine data sets related to Sea Ice Extent in the Arctic.
  • Use the Digitizer Tool to collect data about whale locations and estimate the depths associated with randomly selected points.

Higher order thinking skills goals for this activity

Scientific Inquiry

Other skills goals for this activity


Description of the activity/assignment


Determining whether students have met the goals

Lesson includes seven questions, for which an answer key is provided in the instructor version.

More information about assessment tools and techniques.

Teaching materials and tips

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