Determining Dinosaur Speeds
This exercise has students determine how fast a dinosaur was moving based on the tracks it made. It allows students with minimal quantitative background to become motivated and begin to develop an appreciation for dimensional analysis as they see whether or not they could outrun the track-making dinosaurs. Measurements from any dinosaur track site can be used in this activity. Learning goals, context for use, teaching tips, materials, assessment tips and related resources are provided.
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Determining Earthquake Probability and Recurrence from Past Seismic Events
Students completing this homework and in-class exercise use historical data from small earthquakes to estimate the recurrence interval of They are encouraged to examine sampling limitations, thoughtfully deal with outliers, compare the results of various techniques and consider the societal impacts of their results. This activity is designed for the Pacific Northwest, but could easily be altered for any other area. Learning goals, context for use, teaching tips, materials, assessment tips and re
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Earthquake Shaking and Damage
This homework exercise is designed to familiarize students with earthquake shaking, acceleration, intensity and hazards, including the quantitative measurement of these properties. Students analyze real earthquake data to determine the damage to their homes. By using students' own homes, they see the impacts of shaking, hazard, and intensity in a more personal, connected way. Learning goals, context for use, teaching tips, materials, assessment tips and related resources are provided.
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In this lab, students use dice to simulate radioactive decay. Students create a standard decay curve for a fictional element, calculate the half-life of this element, and, using the information their graph, "date" rocks that contain the new element. The use of dice has some advantages over similar exercises because the half-life is not immediately obvious to students and they will need to experimentally determine it. Learning goals, context for use, teaching tips, materials, assessment tips and
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GEOLogic: Dinosaur Trackways
This in-class or homework exercise asks students to associate different dinosaur trackways with their geographic locations and rock formation names based on clues given from various points of view. Learning goals, context for use, teaching tips, materials, assessment tips and related resources are provided.
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GEOLogic: State Fossils
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 exercise, students are asked to identify states with their state fossil and the year in which it was declared, based on clues given from various points of view. Learning goals, context for use, teaching tips, materials, assessment tips and related resources are provided.
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GEOLogic: Terrestrail and Jovian Planets
In this two-part exercise, students are given clues about properties of terrestrial and Jovian planets and then asked to match up the planets with their correct equatorial radius, mean orbital velocity, and period of rotation. There are also some overarching questions dealing with both groups of planets. Learning goals, context for use, teaching tips, materials, assessment tips and related resources are provided.
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GEOLogic: The Big Five Mass Extinctions
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 exercise, students are asked to match up the five largest mass extinction events with their relative dates, approximate duration, and severity (percentage of species that became extinct) based on clues given from various perspectives. This activity is appropriate for a high school science class or an introdu
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GEOLogic: The Three Stooges and Their Pet Dinosaurs
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 exercise, students are asked to match up each of the Stooges with their favorite group and species of dinosaur based on clues given about which order and group each Stooge prefers. This activity is appropriate for a high school science class or an introductory level undergraduate geoscience course, and can b
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GEOLogic: Volcanologists
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 exercise, students are asked to resolve how many days each of five volcanologists spent at a given volcano and what day they started for the volcano. There is also a second part where students are asked to do some additional research about volcanoes on the web. This activity is appropriate for a high school
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Lake Level Changes in the Arid West
In this lab, students use STELLA modeling software to see what combinations of runoff and evaporation might have led to Pleistocene lake level oscillations. This exercise is designed to explore the impact of changes in climate on the level of lakes in the Owens River system, but it can be adapted to other areas. Learning goals, context for use, teaching tips, materials, assessment tips and related resources are provided.
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Landscape Diffusion Lab
In this STELLA modeling project, students create a model of two marine terrace platforms separated in elevation by a cliff. They use this model to examine how landscapes evolve over time in response to diffusive processes such as raindrop impacts, the annual cycle of freeze-thaw, tree throw, and the action of burrowing animals. Learning goals, context for use, teaching tips, materials, assessment tips and related resources are provided.
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The Changing Geographic Distribution of Malaria with Global Climate Warming
In this exercise, students analyze climate data to find areas in the southern United States that are now close to having conditions in which the malaria parasite and its mosquito hosts thrive. Then they attempt to forecast when areas might become climatically suitable. Learning goals, context for use, ...
Author(s): Mary Savina,Kendra Murray,Carleton College Science

Toilet Paper Analogy for Geologic Time
This in-class demonstration involves using a 1000 sheet roll of strong toilet paper to demonstrate the vast length of time involved in Deep Time. Important events in geologic history are marked on the toilet paper. As the toilet paper is unrolled, from the front of the room to the back and around the room, students begin to get a sense of how little time humanity has been on Earth and how much time is really involved. Learning goals, context for use, teaching tips, materials, assessment tips and
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Two streams, two stories: How Humans Alter Floods and Streams
In this class activity, students determine the discharge of a 100-year flood for two human-impacted streams. This activity supports the quantitative concepts of recurrence intervals, floods and flooding, and probability. It is appropriate for a class of under 40 students. This assignment uses real data, asks students to graph and interpret data, examines the errors associated with that data and its analysis, and requires the students to look at societal impacts. Learning goals, context for use,
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Using functions in an introductory geoscience course
This template and set of exercises is designed to help faculty increase the graphical literacy of their students. The template gives general guidelines for teaching students the relationship between functions and their graphical representation. The exercises help teach exponential growth and decay. Learning goals, context for use, teaching tips, materials, assessment tips and related resources are provided.
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Vectors and slope stability
This activity is designed to teach students with little or no experience with vectors, free-body diagrams, or the like to apply vectors to slope stability problems. Students first learn the basic properties of vectors, vector addition, resolving forces, etc. They then apply these techniques to establish in a simplified way how geologists can determine if a slope is stable, how much loading a slope can withstand before it becomes unstable, and other principles of slope stability determination. Le
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Water Quality Acquisition
In this activity, students visit two sites to practice their field water sample collection and water quality assessment skills. They use a vertical well-water sampler and downhole water quality probes to measure groundwater conductivity, pH, and temperature at different depths in a landfill. Collected water conductivity data is contoured to map the distribution of a contaminant plume. Students then study acid mine drainage by using water quality meters to compare pH and conductivity values up an
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Get Smart! Smartboards in K-3 Classrooms
In today's technologically savvy world, internet, computer and video games, and television play a main role in students' lives - shouldn't they play a role in the classroom, too? Smartboard is a great tool for teachers to use in their lessons - it brings technology to the classroom, allows students to have hands-on experiences in their learning, and can be operated with virtually the same skills it takes to operate a computer. This module will explore the use of Smartboard to enhance learning in
Author(s): Laura Smalling

Grouping of Students: A Conceptual Analysis Part 1
Three major topics related to grouping students (i.e., group-learning paradigms, learning group configuration, and student leadership in academic work groups) were reviewed. Given the confusion arising from the interchangeable use of terms associated with group learning, a detailed comparison of cooperative ...
Author(s): Kimberly Laprairie,John R. Slate