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Inquiry-Based, Hands-On Educational Activities

These activities were submitted by participants in sessions at the2005 North Central GSA meeting and at the 2005 AGU Fall Meeting on Inquiry-Based, Hands-On Classroom Exercises, Lab Demonstrations, and Field Investigations in Geoscience Education. The sessions were sponsored by the Central Section of the NAGT.

Download the workshop report (Microsoft Word 38kB Jan23 06) from the workshop at the North Central GSA meeting.


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The Earth's Heat Budget part of Teaching Materials Collection
Hands-on laboratory activity that allows students to investigate the effects of distance and angle on the input of solar radiation at the Earth's surface; the role played by albedo; and the heat capacity of ...

Variable Rivers part of Teaching Materials Collection
This activity is designed to be used as an introduction to rivers and river processes. Students will be working in small groups to test an isolated variable in rivers; they will test either the amount of water, ...

Discovering Plate Boundaries part of Teaching Materials Collection
Students work collaboratively using data maps to discover plate tectonic boundary processes. Data sets used are earthquakes, volcanos, seafloor age, and topography. The authors below have submitted variations of ...

Rock & Mineral Bingo part of Teaching Materials Collection
This is a rock and mineral 'Bingo' that is based on knowledge and skill (not luck). It was designed as an entertaining and interactive means of developing and improving student rock and mineral ...

Pressure-melting of ice: demonstration part of Teaching Materials Collection
Pressure-melting of ice, which is responsible for many aspects of glacier-bed process, is demonstrable in a standard class period at effectively no cost of time or $.

Modeling Sea Level: Lateral and Vertical Facies Changes part of Teaching Materials Collection
Participants will use a tube and bead (or ball) model to visualize and predict how changes in sea level can control the lateral and vertical facies distribution within and adjacent to a marine sedimentary basin. ...

Where's the volcanic threat? part of Teaching Materials Collection
Students investigate Costa Rican volcanic hazards using (a) the amount of silica in volcanic rocks, (b) a highly-simplified geologic map and (c) a satellite image of Costa Rican night time illumination (i.e., human ...

The Quaternary Glacio-Fluvial History of the Upper Midwest Using Anaglyph Stereo Maps part of Teaching Materials Collection
Students examine the anaglyph stereo map (with red/cyan glasses) and use textures to generate a surficial geology map of the Upper Midwest. They can then interpret the textures in terms of landforms, geomorphic ...

Investigating slope failure and landscape evolution with red beans and rice! part of Teaching Materials Collection
Students investigate the behavior of a slope profile over geological timescales using a very simple experimental apparatus. The lab allows students to understand concepts of equilibrium, controls on slope profile, ...

A River Through Time: Managing the Upper Mississippi River part of Teaching Materials Collection
Students explore river processes by following the Army Corps of Engineers' historic efforts to 'improve' the Mississippi River channel for navigation. Students design a river management scheme of ...

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