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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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Modeling Glacier Dynamics with Flubber part of Teaching Materials Collection
We created a hands-on activity for middle and high school students that describes glacier mass balance in a changing climate. The students make a glacier using glue, water and detergent ("flubber") and ...

Variable Rivers part of Teaching Materials Collection
This is a tabletop river activity. Students work in small groups to test an isolated variable; they will test either amount of water, velocity, or steepness of the riverbed to see how it affects a river's ...

TELS Inquiry Project part of Teaching Materials Collection
TELS Inquiry projects are online investigations designed around core topics in the science curriculum. Students manipulate computer models to gather evidence for explaining real world phenomena - in this case ...

Snack Tectonics part of Teaching Materials Collection
Students create a tasty model that illustrates plate tectonic motions. Different materials are used to simulate asthenosphere, ocean lithosphere, and continental lithosphere.

Mapping Potato Island part of Teaching Materials Collection
In this activity, students make a topographic map to describe the shape of a potato.

The Geography of Land Planning part of Teaching Materials Collection
Students use simplified maps to plan towns, being conscious of water resources, and then learn how their town fits into the larger watershed.

Better Field Instruction by using Jigsaw Groups part of Teaching Materials Collection
Jigsaw groups places field site students in active, shared responsiblity, collaboration as they infer the concepts previously chosen and supported by their instructor.

The chemistry of sand: Not all beaches are created equal part of Teaching Materials Collection
Students use science process skills to make observations about various types of sand and make predictions about chemical reactions.

From Creeks to the Classroom: Hands-on Curriculum Units on the Web part of Teaching Materials Collection
MyScienceBox is a website full of lessons, hands-on activities, assessments, and field trip ideas for science teachers. One of many lessons is "Gone Fishin" which allows participants to become the captain ...

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. ...