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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 ...

A Kinesthetic Demonstration for Locating Earthquake Epicenters part of Teaching Materials Collection
A kinesthetic activity for students to understand the technique for locating the epicenter of an earthquake. It is performed indoors and outdoors in three lessons.

An Electron Microprobe in the Classroom: A Remote-Access System for Education part of Teaching Materials Collection
In 2003, the University of Minnesota's Electron Microprobe Laboratory implemented a new system for remote research and education via the Internet. The remote-access system allows real-time access to our ...

Mentos and soda eruptions- lessons on explosive volcanic eruptions part of Teaching Materials Collection
Students participate in a popular experiment with Mentos candies and soda. This helps them learn about the scientific method, gas saturation, bubble nucleation, and explosive volcanic eruptions.

Student-centered Experiments on Earthquake Occurrence Using the Seismic/Eruption Program part of Teaching Materials Collection
Students select their own region of interest and interrogate the earthquake catalog to obtain quantitative data on the rate of occurrence of earthquakes of various magnitudes within their chosen region.

Lower Atmosphere Temperature Profile part of Teaching Materials Collection
Challenge students to measure the temperature profile of the lower atmosphere

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 ...

Demonstrating Climate Change and the Water Cycle to Fifth Grade Students part of Teaching Materials Collection
Demonstration of the greenhouse effect and its role in climate change, discussion of the phases of water and the water cycle, and a hands-on experiment to investigate the role of temperature in phase changes of ...

Earth System Science Project part of Teaching Materials Collection
An Earth System Project shows the interaction between the Geosphere, Hydrosphere, Atmosphere, and Biosphere. The project is fully described with ready-to-copy materials, including student handouts in table form and ...