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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 ...

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 ...

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 $.

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 ...

Urban Planning 101: Map Appreciation part of Teaching Materials Collection
This is a synthesis activity, providing closure to river and/or map units. Students will begin by looking at a series of maps, including 3D maps. They will brainstorm ways the natural world may interact with humans ...

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, ...

Crate Lake Map Assignment part of Teaching Materials Collection
In earth science, map interpretation is probably the critical restriction curtailing students' ability to access and explore course concepts. Anaglyph maps are visualizations that present mapped data in a 3D ...

The Waves and Tsunamis Project part of Teaching Materials Collection
How is a tsunami like a wave on a string? We assemble rubber bands, paper clips and washers into strings with various mass distributions to observe the effects on wave characteristics. The project is supplemented ...