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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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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 ...

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

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 ...

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 ...

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. ...

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.