NAGT > Teaching Resources > Inquiry-Based Activities Collection

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 ...

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.

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.

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, ...

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.

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 ...

Modeling the Effects of Dam Removal on the Elwha River part of Teaching Materials Collection
Students are introduced to the social and scientific issues surrounding the removal of the Glines Canyon Dam on the Elwha River, and conduct a hands-on experiment with real-world application to observe the effects ...

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 ...

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 ...

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.

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