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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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The Quaternary Glacio-Fluvial History of the Upper Midwest Using Anaglyph Stereo Maps part of Teaching Materials Collection
Students examine the anaglyph stereo map (with red/cyan glasses) and use textures to generate a surficial geology map of the Upper Midwest. They can then interpret the textures in terms of landforms, geomorphic ...

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, ...

A River Through Time: Managing the Upper Mississippi River part of Teaching Materials Collection
Students explore river processes by following the Army Corps of Engineers' historic efforts to 'improve' the Mississippi River channel for navigation. Students design a river management scheme of ...

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.

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 ...

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.

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 ...