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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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Simulating Satellite Orbits and Atmospheric Drag part of Teaching Materials Collection
Physics students are intrigued by activities in space. To link this natural curiosity with solid problem-solving skills, we developed a spreadsheet simulation for satellites moving through an atmosphere of variable ...

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 ...

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, ...

Discovering Plate Boundaries part of Teaching Materials Collection
Students work collaboratively using data maps to discover plate tectonic boundary processes. Data sets used are earthquakes, volcanos, seafloor age, and topography. The authors below have submitted variations of ...

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.

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.

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 ...

Rock & Mineral Bingo part of Teaching Materials Collection
This is a rock and mineral 'Bingo' that is based on knowledge and skill (not luck). It was designed as an entertaining and interactive means of developing and improving student rock and mineral ...

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 ...

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