Paper No. 0
Presentation Time: 9:00 AM
USING LOCAL GEOLOGY AND INTERACTIVE SOFTWARE TO INCREASE STUDENT INTEREST AND COMPREHENSION
A set of integrated lab and lecture materials has been developed that focuses on local and regional geologic features and events within Georgia. Individual modules include exercises and resource materials on mineral identification, rock classification, landform recognition, and geologic history. The modules are connected by an underlying goal of providing a better understanding of the geology of Georgia. This is especially effective because the state contains four distinct physiographic provinces: the Coastal Plain, Piedmont, Blue Ridge and Valley and Ridge. The geologic and geographic features that distinguish these provinces demonstrate the direct relationship between mineral resources, bedrock geology, geologic structures, and topography. A Geology of Georgia Sample Collection has been developed that contains twenty-four samples and represents each of the rock groups exposed in the four physiographic provinces. A combination of topographic maps, aerial photographs and satellite images has been selected and utilized to emphasize the relationship between geology, topography and land use. Interactive software has been written to develop virtual field trips to each province. The software utilizes video clips, photographs, animations and GIS (Geographic Information Systems) databases of field locations. Digital tutorial exercises and classroom presentations have also been developed that directly refer to hand samples and maps used in the modules. The resulting materials have been adapted and used in both middle-grades earth science classes and college-level introductory geology courses. The strong positive response from participating instructors and students at pilot schools demonstrates an obvious need for the materials. Similar modules based on these physiographic provinces could be developed for other southeastern states such as Alabama, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia.