Paper No. 60-11
Presentation Time: 4:20 PM
LAB FIRST: TEACHING CONCEPTS IN GEOSCIENCES BY LEADING WITH AN ENGAGING LABORATORY EXPERIENCE
At Delaware County Community College our Earth Science and Geology lessons are preceded with laboratory exercises designed to engage the students in data collection and recording. The subsequent lecture is conducted in a way that it will build upon the lab experience through an analysis and evaluation that can lead to greater understanding of the concepts. For example, in our physical geology course, students who have completed earthquake and mapping lessons will plot the location of earthquake epicenters, then graph by depth in Excel or ArcGIS ArcScene to locate the fault line and plane. A following activity the students may examine the geothermal gradient or motion of the fault. In the lecture, we discuss the findings of the lab activities, but Students can recognize on their own that we are studying Plate Tectonics by repeating the work of geologists when the theory was first developed. By leading with laboratory activities, it allows lectures to be conducted at a higher level of understanding, and students will gain a better understanding for the concepts, how science works, and how we know what we know about the earth.