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ERIC Number: EJ1163977
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Aug
Pages: 11
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1089-9995
Transforming a University Tradition into a Geoscience Teaching and Learning Opportunity for the University Community
Goldsmith, Steven T.; Trierweiler, Annette M.; Welch, Susan A.; Bancroft, Alyssa M.; Von Bargen, Justin M.; Carey, Anne E.
Journal of Geoscience Education, v61 n3 p280-290 Aug 2013
Recent initiatives in geosciences education have focused on interactive and inquiry-based learning experiences both inside and outside of the classroom. While the concept is sound, examples and datasets seldom focus on opportunities to which the students can immediately relate. Herein we show how a university tradition has been transformed into an interactive geosciences learning opportunity for the university community. Each year during the third week of November, thousands of university students jump into an artificial pond on campus in support of the annual football rivalry game. An undergraduate student research initiative documenting the water quality of the pond before, during, and after the event clearly documents how humans can affect their environment. Use of the resulting dataset in the classroom for an entry-level geoscience laboratory exercise on water contamination has sparked student interest in the effects of anthropogenic activities on water quality and has mobilized subsequent studies to test additional hypotheses. Changes in students' attitudes on water quality were documented by significant differences in administered pre- and postexercise surveys with five-point Likert-type items, while subsequent interest in the dataset from both the university and the surrounding communities has provided additional audiences for engagement on local water contamination issues. Inclusion of the dataset into laboratory exercises is intended to lead to future research questions and promote independent research initiatives.
National Association of Geoscience Teachers. Carleton College W-SERC, One North College Street, Northfield, MN 55057. Tel: 540-568-6675; Fax: 540-568-8058; e-mail:; Website:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Ohio
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A