Students are able to graph geologic data as x-y graphs, or scatterplots.
This activity was developed for high school and middle school students, grades 6 - 12. However, its focus on data makes it adaptable for introductory college courses.
Two class sessions (45 - 55 minutes) or homework.
Students should be familiar with Cartesian coordinate systems (taught beginning in about 4th grade.)
This activity can be used at any time in an earth science class. However, in the sequence of lessons about plate tectonics, it is an optional prequel to Measuring plate motion with GPS for students who cannot yet graph earth science data skillfully or confidently."
Performance Expectations: MS-ESS3-2, and HS-ESS1-5.
Students will be able to:
This activity emphasizes making graphs—in order to make interpreting graphs easier. Students graph data measuring how GPS stations move north or south and east or west. They begin by graphing fictitious data and progress to graphing data from several stations in the western United States. Eventually they graph north-south vs. east-west motion of a station in order to see that another purpose of plotting data is to make maps. They also develop intuition about vectors.
This activity consists of three parts:
63 MB • v: August 2016
[pdf] Teacher Guide for Lesson: Introduction to graphing GPS data
38 MB • v: August 2016
[pptx]. Presentation: Introduction to graphing GPS data
15 MB • v: August 2016
[pdf] Student Worksheet: Introduction to graphing GPS data.
3 MB • v: August 2016
The next lesson in this sequence is the introductory activity: Measuring plate motion with GPS, to learn the basics on how GPS works then learn about Iceland.
This work is based on materials provided by the UNAVCO Education and Community Engagement Program, Plate Boundary Observatory, and the GAGE Facility supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) under NSF award: EAR 1261833 and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Authors are Roger Groom (Mt. Tabor Middle School), Cate Fox-Lent (UNAVCO), Shelley Olds (UNAVCO), Nancy West (Quarter Dome Consulting), and Kathleen Alexander (UNAVCO).
Last modified: 2020-04-16 04:16:32 America/Denver