Events at the K-T Boundary Layer in New Zealand: A Case Study

Discipline:

In this class activity, students will investigate data on the fossil record at the Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary. They will apply their understanding of geology, meteorology, and related disciplines in order to determine whether or not the fossil record supports a meteorite strike playing a role in the extinction of the dinosaurs. This document contains student handouts; an instructor guide is provided in the accompanying documents.

Flores Man Case Study

Discipline:

In this class activity, students will engage in a case study of the Flores Man skeleton. They will apply their understanding of statistics, anthropology, archaeology, and related scientific disciplines in order to describe the fossils and archaeological material attributed to the new species, Homo floresiensis, and determine what is and is not known about this early hominid skeleton. This document is a student handout with instructions and questions for the case study; an instructor guide is provided in an accompanying document.

“African Climate Change and Human Evolution”: A Case Study

Discipline:

In this class activity, students will analyze data on rainfall and dust levels in Africa in order to investigate two competing hypotheses about how climate affects human evolution. They will apply their understanding of orbital forcing factors and the use of proxy variables in order to develop a research plan they could use to study African climate change. This document serves as a student handout; an instructor guide is provided in the accompanying documents.

Debate Figures

Discipline:

Graphs of 140 years of global temperature anomalies and sea level.

In this class activity, students will participate in a debate on climate change policy. They will apply their understanding of the scientific evidence for climate change in order to propose specific policies for dealing with the changing climate. This document is a student handout containing supporting figures that can be used for the debate; an instructor guide is provided in an accompanying document.

Country Figures

Discipline:

Average global temperature anomalies from 1861-2000.

In this class activity, students will participate in a debate on climate change policy. They will apply their understanding of the scientific evidence for climate change in order to propose specific policies for dealing with the changing climate. This document is a student handout containing figures and other supporting information for the debate; an instructor guide is provided in an accompanying document.

Country Data

Discipline:

In this class activity, students will participate in a debate on climate change policy. They will apply their understanding of the scientific evidence for climate change in order to propose specific policies for dealing with the changing climate. This document is a student handout containing data for the debate; an instructor guide is provided in an accompanying document.

Debate Instructions

Discipline:

In this class activity, students will participate in a debate on climate change policy. They will apply their understanding of the scientific evidence for climate change in order to propose specific policies for dealing with the changing climate. This document is a student handout with instructions for the debate; an instructor guide is provided in an accompanying document.

Vocal Imitation and Learning by Macaques

Discipline:

Group of three rhesus macaques.

In this class activity, students will analyze data from an investigation of the role of genetics and environment in the development of language. Students will learn about the effects of inter-species adoption on vocalization in macaques and will apply their understanding of statistical concepts (mean, standard error, standard deviation, Gaussian curves). This document includes student handouts; an instructor guide is provided in an accompanying document.

Vocal Learning in Elephants

Discipline:

Imitation of sounds by the African elephants Mlaika and Calimero.

In this class activity, students will review information from a study that investigated vocal imitation in elephants. They will analyze the data to determine the accuracy of the study’s results and interpretations. This document includes student handouts; an instructor guide is provided in an accompanying document.

Two-Point Threshold Experiment

Discipline:

The sensory cortex.The sensory cortex.

In this class activity, students will measure the two-point threshold in order to increase their understanding of the magnification principle and how touch is mapped in the sensory cortex of the human brain. Students will also apply their understanding of statistical concepts (random and systematic error, Gaussian distributions) to actual data from previous Frontiers of Science seminars. This document includes student handouts; an instructor guide is provided in an accompanying document.