Our introductory courses don’t have labs, but that doesn’t stop our students from having hands-on experiences. Today, students in the Geology of Natural Hazards investigated the relationship between impact craters and projectile properties (size, mass, velocity) by experimenting with a tray of sand and a variety of projectiles. Students had a marble, ping pong ball, golf ball, and tennis ball that they could use to run experiments that would help them understand the factors that control the size and appearance of impact craters.
To prepare for today’s class, the students completed an online reading quiz. We reviewed questions from the reading quiz at the start of class, then covered the experiment setup. Students had the remaining period to work on their experiments. Some groups completed the assignment in class while others will need some more time to finish plotting their data. We’ll go over their results in our next class meeting.