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Abstract

A laboratory assignment entitled was developed to give high-school students an opportunity to collect, analyze, and interpret data after they have been introduced to topographic maps and associated terminology. Survey equipment (automatic level, graduated staff, and tripod) is used to collect data with the goal of creating a topographic profile along a linear transect on campus. This assignment sets itself apart from traditional introductory earth science labs because the students are using instrumentation to collect data, rather than having a data set provided for them. The benefits of this assignment include: 1) further understanding of topographic maps, 2) practice with the conversion of English units to metric, 3) familiarity with the concepts of precision and accuracy of data collection, 4) practice in evaluating mathematical formulas, 5) collaboration with peers. This lab is designed to be completed in four laboratory hours: two hours for data collection and two hours for analyses and lab report writing.

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