Large class sizes of several hundred students at U.S. public universities offer an exciting opportunity to create first-time interest in geophysics among many non-science majors who would not ordinarily experience earth sciences. Natural events such as earthquakes, landslides, and volcanic eruptions can be used to captivate students in these large classes through the empathy generated by the effects of these disasters on fellow humans. Sporting events can also be used as “teachable moments” in large classes but have, until now, received less attention. When David Beckham scores a soccer goal, the curved trajectory of the ball can be used to...

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