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This series of ten lessons has been developed to teach students about local and global water issues. They are based on NASA’s Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) Mission. The activities are done largely outdoors and include scientific data... (View More)

This set of three videos illustrates how math is used in satellite data analysis. The videos feature NASA senior climate scientist Claire Parkinson. Parkinson explains how the Arctic and Antarctic sea ice covers are measured from satellite data and... (View More)

Emphasizing the synergies between science and engineering, these video clips highlight the research of professional ocean scientists and engineers in various disciplines. The clips are accompanied by additional relevant content including images,... (View More)

Using three images from the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) mission, students measure and analyze infrared light from objects to identify Brown Dwarfs and Ultra-Luminous Infrared Galaxies (ULIRGs). The lesson includes a teacher’s guide,... (View More)

Audience: High school
Materials Cost: Free

This is an activity about spacecraft design. Teams of learners will model how scientists and engineers design and build spacecraft to collect, store, and transmit data to earth. Teams will design a system to store and transmit topographic data of... (View More)

Air traffic (and therefore airplane contrails) was halted nationwide for nearly three days following September 11, 2001. Students will investigate whether that stoppage resulted in any changes to cloud cover, temperature and/or radiation. Using the... (View More)

This is an activity about Earth's magnetic field. Learners will construct a soda bottle magnetometer, collect data, and analyze the results to detect magnetic storm events. Ideally, learners should collect data for at least a month. If several... (View More)

Audience: Middle school

This activity examines the relationship between carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere and chlorophyll-a measurements in a watershed. Students analyze and compare two Excel plots-one showing carbon dioxide data values from the Keeling Curve and the... (View More)

Audience: High school
Materials Cost: Free

Using the MY NASA DATA Live Access Server (LAS), students gather data on both solar radiation and surface temperature for two same-latitude locations. Students then create online graphs of that data to allow for analysis and comparison. This lesson... (View More)

This is an activity about rockets. Learners will research facts about Atlas V rockets, which will launch the MMS satellites. After, they will compute the speed of the launch rocket, given a data chart of time vs. distance from lift-off. Then, they... (View More)

Using the 5E instructional model, students discover the value of using color maps to visualize data. The activity requires students to create a color map of the ozone hole from Dobson data values derived from the Aura satellite. Students then... (View More)

This is an activity about area and volume. Learners will use fabrication software to determine the optimal size of a satellite which can fit within a given rocket cylinder. To complete this activity, fabrication software is required (an example is... (View More)

Audience: Middle school

This collection of activities is based on a weekly series of space science mathematics problems distributed during the 2012-2013 school year. They were intended for students looking for additional challenges in the math and physical science... (View More)

Through the use of the 5E instructional model, students discover the value of using color maps to visualize data. The activity requires students to create a color map of the ozone hole from Dobson data values derived from the Aura satellite.... (View More)

In this activity, participants learn about the atmosphere by making observations and taking measurements. They will go outside and use scientific equipment to collect atmospheric moisture data (temperature, relative humidity, precipitation and cloud... (View More)

In this lesson students investigate the effects of black carbon on arctic warming and are introduced to a mechanism of arctic warming that is not directly dependent on greenhouse gases in the atmosphere: black carbon deposition on Arctic snow and... (View More)

In this lesson students use climatograms from different U.S. locations to observe patterns in temperature and precipitation. After describing geographical features near these locations, they will use graphs to compare and find patterns in the... (View More)

In this activity, participants learn about the geosphere by making observations and taking measurements. They will go outside and use scientific equipment to investigate water in the soil by measuring soil moisture, temperature, color and... (View More)

This interactive is a graphical introduction to geospatial images from NASA Earth science satellites and encourages exploration of the interconnected nature of Earth’s system by students and the public alike. Explore 25 different Earth images and... (View More)

Audience: Higher education, Informal education
Materials Cost: Free

This 16-page booklet illustrates multiple NASA sources that allow educators to incorporate real Earth science data and images in their teaching and programs. Sample resources as well as firsthand accounts of how these are being used in the classroom... (View More)

This worksheet introduces students to the Aura satellite and its Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI). Students are asked to visit the Aura website and examine OMI data visualizations to learn about emissions of atmospheric gases such as sulfur... (View More)

Keywords: Air pollution
Audience: High school
Materials Cost: Free

These guides showcase education and public outreach resources from across more than 20 NASA astrophysics missions and programs. The twelve guides - one for each month - contain a science topic, an interpretive story, a sky object to view with... (View More)

Audience: Informal education
Materials Cost: 1 cent - $1 per student

Water is essential to Earth's living system, the biosphere. In this lesson, students determine the types of living things within an outdoor study site, use a taxonomic key to determine the predominant land cover type of their site, then predict the... (View More)

In this activity, participants learn about the hydrosphere by making observations and taking measurements. They will go outside and use scientific equipment to investigate temperature, pH and transparency of a body of water. They will use this... (View More)

This activity was developed to get students thinking about the many ways that people use freshwater and how we can conserve this precious and fundamental natural resource. Students will watch a short documentary describing issues related to clean... (View More)

This investigation is based on the GISP2 H-core data collected in 1992 adjacent to the GISP2 Greenland summit drill site. Students examine the seasonal/annual nitrate record and use information from known volcanic eruptions to date the unique... (View More)

The emphasis of this lesson is deepening students' understanding of how and why we measure precipitation across the globe. Students will look at NASA Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) data gathered during hurricanes and how this data can... (View More)

This Science On a Sphere (SOS) module is designed to help the public better understand the story of water on Mars and how we're learning more about it. It portrays the mystery of what happened to the water on Mars in the context of a detective... (View More)

In this kinesthetic activity, students will demonstrate how two spacecraft are able to document a space weather event across the Van Allen radiation belts better than one spacecraft can. Students will graph the data collected by one spacecraft and... (View More)

This collection of 160 math problems covers the 20 science topic themes presented by the NASA/JPL Year of the Solar System (YOSS) website, covering the solar system, planets, the search for life, and robotics. Examples of topics included are: scale... (View More)

In this lab activity, students use simulation results and data available through the NASA Community Coordinated Modeling Center (CCMC) to explore the structure of the solar wind, its variation through the heliosphere. Participants will become... (View More)

Keywords: Solar wind
Audience: Higher education
Materials Cost: Free

This is a lesson about generating hypotheses and testable questions. Learners will use critical thinking and a collaborative approach to pose questions related to the study of Mars and evaluate the quality of their questions. They will explore... (View More)

Keywords: NSTA2013
Audience: Elementary school, Middle school, High school
Materials Cost: Free

In this data activity, students use NASA satellite measurements of atmospheric pressure to learn that pressure decreases with height in the atmosphere. Step-by-step instructions for use of the MY NASA DATA Live Access Server (LAS) guide students... (View More)

In this data analysis activity, students use satellite data to explore the relationship between the amount of water vapor and the temperature of clouds, as well as snowflake shapes and cloud temperature. Step-by-step instructions for use of the MY... (View More)

In this data activity, students interpret raw data on snow cover and explore the climatic impact of the "lake effect" - a significant factor determining snowfall amount in the Great Lakes drainage basin is the surface temperature of the lakes.... (View More)

Keywords: lake effect snow
Audience: Middle school
Materials Cost: Free per student

In this problem-based data analysis activity, students assume roles as members of an International Team of Marine Biologists, tasked with predicting and monitoring possible harmful algae blooms. Students use data maps and guiding questions, to... (View More)

In this activity, students will create a basic bar graph using authentic NASA data downloaded by the instructor. Step-by-step instructions for use of the MY NASA DATA Live Access Server (LAS) guide students through selecting a data set, importing... (View More)

In this problem-based data analysis activity, students assume the role of an outdoor sports event planner and use air quality data to make an informed decision about the best times of the year to plan your events. Students use data maps and guiding... (View More)

Keywords: Carbon monoxide
Audience: Elementary school
Materials Cost: Free per student

In this problem-based learning activity, students assume roles as members of the Department of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE). Your major area of concern is locating areas best for collecting solar power. You will need to evaluate... (View More)

In this activity, students will examine line plots of NASA data and see that the sun heats up land, air, and water. Students will practice drawing conclusions based on graphed data of cloudy vs. clear sky observations. The lesson provides detailed... (View More)

In this activity, students will read a color plot of Earth's absorption of the sun's radiation, and see that solar energy is unevenly distributed across the Earth's surface. The lesson provides detailed procedures, related links and sample graphs,... (View More)

Audience: Elementary school
Materials Cost: Free per student

In this data analysis activity, Students will plot and analyze a time series of data for high cloud coverage from a specified location (home or school) and determine whether or not a seasonal pattern exists. The lesson includes step-by-step... (View More)

Audience: Middle school
Materials Cost: Free per student

In this lesson, students investigate changes in air quality due to human interaction particularly burning of fossil fuels, and crop burning, which increase levels of carbon monoxide. Step-by-step instructions for use of the MY NASA DATA Live Access... (View More)

Audience: Elementary school
Materials Cost: Free per student

In this problem-based data analysis activity, students assume roles as members of an International Team of Marine Biologists, tasked with predicting and monitoring possible harmful algae blooms. Students use data maps and guiding questions, to... (View More)

In this activity, students will analyze plots of temperature and radiation data to determine change over time. Step-by-step instructions for use of the MY NASA DATA Live Access Server (LAS) guide students through selecting a data set, importing the... (View More)

In this data analysis activity, Students will use NASA satellite data to study temperature and snow-ice coverage in the South Beaufort Sea, Alaska. The data can be used to correlate with USGS ground tracking of polar bears, and to relate this to... (View More)

In this data analysis activity, students interpret basic line plots of wind speed using authentic NASA data. The lesson provides detailed procedures, related links and sample graphs, follow-up questions, extensions, and teacher notes. Designed for... (View More)

Audience: Elementary school
Materials Cost: Free per group of students

In this problem-based data analysis activity, students identify trends and make predictions about the possible influence of climatic factors and vegetative growth on macro invertebrates. Step-by-step instructions for use of the MY NASA DATA Live... (View More)

The H-R diagram is a scatter graph of stars, a plot of stellar absolute magnitude or luminosity versus temperature or stellar classification. It is an important astronomical tool for understanding how stars evolve over time. Stellar evolution cannot... (View More)

Keywords: Stellar evolution
Audience: High school, Higher education
Materials Cost: Free

In this data activity, students use satellite data to help determine the renewable (solar) energy potential of a region by comparing solar energy and cloud cover data. Step-by-step instructions for use of the MY NASA DATA Live Access Server (LAS)... (View More)

Keywords: radiant energy
Audience: Middle school, High school
Materials Cost: Free per student

This activity engages students in reading a bar graph using authentic NASA data. Students will identify major parts of bar graphs and make a generalization based their interpretation of the graphed data. The lesson provides detailed procedures,... (View More)

Audience: Elementary school
Materials Cost: Free per student

In this data analysis activity, students connect the idea of the tilt and orbit of the earth (changing of seasons) with monthly snow/ice data. The lesson includes step-by-step instructions for use of the MY NASA DATA Live Access Server (LAS),... (View More)

Audience: Elementary school
Materials Cost: Free per student

In this data activity, students use NASA satellite data to compare surface temperature and precipitation of different islands in the Pacific Ocean. Students will create climographs for the island of Guam and 2 other islands using the MY NASA DATA... (View More)

In this data analysis activity, students compare near surface temperature at the time of the solstices in two different hemispheres, and see how the tilt of the Earth's axis in relationship to the Sun contributes to temperature differences across... (View More)

Keywords: Tilt; Earth axis; Solstice
Audience: Middle school, High school
Materials Cost: Free per student

In this lesson, students learn that the sun heats up land, air, and water and study basic line plots of authentic NASA data. Students will practice drawing conclusions based on graphed data. The lesson provides detailed procedures, related links and... (View More)

Keywords: Australia
Audience: Elementary school
Materials Cost: Free per group of students

In this problem-based learning activity, students assume the role of a sailboat captain, and analyze seasonal wind speed data to determine the best time to schedule sailing trips as well as other water sports. The lesson includes step-by-step... (View More)

In this problem-based learning activity, students assume roles as senior science advisors for the Louisiana Environmental Agency. Student groups are assigned to the atmosphere, biosphere, lithosphere or hydrosphere and investigate the impacts of a... (View More)

In this activity, students will identify, compare and contrast multiple geo-referenced Earth data sets, and understand that Global Information Systems (GIS) are composed of geo-referenced data layers. Students compare ocean buoy data with satellite... (View More)

Audience: High school
Materials Cost: Free per student

This book contains 24 illustrated math problem sets based on a weekly series of space science problems. Each set of problems is contained on one page. The problems were created to be authentic glimpses of modern science and engineering issues, often... (View More)

Keywords: Mars
Audience: Middle school, High school
Materials Cost: Free

During the last sunspot cycle between 1996-2008, over 21,000 flares and 13,000 clouds of plasma exploded from the Sun's magnetically active surface. These events create space weather. Students will learn more about space weather and how it affects... (View More)

Audience: Middle school
Materials Cost: Free

During the last sunspot cycle between 1996-2008, over 21,000 flares and 13,000 clouds of plasma exploded from the Sun's magnetically active surface. Students will learn more about space weather through reading a NASA press release and viewing a NASA... (View More)

Audience: Middle school
Materials Cost: Free

Students will learn about the Transit of Venus through reading a NASA press release and viewing a NASA eClips video that describes several ways to observe transits. Then students will study angular measurement by learning about parallax and how... (View More)

Audience: Middle school
Materials Cost: Free

Students will learn about the twin STEREO spacecraft and how they are being used to track solar storms through reading a NASA press release and viewing a NASA eClips video segment. Then students will examine data to learn more about the frequency... (View More)

Audience: Middle school
Materials Cost: Free

Students will learn about NASA's Radiation Belt Storm Probes (RBSP), Earth's van Allen Radiation Belts, and space weather through reading a NASA press release and viewing a NASA eClips video segment. Then students will use simple linear functions to... (View More)

Audience: Middle school
Materials Cost: Free

In this hands-on activity, students learn about the different realms of the Universe and explore their sizes and relative scales. They will be guided through a process that uncovers the immense sizes of the Sun, Solar System, Solar Neighborhood,... (View More)

Keywords: NSTA2013

In this data analysis activity, Students will use longwave radiation data to determine whether the climate has changed in Portland, Oregon over a 20 year time span. This lesson offers two options: plotting data from Portland provided by the teacher,... (View More)

Students will use NASA's Global Climate Change website to research five of the key indicators (vital signs) of Earth’s climate health. These indicators are: global surface temperature, carbon dioxide concentrations, sea level, Arctic sea ice, and... (View More)

Students will learn about living and working onboard the International Space Station through reading a NASA press release and viewing a NASA eClips video segment. Then students will use the volume formulas for spheres, cylinders and cones to measure... (View More)

Audience: Middle school
Materials Cost: Free

Students will learn about how human activity impacts Earth's climate through reading a NASA press release and viewing a NASA eClips video segment. Then students will examine simple mathematical models that predict changes in the Earth system in... (View More)

Keywords: Linear equations
Audience: Middle school
Materials Cost: Free

Students learn about changes in sea ice observed by NASA satellites through reading a NASA press release. By viewing a NASA eClips video segment, students discover how scientists study the effects of global climate change on Earth's biomes. Students... (View More)

Keywords: Graphing
Audience: Middle school
Materials Cost: Free

Students will learn about the Landsat spacecraft and its study of Earth from space through reading a NASA press release. By viewing a NASA eClips video segment, students will see how Landsat monitors conditions in the Chesapeake Bay. Then students... (View More)

Keywords: Chesapeake Bay
Audience: Middle school
Materials Cost: Free

Students will learn more about how the orbit of the International Space Station changes as a result of atmospheric drag through reading a NASA press release and viewing a NASA eClips video segment. Then students will read a paragraph describing the... (View More)

Audience: Middle school
Materials Cost: Free

Students will learn about the temperature change of Earth during the 20th century and through 2010. They will read a NASA press release describing recent trends in global climate change since 1900, and view a NASA eClips video segment about the... (View More)

Audience: Middle school
Materials Cost: Free

This curriculum uses an inquiry-based Earth system science approach, and leverages Project Budburst, a citizen science phenology project, to engage students in authentic research on plant responses to climate change. Students analyze their data in... (View More)

Students will learn about black holes through reading a NASA press release and viewing a NASA eClips video segment. Then students will use tables and mathematical expressions to compare black hole sizes and temperatures. Common Core State Standards... (View More)

Keywords: Black holes; Supernova
Audience: Middle school
Materials Cost: Free

Students use simple proportions and fractions to explore the number of stars in the Milky Way, and the relative sizes of some famous stars compared to our own Sun. By reading a NASA press release and viewing a NASA eClips video segment, students... (View More)

Keywords: Estimating; Ratios
Audience: Middle school
Materials Cost: Free

Students will learn about NASA's Fermi satellite and gamma ray sources through reading a NASA press release. They will also learn about gamma rays and the electromagnetic spectrum by viewing a NASA eClips video segment. Then, students will use... (View More)

Audience: Middle school
Materials Cost: Free

Students will learn about the NASA Kepler mission and Earth-like planet discoveries through reading a NASA press release. They will also view a NASA eClips video describing the search for planets beyond our solar system. Then, students will study... (View More)

Audience: Middle school
Materials Cost: Free

Students will learn about the Spitzer Infrared Observatory and a recently observed dust ring around Saturn through reading a NASA press release and viewing a NASA video segment. Then students will use scientific notation to perform calculations to... (View More)

Audience: Middle school
Materials Cost: Free

Students will learn about the technology of cryogenics where engineers and scientists work with very cold gases and liquids. They will use a simple equation to convert from the Fahrenheit to the Celsius temperature scales and to the Kelvin scale... (View More)

Audience: Middle school
Materials Cost: Free

Students will learn about the Big Bang theory of the universe through reading a NASA press release and viewing a NASA eClips video segment. They will use simple linear equations to analyze data that reveals the expansion and early history of the... (View More)

Audience: Middle school
Materials Cost: Free

This is a set of three, one-page problems about the sizes of moons in the solar system. Learners will use decimals to compare the sizes and distances of Saturn's moons to the center of Saturn. Options are presented so that students may learn about... (View More)

Audience: Middle school
Materials Cost: Free

This is a set of three, one-page problems about the size and area of solar panels used to generate power. Learners will calculate area fractions to compare the sizes and distances of Jupiter's moons. Options are presented so that students may learn... (View More)

Audience: Middle school
Materials Cost: Free

Students will learn about satellites that gather data about Earth systems by reading a NASA press release and viewing a NASA eClips video segment. Then students will practice dividing multi-digit numbers using satellite data related to the Earth's... (View More)

Keywords: Ozone data
Audience: Middle school
Materials Cost: Free

This chapter describes how to set a scale and measure distances and areas on satellite images. Using ImageJ, a freely available image analysis program that runs on most operating systems, users set the spatial calibration of an image, then select... (View More)

This chapter describes the technique of preparing GIS-ready data and shows how to map that data and conduct basic analyses using a geographic information system (GIS). First, the user will download and format near real-time and historical earthquake... (View More)

This chapter walks users through a technique for documenting change in before-and-after sets of satellite images. The technique can be used for any set of time-series images that are spatially registered to show the exact same area at the same... (View More)

This activity prepares the student to launch an investigation of the relationship between precipitation and Streamflow for a local watershed. It can enrich a study of the water cycle. Following the step-by-step instruction in this case study,... (View More)

Audience: Middle school, High school
Materials Cost: Free

In this activity, users download and graph modeled climate data to explore variability in climate change. Most people know that climate changes are predicted over the next hundred years, but they may not be aware that these changes are likely to... (View More)

This is a lesson about planetary atmospheres. Learners will interpret real spectral graphs from missions to determine what some of Earth, Venus, and Mars’ atmosphere is composed of and then mathematically compare the amount of the greenhouse gas,... (View More)

Students will be guided through the process of locating and graphing web-based environmental data that has been collected by GLOBE Program participants. This chapter highlights the opportunities for using GLOBE Program data to introduce basic... (View More)

Audience: Middle school, High school
Materials Cost: Free

Users explore data, using My World GIS, that characterize the dynamic Greenland Ice Sheet. By examining photographs, map views, and tabular data, users gain an understanding of how and why scientists are monitoring the ice sheet and what they are... (View More)

This activity's storyline is built around the real-life case study of Dr. Walt Meier, a Sea Ice Scientist from Boulder, Colorado. In the fictional story, the students of Churchill become concerned about wildlife in their region because polar bears... (View More)

Audience: Middle school, High school
Materials Cost: Free

This is an activity about the Signal-to-Noise Ratio. Learners will engage with a hands-on activity and an online interactive to understand the terms signal and noise as they relate to spacecraft communication; quantify noise using a given dataset;... (View More)

Audience: Middle school
Materials Cost: Free

These directions allow students to open different images that have been collected from the ROSAT satellite. The directions instruct the user to open the website, but first the user will need to Install Hera using the tab found under the Overview... (View More)

Audience: High school

In this chapter, students will explore relationships between air quality and population density using the image visualization tool, Google Earth. You will learn how to download NO2 data and analyze them to develop a conceptual understanding of how... (View More)

Keywords: Google Earth
Audience: Middle school, High school
Materials Cost: Free

Through an analysis of data sets on four parameters - sea ice totals, sea surface temperatures, near surface temperatures and surface type - students must decide whether the Arctic is experiencing climate change and predict any potential effects on... (View More)

This lesson provides a way for students to determine the relationship between the distance from a light source and its brightness. Once students discover the relationship, they can begin to understand how astronomers use this knowledge to determine... (View More)

Correlations between sea surface temperatures and the frequency and intensity of hurricanes are investigated in this lesson. The activity focuses on six named hurricanes that occurred between 1999 and 2009. Satellite data on those hurricanes, along... (View More)

In this lesson, students will use real satellite data to determine the changes in near-surface air temperature over the Caribbean Sea at different times of the year. Step-by-step instructions for use of the MY NASA DATA Live Access Server (LAS)... (View More)

Keywords: Authentic data use
Audience: Middle school, High school
Materials Cost: Free
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