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NASA uses satellite instruments to track Earth's subsystems - the atmosphere, lithosphere, hydrosphere, biosphere and cryosphere - to learn how they interact and how they affect climate. This 5-minute video introduces the tools NASA uses to gather... (View More)

This 12-page educational comic book introduces readers to the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) mission. Using the Japanese anime art style, the comic book explains the satellite technology and the mission goals and applications. Supplemental... (View More)

Interested in becoming a citizen scientist? Join Dr. Michelle Thaller as she explains how the general public, using scientific protocols, careful observations and accurate measurements, can help NASA make exciting new discoveries. NASA eClips™ are... (View More)

The biosphere- that part of Earth's land, water and atmosphere that supports life- is the focus of this GLOBE eTraining program module. Protocols for classifying land cover, performing biometric field studies and measuring green-up and green-down... (View More)

A collection of nine atmospheric science and geography activities that guide students in developing the skills used to analyze GLOBE environmental data. GLOBE (Global Learning and Observation to Benefit the Environment) is a worldwide, hands-on,... (View More)

Acting as the ICESat-2 satellite, students investigate the reflection of light photons off Earth's surface by catching and recording a number of photons. Using bouncy balls to represent the photons, students drop, let bounce once and try to catch in... (View More)

The Global Precipitation Mission (GPM) collects rain, snow and other precipitation data worldwide every three hours. This short (4:17 minute) video introduces learners to the role of GPM and it's partner satellites in gathering precipitation data... (View More)

Audience: Informal education
Materials Cost: Free

A Hovmuller plot is a diagram that visibly displays data patterns from a selected latitude or longitude over a time period. Through a storyline and several samples, students are introduced to a Hovmuller plot of temperature data along a longitude in... (View More)

Audience: High school
Materials Cost: Free

In this video clip, join scientists and teachers as they learn how to measure some of the abiotic conditions of winter. Find out about latent heat, how thermochrons can be used to collect data points and the importance of snow:water equivalents.... (View More)

Keywords: Careers
Audience: Middle school
Materials Cost: Free

See how NASA is using a rolling spheres lightning protection system to expand the cone of safety currently used on Launch Complex 39. NASA eClips™ are short, relevant educational video segments. These videos inspire and engage students, helping... (View More)

Keywords: Careers
Audience: Middle school
Materials Cost: Free

In this video clip, learn about precipitation and how clouds are formed. Find out why scientists study clouds and how students can help NASA collect cloud observation data. NASA eClips™ are short, relevant educational video segments. These videos... (View More)

Keywords: Clouds; Careers
Audience: Middle school
Materials Cost: Free

This unit consists of five activities, all of which focus on the response of plant life-cycle events to climate change. Students participate in discussions, field observations, data collection and analyses, plant identification, seed dispersal... (View More)

This unit consists of four activities. Students begin by examining temperature cycles (current, recent and historical) then add in factors such as carbon dioxide, precipitation and cloud cover to discover regional and global differences in the... (View More)

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 and ecosystem responses to climate change. Students collect... (View More)

In this unit, students investigate temperature cycles, tree rings, CO2 records, and the effects of CO2 on temperature, precipitation and cloud cover to determine the impacts of changing climate on forests. After gathering and analyzing local data,... (View More)

This unit focuses on local plant species; students learn to identify common species and will examine their life cycle characteristics as evidence of climate change. Through the use of the national citizen science project titled Project BudBurst,... (View More)

This unit consists of two parts, each with several activities which require students to participate in investigations, discussions, computer data analysis, role-playing, and research. In Part 1, students examine the roles of Earth's energy balance... (View More)

In this video clip, see how NASA measures soil moisture from space with the Soil Moisture Active Passive Mission (SMAP). Learn to calculate soil moisture in your own backyard and discover the real world applications for this data. NASA eClips™ are... (View More)

Keywords: Soil moisture; Careers
Audience: Middle school
Materials Cost: Free

In this video clip, viewers learn about the cryosphere - all of Earth's frozen structures including sea ice, ice caps, and permafrost. Understanding changes in the cryosphere provides scientists with valuable information about the past, present, and... (View More)

Keywords: Careers
Audience: Middle school
Materials Cost: Free

In this video clip, viewers learn how NASA's SAGE III instrument is providing valuable information to help understand how our global Earth system is changing. Find out the difference between good ozone and bad ozone. Learn about the health problems... (View More)

Keywords: Ozone; Careers
Audience: Middle school
Materials Cost: Free

Students work in groups to investigate one of the following factors driving climate change: greenhouse gases, sea level rise and melting sea ice. The investigation involves conducting an experiment, connecting to real-world data and presenting a... (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)

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

Using common items - a glass soft drink bottle, a straw, clay and food coloring - students assemble and calibrate a thermometer and then use it to measure outdoor temperatures. Students record and graph the temperature data and, additionally,... (View More)

Keywords: Temperature

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 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)

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)

Students will be introduced to the causes, locations, and hazards of landslides, as well as the role of satellite observations in predicting and studying them. To begin, students investigate the amount of precipitation sufficient to cause a... (View More)

The total amount of water on Earth, the places in which it is found and the percentages of fresh vs. salt are examined in this lesson. A short demonstration allows students to visualize the percentage differences and a coloring exercise illustrates... (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 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)

Students will explore how energy from the sun is absorbed, reflected and radiated back into space by Earth. By completing three short labs investigating the effects of surface color, type of material, or cloud cover on temperature change, students... (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

In these math problems, students will examine the characteristics of water droplets in clouds.

Keywords: Clouds; Raindrops
Audience: Middle school
Materials Cost: Free

This activity is a short engineering design challenge to be completed by individual students or small teams. A real-world problem is presented, designing buildings for hurricane-prone areas, but in a simulated way that works in a classroom, after... (View More)

This activity allows participants to build a paper model of the GPM Core Observatory and learn about the technology the satellite uses to measure precipitation from space. Directions explain how to cut, fold and glue the individual pieces together... (View More)

In this problem set, students learn about rainfall rates and how to convert them into the volume of water that falls.

Audience: High school
Materials Cost: Free

In this activity, students face an engineering challenge based on real-world applications. They are tasked with developing a tool they can use to measure the amount of rain that falls each day. Students will find out why freshwater is important,... (View More)

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)

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)

Students will design, build and then test a rain gauge to measure precipitation. By sharing their results, they will recognize the need for standardization and precision in scientific tools. All background information, student worksheets and... (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 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 analyze a 2011 article by physicist Dr. Richard Muller addressing the climate change skeptic's claim that the scientific data used to support global warming is poor or unreliable. He headed a two-year study where his... (View More)

Audience: High school
Materials Cost: Free per student

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)

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 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 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

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 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 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... (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... (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... (View More)

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

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... (View More)

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.... (View More)

Keywords: Graphing
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

The lessons in this book focus on scale and proportion as mathematical topics, using the 5E instructional cycle. Students explore lunar images, and a number of hands-on activities are also provided to allow students to create and explore... (View More)

Keywords: Lunar images; Craters
Audience: Elementary school

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)

Designed for use in the high school classroom, this curriculum uses Earth system data, models, and resources from five NASA missions (Aqua, Aura, ICESat, Landsat, and Terra) to engage students in a systems approach to climate change. The curriculum... (View More)

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)

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)

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)

Clouds serve as a theme in a series of linked introductory explorations in math, language arts, and science. After participating in a demonstration of cloud formation, students are directed to create an acrostic poem (a poem that uses the letters in... (View More)

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)

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

This math problem determines the areas of simple and complex planar figures using measurement of mass and proportional constructs. Materials are inexpensive or easily found (poster board, scissors, ruler, sharp pencil, right angle), but also... (View More)

This collection of 103 individual sets of math problems derives from images and data generated by NASA remote sensing technology. Whether used as a challenge activity, enrichment activity and/or a formative assessment, the problems allow students to... (View More)

Audience: Middle school, High school
Materials Cost: Free

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 investigate nitrogen dioxide levels in the atmosphere over a one-year period. The students will have to look at several regions from around the world to draw conclusions regarding NO2 amounts. From the plots, students... (View More)

Keywords: Authentic data use
Audience: Elementary school
Materials Cost: Free

This is a problem-based learning activity in which students assume the roles of musicians planning a world tour. Students analyze precipitation data from tour cities to predict the best time of year to perform in these areas. Step-by-step... (View More)

Keywords: Precipitation
Audience: Elementary school
Materials Cost: Free

Activities in this lesson promote a fundamental understanding of relationships between graphed data. Sample graphs allow students to become familiar with interpreting data and to recognize relationships between variables. Additional microsets of... (View More)

Keywords: Scatter plot; Time plot
Audience: Middle school, High school
Materials Cost: Free

El Niño impacts sea surface height, sea surface temperature and wind vectors. In this lesson, data for each of those three characteristics from the 1997-98 El Niño event will be analyzed and compared. Students will work in teams of 3 throughout... (View More)

With this lesson plan, students observe a demonstration of cloud formation that uses a 2L plastic beverage bottle and other simple ingredients to learn the three factors required for cloud formation. A test and a control experiment are conducted.... (View More)

Assuming the role of a meteorologist, students will proclaim one month as "Thunderstorm season" for their chosen study area. This decision will be based on analysis of deep convective cloud data downloaded from the Live Access Server. This lesson... (View More)

Audience: Elementary school
Materials Cost: Free

Students examine CERES radiation data to understand how the Earth's tilt causes seasonal differences in incoming solar energy, and to explore how clouds, deserts and ice modulate the reflection of energy from the Sun. The investigation is conducted... (View More)

This activity provides a visual example of convection in fluids. Students will record their predictions and observations on diagrams of the experimental set-up showing convection currents. Materials required include hot and cold colored water,... (View More)

By matching maps of snow and ice amounts with maps of net radiation flux for the same time frame, students will use the Live Access Server to explore how the net radiation flux has affected the snow and ice amounts in the Northern Hemisphere, as... (View More)

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

In this lesson, students use the Live Access Server to obtain real sea surface temperature data, to create maps and line graphs, and to make comparisons and conclusions about the effects of El Niño and La Ninña. The lesson includes detailed... (View More)

Keywords: El Nino; La Nina
Audience: Middle school
Materials Cost: Free

This is a problem-based learning activity where students utilize NASA data to identify forested areas at high risk for wildfire. Students assume the role of rangers of the Department of Forestry and draw conclusions from the data in order to attempt... (View More)

Audience: Elementary school
Materials Cost: Free
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