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Educational Level:
Upper elementary  
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Student guide  
SMD Forum - Primary:
Earth Science  
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This program uses NASA data and resources to promote authentic classroom research experiences. These two complementary guides lead students through the process of conducting their own inquiry-based research on an Earth-focused topic. In their... (View More)

The activity introduces students to aspects of the atmosphere, biosphere, hydrosphere, and litho/geosphere and how they are interrelated. It is designed to promote an interest in authentic investigations of Earth using images acquired by astronauts... (View More)

Math skills are applied throughout this investigation of windows. Starting with basic window shapes, students determine area and complete a cost analysis, then do the same for windows of unconventional shapes. Students will examine photographs taken... (View More)

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

This activity is designed to introduce students to planetary geologic features and processes. First, students will use NASA satellite images to identify geologic surface features on the "Blue Marble" (Earth), and will explore the connection between... (View More)

In this activity, students quantitatively evaluate the accuracy of a classification and understand a simple difference/error matrix. Students sort birds into three possible classes based on each bird’s beak: carnivores (meat eaters), herbivores... (View More)

The effects of volcanoes on both the environment and people are the focus of this investigation. Students are introduced to the term "buffer" and are tasked with creating a possible buffer zone around Mount St. Helens. Students begin by assigning 32... (View More)

This investigation uses three sources of information - images from space, a relief map, and a road map - to analyze the spatial distribution of human settlements. Students will use a nighttime image of the northeastern U.S. to reinforce spatial... (View More)

In this investigation, students are introduced to types of water bodies. Seven types are defined and each is then located on NASA satellite images and maps. Students also use maps to identify and compare bodies of water in their state with those of... (View More)

Audience: Elementary school
Materials Cost: 1 cent - $1 per student

Satellite images of Mercury and Mars are used to illustrate craters and generate a discussion about their cause. After comparing those images with one of Earth, students explore the reason for the lack of visible craters on our planet. The abundance... (View More)

Audience: Elementary school
Materials Cost: 1 cent - $1 per student

Deforestation in Brazil is presented as an example of major environmental changes occurring worldwide. By comparing Landsat images of Rondônia, Brazil from 1975 and 1992, students will analyze the environmental impacts as well as the intended and... (View More)

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