Earth Science Week Update Special Alert!

American Geosciences Institute - October 2017

NASA's Educator Kit Spurs Phenomena-based Investigations

The NASA-sponsored folder included in the Earth Science Week 2017 Toolkit (and found online) provides relevant resources that frame phenomena-based student investigations for Earth Science Week and the remainder of your school year!

Three of the five pages in the packet list examples of NASA resources divided into grade bands: elementary, middle, and high school. Each resource not only aligns to the Earth Science Week theme of "Earth and Human Activity," but also supports two essential ideas of NGSS:  ESS2: Earth Systems and ESS3: Earth and Human Activity. For example, elementary students explore the phenomena of aerosols and fresh water resources; middle school students examine hurricanes and urban heat islands; high schoolers investigate climate and sea ice changes. Grade-appropriate NASA data and/or images are embedded in every resource.

The other two pages - "Quick Start Guide" and "Online Resources: Key Features" - are designed to lead you to a better understanding of and a higher comfort level in accessing and using NASA data and images.

NASA data and images are available free to the public. Right now - at school or at home - your students can access those data, analyze them, and incorporate them into classroom investigations.

Sound intimidating?  It's not.

"Quick Start Guide" and "Online Resources: Key Features" will help get you started. Both will open up new worlds of data exploration and use for you and your students. For example, students can use those data to substantiate a claim about various phenomena such as urban heat islands (using land surface temperature data), weather and climate (using radiation, precipitation, and temperature data), air quality (using aerosol data), land cover changes (using vegetation and leaf area data), and hurricanes and typhoons (using sea surface temperature data). "Quick Start Guide" will give you lots of other examples, and "Key Features" will introduce you to the layout of six data websites and point out some of the tools used to navigate the sites.

After the excitement of Earth Science Week, keep this folder handy - the resources are applicable to Earth science topics throughout your school year and can be incorporated into the student investigations that are sure to follow.

In addition, check out other NASA resources that connect to the Earth Science Week theme and the NGSS essential ideas: citizen science GLOBE Observer apps on clouds and mosquitoes.  Go online to get started.


The American Geosciences Institute is a nonprofit federation of geoscientific and professional associations that represents more than 250,000 geologists, geophysicists and other earth scientists. Founded in 1948, AGI provides information services to geoscientists, serves as a voice of shared interests in the profession, plays a major role in strengthening geoscience education, and strives to increase public awareness of the vital role the geosciences play in society's use of resources, resiliency to natural hazards, and interaction with the environment. For contact information, please visit online.