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2015, Soil Science Society of America (SSSA)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

This PDF booklet has fun word searches, mazes, and coloring pages designed to help teach your students about soils.

Grade Level: K, 1, 2, 3
University of Illinois, Department of Atmospheric Sciences
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

Funded by a National Science Foundation CAREER award, members of the University of Illinois Department of Atmospheric Sciences have designed a suite of atmospheric science learning modules for middle school students. The curriculum, which implements a flipped-classroom model, is cross-references...

Grade Level: 6, 7, 8, 9
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Monitor National Marine Sanctuary
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

Hey Kids! If you are interested in the USS Monitor, marine life, or just fascinated by shipwrecks, this is the place for you! Did you know that the USS Monitor is one of the most famous warships of all time? That it was the Union’s first ironclad and was built in only 100 days? That it sank off...

Grade Level: K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
2016, Innovative technology in Science Inquiry (ITSI)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

Essential Question: How can green building and conservation practices improve your schoolyard and community watershed? If you had a chance to start over and build a new school site from the ground up, what would your ideal school site look like? Would the school you design and build include...

Grade Level: 9, 10, 11, 12
Esri, Earth Science Week (ESW), American Geosciences Institute (AGI)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

Explore mountain ranges and why they become so big.

Grade Level: 9, 10, 11, 12
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), National Weather Service (NWS)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

Bernoulli's principle states that in fluid flow, an increase in velocity occurs simultaneously with decrease in pressure. The students will discover that the faster air moves (air acting as a fluid), the lower the pressure beccomes within that air flow. They will see this effect blowing between...

Grade Level: 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
National Park Service (NPS), Earth Science Week (ESW), American Geosciences Institute (AGI)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

In this activity, students will explore their creativity and critical thinking while they imagine a cave environment and create an organism that lives in their cave. Their cave will be one of the types mentioned in the preceding pages, but their organisms will be of their own imagination.

Grade Level: K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

NASA's Kids' Club Web site features animated, colorful educational activities for children in K-4. Interactive games on the site teach children about exploring space, building and launching rockets, keeping airplanes on schedule and how a comet travels through the solar system. NASA's...

Grade Level: K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

A transit happens when a planet crosses in front of a star. From our perspective on Earth, we only ever see two planets transit the sun: Mercury and Venus. Both are pretty rare events. Transits of Mercury happen only about 13 times per century and the next transit of Venus won't happen until...

Grade Level: 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
Tags: nasa, space
National Science Foundation (NSF), PBS LearningMedia
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

In this media-rich lesson, students explore the role that ice plays on Earth, the factors causing it to melt, and the local and global consequences of melting ice. This resource is part of the Polar Sciences collection.

Grade Level: 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
Earth Learning Idea (ELI)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

This discussion activity has been devised to encourage pupils to think about rock cycle processes in the context of the area outside their own school. By leading the small group discussion using questions like "What might happen next?", "And then?", or "Can you think of another idea?", teachers...

Grade Level: 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
Earth Learning Idea (ELI)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

Students use their hands to demonstrate different elements for folding in rocks.

Grade Level: 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
United states Geological Survey (USGS)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

Exploring Maps is an interdisciplinary set of materials on mapping for grades 7-12. Students will learn basic mapmaking and map-reading skills and will see how maps can answer fundamental geographic questions: "Where am I?" "What else is here?" "Where am I going?" The map images and activities...

Grade Level: 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
Tags: maps, geology
American Oil & Gas Historical Society, Earth Science Week (ESW), American Geosciences Institute (AGI)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

Most people associate petroleum with transportation — but we are surrounded by thousands of other everyday products that come from this vital natural resource. A typical 42- gallon barrel of crude oil yields about 20 gallons of gasoline and 4 gallons of jet fuel. What products come from the...

Grade Level: 9, 10, 11, 12
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

Water phases are color coded around the Earth.  Cutout, fold, and paste. Download the PDF file. This satellite image was observed by the NASDA-developed AMSR-E that is carried aboard NASA's Earth-Observing satellite, Aqua. AMSR-E enables viewing most of the water phases on Earth (clouds, vapor...

Grade Level: 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
National Science Foundation (NSF)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

What is science? How does science work? What are scientists like? Misconceptions regarding the answers to these questions abound. Too often science comes across to students as unapproachable and devoid of human involvement. These mistaken ideas can interfere in understanding science concepts,...

Grade Level: 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
Challenger Center
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

Targeted for grades 5-8, the Challenger Center's Martians of Tomorrow STEM Awareness Campaign aims to inspire the next generation of Mars Exploration and involve students in a simulated space-themed mission, Expedition Mars. Take a quiz to find out what role -- communications, navigation,...

Grade Level: 5, 6, 7, 8
Public Broadcasting Service (PBS)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

Covering some 70 percent of Earth's surface, clouds play a key role in our planet's well-being. But how do they form, why are there so many types, and what clues can they give us about the weather and climate to come? Try your hand at classifying clouds and investigating the role they play in...

Grade Level: 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
Lunar and Planetary Institute (LPI)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

In this 1-hour activity, children, ages 8 to 13, portray our Moon's remarkable beginnings through a giant impact. Children color images of the latest scientific data depicting the Moon's formation to create their own comic strips of our Moon's birth. The children use different-colored balls of...

Grade Level: 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
Annenberg Learner
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

This lab uses a robust model of the carbon cycle to give you an intuitive sense for how carbon circulates through the atmosphere, biosphere, oceans, and crust. This model is similar to ones presented by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. It allows you to experiment with how human...

Grade Level: 9, 10, 11, 12
California Academy of Sciences
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

This nation-wide, afterschool science, technology, engineering, and math learning program features games, projects, and hands-on activities that middle level students can use to investigate their local environment. The program also lets them use citizen science to document discoveries, share...

Grade Level: 6, 7, 8
University of California, Museum of Paleontology (UCMP)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

Gravity is a force that all living organisms have to deal with. The body structure of animals is a system of balanced beams and masses. In order to stand or walk, animals like dinosaurs must balance on their feet. To do this, they must keep their center of gravity "between" their feet. The...

Grade Level: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
Earth Science Week (ESW), American Geosciences Institute (AGI)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

What factors affect how easily a fluid can move through sediments? How is this flow rate connected to oil production? Many people think that oil lies in big pools below Earth’s surface. Oil actually is located in the pores within rocks (called “source rocks”). When the pores are connected, oil...

Grade Level: 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
2003, United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

This coloring book, for children in pre-school through 2nd grade, teaches a simple lesson -- that there are many transportation alternatives to using a car. This lesson is important because motor vehicles (such as cars, trucks, and sport utility vehicles, or "SUVs") cause air pollution, and air...

Grade Level: K, 1, 2
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

K-8 teachers and space enthusiasts of all ages, start your school year off right with a Solar System Bulletin Board from the NASA/JPL Educator Resource Center. The resources include a poster of Saturn's Titan Moon, taken by NASA's Cassini mission, along with student activities for grades 1-8; a...

Grade Level: K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
Rice University
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

This is the home of "Discovering Plate Boundaries," a data rich exercise to help students discover the processes that occur at plate tectonic boundaries. I have used DPB with students from 5th grade to Earth Science Majors at Rice University. It works well over this wide range because it...

Grade Level: 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
University of Maine (UM)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

Students make a "flubber" glacier using glue, water and detergent and construct a glacier valley using plastic sheeting. Flubber behaves in mechanically similar ways to glacier ice, undergoing plastic deformation at low stresses and brittle failure at high stresses. students are encourage to run...

Grade Level: K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
Modeling for Understanding in Science Education (MUSE)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

Data gathering is a starting point for model building. With this material, students have an opportunity to gather data that will later be explained by their EMS model. Students compile data for a complete cycle of Moon phases (28 days). This should elicit the idea that observation is a major...

Grade Level: 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

The Fermi E/PO team has developed a set of three activities to teach students about active galaxies. All three activities are aligned with the national science and mathematics standards a beautiful poster illustrating an Active Galaxy features one of the three activities on the reverse side.

Grade Level: 9, 10, 11, 12
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

Read about different aspects of cities, from coastal zones and residential areas to manufacturing plants and recreation centers.

Grade Level: K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
American Geosciences Institute (AGI)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

This investigation is designed to help participants make connections between the different components of the Earth System (biosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere and geosphere) through observing their local outdoor area, categorizing the observations into one or more “spheres”, and drawing links...

Grade Level: 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Earth Science Week (ESW), American Geosciences Institute (AGI)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

In ancient times, sailors found their way by observing stars and other celestial bodies — when they were visible through the clouds, that is. Thus, one of the most important improvements to ocean navigation was the invention of the compass. There is some disagreement about who should get credit...

Grade Level: 6, 7, 8
ENSI
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

These lessons are intended for use in any high school biology course. However, many can be used in middle school / junior high school life science and earth science classes, possibly with slight modification depending on teacher's style and approach, and the experience and level of students...

Grade Level: 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
Tags: evolution
Earthscope
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

Discover your "birthquake," the most powerful earthquake on the day of your birth. Enter your birth date and discover the location and magnitude of the biggest quakes around the world!

Grade Level: K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
Lockheed Martin
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

Lockheed Martin partnered with Discovery Education to develop lesson plans, activities, and other resources. With your help, we can prepare and inspire this generation to reach new heights.

Grade Level: K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
National Park Service (NPS)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

In "Exploring Climate Science (Weather and Climate)," students will use tools to collect weather data and discuss the differences between weather and climate. Students will be able to: compare and contrast weather and climate, providing at least three differences between the two; and use an...

Grade Level: 3, 4, 5
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), National Weather Service (NWS)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

Thunder is the result of the rapid expansion of super heated air caused by the extremely high temperature of lightning. Through a series of examples, the student will be able to determine the distance to a lightning strike.

Grade Level: 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

Students will observe the amount of water in an open container over time, and they will observe the amount of water in a closed container over time. Students will compare and contrast the sets of observations over time.

Grade Level: K, 1, 2
Innovative Technology in Science Inquiry (ITSI)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

We commonly experience the fact that in hot weather, lower humidity is more comfortable than higher humidity. Why? In this investigation, you will figure out how to condense water from your classroom air.

Grade Level: 6, 7, 8
2017, PBS NewsHour, PBS LearningMedia
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

Picture your nearest river or lake. How do people use it? Are you happy with the way it is treated, and its relationship to your community? In some areas, water sources are being used as enormous batteries to help supply power to thousands of homes, schools, and businesses. This PBS NewsHour...

Grade Level: 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
Students Discover
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

Improve place-consciousness and provide context for the importance of measuring light pollution in your students' neighborhoods. engage your students in a global citizen science project, Globe At Night.

Grade Level: 6, 7, 8
2018, Earth Science Week (ESW), American Geosciences Institute (AGI)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities
What’s an awe-inspiring natural feature in your state? Maybe it’s a mountain, canyon, waterfall, glacier, cave, volcano, geyser, natural arch, grand vista, or something else. Identify an inspiring landscape near you, and learn about the geoscience behind it. Start with the geologic maps...
Grade Level: K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology (IRIS)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

Like other waves, seismic waves obey the laws of physics. This activity is intended to provide students with a real-world application for the concepts of waves. It should follow an activity, such as the traditional light lab used in physics courses to to explains concepts such as reflection,...

Grade Level: 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
University of California, Museum of Paleontology (UCMP)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

This exercise encourages students to make observations, examine data, and form hypotheses. These are concrete skills that easily transfer to other science activities. Sets of class footprints are made using flour, ground chalk, or light soil and black or colored construction paper. Groups of...

Grade Level: K, 1, 2, 3, 4
American Geosciences Institute (AGI)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

Soil plays a unique role in our life. Soil helps to maintain air quality, stores water and nutrients for plants, and filters contaminants from surface water. Where there is soil, life flourishes. Determining a soil’s pH is important because many plants will only grow in either alkaline or acidic...

Grade Level: 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIH)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

On this website, K-college educators and students can access a table of annotated links describing booklets, fact sheets, interviews with scientists/researchers, lesson plans, videos, and websites promoting awareness and understanding of the connections between human health and the environment....

Grade Level: K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
2016, Innovative Technology in Science inquiry (ITSI)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

You are part of a watershed community and you have many watershed neighbors. Use the article and diagram of a watershed to learn how everyone in a watershed is "connected." Each member of the watershed plays a role in protecting the water and land in the local watershed.

Grade Level: 9, 10, 11, 12
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), Earth Science Week (ESW), American Geosciences Institute (AGI)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

We find carbon everywhere on Earth ─ in trees, rocks, fossil fuels, oceans, and even you! Carbon doesn’t stay in one place, through. Scientists study how carbon moves from one place to another. This is the carbon cycle. The Industrial Revolution, starting in the 1700s, saw a move to large-scale...

Grade Level: 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), National Weather Service (NWS)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

Pressure is not only a matter of altitude but also dependent upon the temperature. As the temperature increases so does the pressure. The molecules and atoms that comprise the air we breathe gain energy as they absorb heat. That increase in energy results in faster moving atoms which we observe...

Grade Level: 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

This site provides features and news, learning resources, and multi-media and professional development resources for K-4 educators.

Grade Level: K, 1, 2, 3, 4

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Brooks Coal Mine, Colorado, circa 1905
Classroom Activities
National Park Service (NPS), Earth Science Week (ESW), American Geosciences Institute (AGI)

In this activity, students will explore their creativity and critical thinking while they imagine a cave environment and create an organism that lives in their cave. Their cave will be one of the types mentioned in the preceding pages, but their organisms will be of their own imagination.

Cave in Carlsbad Caverns
Classroom Activities
National Park Service (NPS), Earth Science Week (ESW), American Geosciences Institute (AGI)

Caves form through a variety of natural processes depending on their local geology and climate. Flowing lava, melting ice, dissolving rock, and crashing waves are the major processes that form these wondrous environments. In this activity, students will observe a model of how the most common...

Cacti in the Sonoran Desert
Classroom Activities
Earth Science Week (ESW), American Geosciences Institute (AGI)

In this activity, students study natural features of Mesa Verde and make conclusions about how early inhabitants settled there.

Mauna Ulu on the east rift of Kilauea. Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
Classroom Activities
Earth Science Week (ESW), American Geosciences Institute (AGI)

Traditional geologic maps — sometimes crisscrossed with lines, blotted with colors, and marked with strike and dip symbols — have been used to depict the geologic makeup of the Earth for many years. New technologies such as satellite-enabled remote sensing are allowing geoscientists to create...

Topaz Sample
Classroom Activities
Association of American State Geologists (AASG), Earth Science Week (ESW), American Geosciences Institute (AGI)

With this activity from the Association of American State Geologists, students can use local geologic maps to research types of rock in their area.

About the Education Resources Network

The Education Resources Network aggregates geoscience education resources from a variety of providers. The goal is to provide visitors with the widest possible collection of curricula, classroom activities, teacher professional development opportunities, science education standards, virtual field trips, teaching ancillaries and much more.

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