NASA Pre-quel : Introduction to Remote Sensing and Electromagnetic Energy
    Target Grade Levels: 6-12 Earth Systems Science
    Topics Covered:
  • Absorption, emission and reflection of energy from various materials
  • Satellites
  • Remote sensing
  • Abilities, applications and limitations of satellite data
  • Electromagnetic spectrum
  • Gravity, velocity and momentum

  • Description:
    This segment is intended to be used as an introduction for each of the four modules that comprise the NASA Global Climate Change Education project. It will introduce students to the technological advances achieved through the use of satellite imagery. Students will learn about the collection of remote sensing data and how it is used to study the earth and the universe.

    Click here for access to the Prequel Module

    Earth's Energy Budget
    Target Grade Levels: 9-12 Earth Systems Science
    Topics Covered:
  • Infrared energy
  • Surface materials and their effect on ambient temperature
  • Energy absorption, radiation and reflection
  • Urban heat effect
  • Heat islands
  • Greenhouse gases and their impact on Earth's energy balance

  • Description:
    In this module, students will learn about the ability of different substances to absorb, reflect and radiate solar energy. They will study the impact that different surface materials have on the ambient temperature of urban areas. Students will be expected to design a procedure that measures the temperature above various ground cover materials, collect and analyze data from their procedure and be able to arrive at an evidence-based conclusion about the expected changes in Earth's energy balance. The module will culminate by asking students to apply what they've learned to local phenomena.

    Click here for access to the Earth's Energy Budget Module

    How Does Climate Change Impact the Earth's Four Spheres?
    Target Grade Levels: 9-10 Earth Systems Science
    Topics Covered:
  • Biosphere - Phenology
  • Hydrosphere - Drought
  • Atmosphere - Atmospheric carbon
  • Geosphere - Erosion

  • Description:
    Students will use NASA data sets to examine how the Earth's four spheres (biosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere and geosphere) are impacted by climate change. A climate change event is the focus around which students gather data, study NASA data sets and ponder man's impact and future responsibilities. This module is designed for students to realize local anomalies are the result of global changes. The unit also includes an overview of accompanying labs/activities.

    Click here for access to the Four Spheres Module

    Climate Change, Past and Present
    Target Grade Levels: 9-10 Earth Systems Science
    Topics Covered:
  • Ocean sediment proxy data
  • Warming periods, past and present
  • Photon-molecule interactions
  • Rates of global warming
  • Oxygen isotopes and sediment/ice core link
  • Enhanced greenhouse effect
  • Innovative solutions to climate change

  • Description:
    Through an interrupted guided inquiry investigation, students will investigate climate history and previous warming events and relate them to our current warming period. Students will perform hands-on activities inquiring into atmospheric dynamics and potential solutions to global warming. Students will model photon-molecule interactions using a PhET computer simulation. Through video and graphics, students will examine proxy data from the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal maximum and recent data from NASA satellite images. They will compare the rates of each of the global warming periods and their subsequent effects on life. The module will culminate with an investigation of the greenhouse effect, the enhanced greenhouse effect, and a potential solution to global warming involving mirrors designed to reflect incoming solar radiation. Students will also discuss the ethical implications of solar reflection and atmospheric scrubbing of CO2.

    Click here for access to the Climate Change Past and Present Module

    Oceans, Ice and Climate Change
    Target Grade Levels: 6th Grade Earth Systems Science and Oceanography
    Topics Covered:
  • Oceans
  • Sea ice
  • Temperature
  • Land ice
  • Rising sea levels
  • Oxygen and carbon dioxide
  • Climate vs. weather
  • Satellites
  • Data collection

  • Description:
    The overall objective of this module is to increase students understanding of the relationships between oceans, ice and climate change. Students will learn that complex interrelationships exist between Earth's structure and natural processes that over time are both constructive and destructive. Students will gather and analyze data and communicate an evidence-based explanation for the complex interaction between Earth's constructive and destructive forces Students will learn that water on Earth is distributed and circulated through oceans, glaciers, rivers, ground water, and the atmosphere and will identify problems and propose solutions related to water quality, circulation, and distribution - both locally and worldwide.

    Click here for access to the Oceans, Ice and Climate Change module

Listed below are additional resources for modules listed above