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  • Middle School

    Earth's Systems

Students who demonstrate understanding can:

Performance Expectations

  1. Develop a model to describe the cycling of Earth's materials and the flow of energy that drives this process. MS-ESS2-1

    Clarification Statement and Assessment Boundary
  2. Develop a model to describe the cycling of water through Earth's systems driven by energy from the sun and the force of gravity. MS-ESS2-4

    Clarification Statement and Assessment Boundary
  3. Construct a scientific explanation based on evidence for how the uneven distributions of Earth's mineral, energy, and groundwater resources are the result of past and current geoscience processes. MS-ESS3-1

    Clarification Statement and Assessment Boundary

A Peformance Expectation (PE) is what a student should be able to do to show mastery of a concept. Some PEs include a Clarification Statement and/or an Assessment Boundary. These can be found by clicking the PE for "More Info." By hovering over a PE, its corresponding pieces from the Science and Engineering Practices, Disciplinary Core Ideas, and Crosscutting Concepts will be highlighted.

Science and Engineering Practices

Developing and Using Models

Modeling in 6–8 builds on K–5 experiences and progresses to developing, using, and revising models to describe, test, and predict more abstract phenomena and design systems.

Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions

Constructing explanations and designing solutions in 6–8 builds on K–5 experiences and progresses to include constructing explanations and designing solutions supported by multiple sources of evidence consistent with scientific ideas, principles, and theories.

By clicking on a specific Science and Engineering Practice, Disciplinary Core Idea, or Crosscutting Concept, you can find out more information on it. By hovering over one you can find its corresponding elements in the PEs.

Planning Curriculum

Common Core State Standards Connections

ELA/Literacy

  • RST.6-8.1 - Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of science and technical texts. (MS-ESS3-1)
  • SL.8.5 - Integrate multimedia and visual displays into presentations to clarify information, strengthen claims and evidence, and add interest. (MS-ESS2-1)
  • WHST.6-8.2 - Write informative/explanatory texts, including the narration of historical events, scientific procedures/ experiments, or technical processes. (MS-ESS3-1)
  • WHST.6-8.9 - Draw evidence from informational texts to support analysis reflection, and research. (MS-ESS3-1)

Mathematics

  • 6.EE.B.6 - Use variables to represent numbers and write expressions when solving a real-world or mathematical problem; understand that a variable can represent an unknown number, or, depending on the purpose at hand, any number in a specified set. (MS-ESS3-1)
  • 7.EE.B.4 - Use variables to represent quantities in a real-world or mathematical problem, and construct simple equations and inequalities to solve problems by reasoning about the quantities. (MS-ESS3-1)

Model Course Mapping

First Time Visitors

Resources & Lesson Plans

  • More resources added each week!
    A team of teacher curators is working to find, review, and vet online resources that support the standards. Check back often, as NSTA continues to add more targeted resources.
  • In this activity, students are introduced to the environment of the Amazon rainforest. They compare differences between the Amazon and California forests. Next students act out the water cycle within the Amazon rainforest. After performing in their s ...

  • In this activity, students compare a map of world wide copper distribution sites to a tectonic map detailing active volcano and plate boundary locations. Once their analysis is complete, students will be able to construct an explanation describing th ...

  • Interactives: The Rock Cycle is a collection of activities, with accompanying readings and animations, that provides information on rock types, the processes that affect rocks and the interrelationships among the three types.  In Part 1,Types of ...

  • Activity 4: The Water Cycle is part of Introduction to the Atmosphere, which is Section 1 of the Cycles of the Earth and Atmosphere module created by the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research.  This module consists of lesson plans and ...

  • What-a-Cycle is a kinesthetic activity developed as part of the JetStream Online School for Weather. In this activity, students take on the role of a water molecule and follow it through a portion of the water cycle. To start the activity, teachers w ...

  • The Geology for Investors website is a source of information about why mineral deposits are where they are. The link takes you to the page, “Minerals on the Edge – Plate Boundaries and Minerals.” This provides a basic understanding of how minerals ...

  • This is an activity out of one of the DLESE Teaching boxes. The Teaching Box is titled Mountain Building. This activity is from Lesson 4 Activity #2 called Rock Cycle Journey. Stations are set up to represent different parts of the rock cycle. There ...

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  • In this series of games, your students will learn about the rock cycle and the water cycle, and their relationship to the flow of solar and geothermal energy. The Earth Processes: Matter Cycling and Energy Flowing learning objective — based on NGSS a...

  • In this series of games, your students will learn about the stages of the water cycle and the factors that drive its processes. The Water Cycle learning objective — based on NGSS and state standards — delivers improved student engagement and academic...

  • In this series of games, your students will learn about the way the sun’s energy and the earth’s gravity combine to cause the motion of water through the water cycle. The Role of Sunlight and Gravity in the Water Cycle learning objective — based on N...

  • In this series of games, your students will learn about renewable and nonrenewable resources, how we use them, how they are distributed, and how they get replenished — or don’t. The Natural Resources learning objective — based on NGSS and state stand...

  • From TeachEngineering - Students are presented with a guide to rain garden construction in an activity that culminates the unit and pulls together what they have learned and prepared in materials during the three previous associated activities. They ...

  • This is NASA's website for GPM. This differs from the educational website created for teaching and learning. However, it will provide higher level scientific information that you may find valuable for students ready for this level of learning.

  • This contains the PPT presentation and resource links for the session.

  • Free iBook from the iTunes store. This book, which is the basis of our presentation, provides students with the scientific basis of climate change, modeling, and data visualization.

  • Website with 3D Lesson Ideas. Look in Earth and Space Science MS for The Copper Condundrum

  • Slide deck from NSTA Presentation

  • This activity uses a mix of multimedia resources and hands-on activities to support a storyline of investigation into melting sea and land ice.

  • In this activity students explore recent changes in the Arctic's climate that have been observed and documented by indigenous Arctic residents. Students watch a video, take notes, and create a concept map. Students also examine and graph historical w...

  • In this classroom activity, students access sea surface temperature and wind speed data from a NASA site, plot and compare data, draw conclusions about surface current and sea surface temperature, and link their gained understanding to concerns about...

  • This classroom activity is aimed at an understanding of different ecosystems by understanding the influence of temperature and precipitation. Students correlate graphs of vegetation vigor with those of temperature and precipitation data for four dive...

  • In this activity, students compare two photographs (with time spans of 30-100 years between photos) of specific Alaskan glaciers to observe how glaciers have changed over the time interval. Activity is a good kickoff for learning about glaciology - h...

  • In this classroom activity, students measure the energy use of various appliances and electronics and calculate how much carbon dioxide (CO2) is released to produce that energy.

  • Students investigate how sea levels might rise when ice sheets and ice caps melt. By constructing a pair of models, students can observe the effects of ice melt in two different situations.

  • This teaching activity is an introduction to how ice cores from the cryosphere are used as indicators and record-keepers of climate change as well as how climate change will affect the cryosphere.

  • The activity takes a hands-on approach to understanding El Niño by physically showing and feeling the process. It consists of an El Niño demo to be performed by the teacher and observed by the class as well as an experiment to be conducted by the s...

  • In this activity, students use NASA satellite data to explore the seasonal changes in sea surface temperatures of the Gulf Stream. Students use NASA's Live Active Server (LAS) to generate data of sea surface temperatures in the Gulf Stream, which the...

  • The NOAA Ocean Service Education lab requires students create and manipulate solutions simulating different ocean water characteristics in order to recognize that the effects of salinity and temperature are the drivers of thermohaline circulation.

  • Video and animations of sea level from NASA's Climate website. Since 1992, NASA and CNES have studied sea surface topography as a proxy for ocean temperatures. NASA Missions TOPEX/Poseidon, Jason 1 and Jason 2 have been useful in predicting major cli...

  • This short video shows how humanity uses energy today; what sources we use; and why, in the future, a growing global population will require more energy.

  • This video highlights research conducted at Woods Hole on how heat absorbed by the ocean and changes of ocean chemistry from human activities could lead to a tipping point for marine life and ecosystems. Includes ice bath experiment that models the t...

  • Video presents a broad overview of what (NASA) satellites can tell us about how climate change is affecting oceans.

  • This activity includes an assessment, analysis, and action tool that can be used by classrooms to promote understanding of how the complex current issues of energy, pollution, supply, and consumption are not just global but also local issues.

  • This video segment explores whether, in principle, renewable energy resources could meet today's global energy needs of about 15.7 terawatts.

  • This engaging video focuses on national and global wind energy potential by specifically highlighting Texas' role as wind energy leader and energy efficiency efforts in Houston, Texas.

  • This interactive diagram from the National Academy of Sciences shows how we rely on a variety of primary energy sources (solar, nuclear, hydro, wind, geothermal, natural gas, coal, biomass, oil) to supply energy to four end-use sectors (residential, ...

  • A collection of repeat photography of glaciers from the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC). The photos are taken years apart at or near the same location, and at the same time of year. These images illustrate how dramatically glacier positions...

  • This video describes why tropical ice cores are important and provide different information than polar ice cores, why getting them now is important (they are disappearing), and how scientists get them. The work of glaciologist Lonnie Thompson is feat...

  • In this video, students learn that scientific evidence strongly suggests that different regions on Earth do not respond equally to increased temperatures. Ice-covered regions appear to be particularly sensitive to even small changes in global tempera...

  • This detailed animated map shows global weather and climate events from the beginning of 2009 to the present. As the animation plays, specific events are highlighted to provide context and details for the viewer.

  • This video from the U.S. National Academies summarizes the energy challenges the United States faces, including the technological challenges, and the need for changes in consumption and in energy policy.

  • A simple click-through animation from Scripps Institute's Earthguide program breaks the complex topic of the global energy balance into separate concepts. Slides describe the different pathways for incoming and outgoing radiation.

  • This is a short NASA video on the water cycle. The video shows the importance of the water cycle to nearly every natural process on Earth and illustrates how tightly coupled the water cycle is to climate.

  • This video provides an overview of the research of the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) on converting biomass to liquid fuels.

  • This video from a 2005 NOVA program features scientists who study the Jakobshavn Isbrae glacier in western Greenland. The glacier is shrinking and moving faster due to increased melting in recent years. The video includes footage of scientists in th...

  • This video is narrated by climate scientist Richard Alley. It examines studies US Air Force conducted over 50 years ago on the warming effects of CO2 in the atmosphere and how that could impact missile warfare. The video then focuses on the Franz Jos...

  • This NASA animation depicts thermohaline circulation in the ocean and how it relates to salinity and water density. It illustrates the sinking of water in the cold, dense ocean near Iceland and Greenland. The surface of the ocean then fades away and ...

  • This short NASA video focuses on the Aquarius satellite, which was launched in 2011 to observe how variations in ocean salinity relate to climatic changes. By measuring salinity globally, Aquarius shows the ocean's role in climate change and climate'...

  • This video and accompanying essay examine ways to reduce the environmental impact of burning coal. Two technologies are discussed: turning solid coal into a clean-burning fuel gas (syngas), and capture and storage of CO2.

  • This video segment, from the 'Earth: The Operators' Manual' featuring climate expert Richard Alley, shows how ice cores stored at the National Ice Core Lab provide evidence that ancient ice contains records of Earth's past climate - specifically carb...

  • This video discusses two key signs of global change in the Southern Ocean: changes in Antarctic bottom water and ocean acidification.

  • This short video from NASA discusses the role that salinity plays in Earth's climate and ocean circulation, focusing on the observations of the Aquarius satellite.

  • This NASA video explores the relationship between climate and agriculture. The video discusses the variability of climate impacts in different regions, as well as the effects of population growth and higher demands for food in areas that already str...

  • This video segment from 'Earth: The Operators' Manual' explores how we know that today’s increased levels of CO2 are caused by humans burning fossil fuels and not by some natural process, such as volcanic out-gassing. Climate scientist Richard Alle...

  • This short video examines the recent melting ice shelves in the Antarctica Peninsula; the potential collapse of West Antarctic ice shelf; and how global sea levels, coastal cities, and beaches would be affected.

  • This short video shows an example of melting alpine glaciers in the Austrian Alps (Goldberg Glacier). Disappearing alpine glaciers have social and environmental impacts, including the decline of fresh water supplies and contributions to sea level ris...

  • This video discusses the social and economic impacts (worldwide and in the US) of sea level rise caused by global warming (aired April 1, 2011). Note: you may need to scroll down the Changing Planet video page to get to this video.

  • The video addresses impact of warming temperatures on major lakes of the world with specific focus on Lake Superior and Lake Tanganyika. It discusses the science of water stratification and its impact on lake ecosystems and on human populations whos...

  • This video clip highlights the effort on by a group of young students to ban the use of plastic shopping bags in the city of Santa Monica. The video documents the effort and provides visual testimony of the effects that trash and specifically plastic...

  • This NBC Learn video features climate scientists doing their research on Mt. Kilimanjaro to study the climate of the past. The scientists put the recently observed changes on the glacier into perspective by comparing past climate fluctuations, stress...

  • This short video uses animated imagery from satellite remote sensing systems to illustrate that Earth is a complex, evolving body characterized by ceaseless change. Adapted from NASA, this visualization helps explain why understanding Earth as an int...

  • With this simulation from the NASA Climate website, learners explore different examples of how ice is melting due to climate change in four places where large quantities of ice are found. The photo comparisons, graphs, animations, and especially the ...

  • This activity from the Department of Energy provides background information about solar ovens and instructions on building a simple model solar cooker.

  • This activity is a learning game in which student teams are each assigned a different energy source. Working cooperatively, students use their reading, brainstorming, and organizational skills to hide the identity of their team’s energy source whil...

  • A video from the Extreme Ice Survey in which Dr. Tad Pfeffer and photographer Jim Balog discuss the dynamics of the Columbia glacier's retreat in recent years through this time-lapse movie. Key point: glacier size is being reduced not just by glacial...

  • This video examines the thawing of permafrost due to changes in climate and shows examples of the impacts that warming temperatures have on permafrost in the Arctic, including the release of the greenhouse gas methane. Dramatic results are shown, inc...

  • This video introduces phytoplankton - the base of the marine food web, the source of half of the oxygen on Earth, and an important remover of CO2 from the atmosphere. The video also explains how satellites are used to monitor phytoplankton and how wa...

  • This animated slideshow introduces biodiesel as a fuel alternative. With concern about the use of petroleum-based fuels at an all-time high, biodiesel is experiencing a popularity surge. And algae—otherwise known to some as pond scum— are grabbin...

  • This animation illustrates how heat energy from deep in Earth can be utilized to generate electricity at a large scale.

  • This video segment from the Earth Operators Manual summarizes how fossil fuels are made, provides a comparison of how long it takes to store energy in coal, oil and natural gas, and discusses how fast we're using them.

  • This video provides an overview of changes happening in the Arctic.

  • This Changing Planet video documents scientists' concerns regarding how melting Arctic sea ice will increase the amount of fresh water in the Beaufort Gyre, which could spill out into the Atlantic and cause major climate shifts in North America and W...

  • In this activity, students are guided through the process of locating and graphing web-based environmental data that has been collected by GLOBE Program participants using actual data collected by students in Pennsylvania and comparing them to their ...

  • This is a real-time map of current drought conditions in the US, which can be zoomed to the state level, with access to many more resources at that level. Some of these include the National Drought Regional Summaries and animations of historical dat...

  • This is a series of 10 short videos, hosted by the National Science Foundation, each featuring scientists, research, and green technologies. The overall goal of this series is to encourage people to ask questions and look beyond fossil fuels for inno...

  • This is an interactive map that illustrates the scale of potential flooding in Alabama, Mississippi, and Florida due to projected sea level rise. It is a collaborative project of NOAA Sea Grant Consortium and the US Geological Survey. It is a pilot ...

  • This activity introduces students to visualization capabilities available through NASA's Earth Observatory, global map collection, NASA NEO and ImageJ. Using these tools, students build several animations of satellite data that illustrate carbon path...

  • This is an interactive map of California and the Sierra Nevada mountains, showing how the amount of water stored in the snowpack will vary under different climate scenarios. The tool shows observations and projections from 1950 to 2090, and uses low ...

  • This map shows the pattern of thermohaline circulation. This collection of currents is responsible for the large-scale exchange of water masses in the ocean, including providing oxygen to the deep ocean. The entire circulation pattern takes ~2000 yea...

  • This video describes how the normal thousands-of-years-long balance of new ice creation and melting due to ocean currents has been disrupted recently by warmer ocean currents. As a result, glacier tongues that overhang the interface between ice and ...

  • In this video, a PhD Student from the University of Maine explains how ice cores are used to study global climate change.

  • In this video, the mountain pine beetle problem is explained by two scientists. Their research investigates the beetle and how climate change is hastening its spread.

  • In this video segment, a team of scientists seeks evidence to support their hypothesis that atmospheric warming may cause water to form beneath the West Antarctic ice sheet. This water causes ice streams to flow much more quickly than the rest of the...

  • This video and accompanying essay review the impacts of rising surface air temperatures and thawing permafrost on ecosystems, geology, and native populations in Alaska.

  • This is a collection of five short videos that show how climate change is affecting fishing, native populations and access for the oil and gas industry in the Arctic. The videos include personal reflections by writers Andrew C. Revkin and Simon Romer...

  • This video segment uses data-based visual NOAA representations to trace the path of surface ocean currents around the globe and explore their role in creating climate zones. Ocean surface currents have a major impact on regional climate around the w...

  • This video discusses how the populous areas west of the Andes are largely desert and rely on glacial meltwater as an important source of fresh water. Because the Peruvian glaciers high in the Andes are in rapid retreat, scientists are monitoring the...

  • This visualization, from the US Geological Survey, provides a simple schematic of the various pathways that water can take as it cycles through ocean, lakes, atmosphere, surface and ground.

  • This video segment, adapted from Need to Know, discusses how the process of hydraulic fracturing (fracking) is used to extract natural gas and how the process may be polluting water resources with hazardous chemicals, leading to health concerns.

  • This video describes how field research -- in this case, making water measurements in rugged mountain locations -- helps us to understand the complex relationships among changing climate, populations, and water usage.

  • This short video discusses where carbon dioxide, the gas that is mainly responsible for warming up our planet and changing the climate, comes from. It discusses how the rise in atmospheric carbon dioxide comes directly from the burning of fossil fue...

  • This short video makes the case that rapid climate change affects the whole planet, but individuals can make a difference and make their carbon footprint smaller. Common suggestions are identified for young children to consciously consider what they ...

  • This short video reviews how nations and individuals can work together to reduce the emission of CO2. It discusses strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (energy conservation, renewable energies, change in energy use) and the role that govern...

  • In this video from the Polaris Project Website, American and Siberian university students describe their research on permafrost.

  • In this video, students see how data from the ice core record is used to help scientists predict the future of our climate. Video features ice cores extracted from the WAIS Divide, a research station on the West Antarctic Ice Sheet.

  • This video segment examines ethanol, a cleaner-burning fuel alternative to gasoline, and the efforts to produce it more efficiently.

  • This video segment is adapted from Building Big, a PBS series hosted by David Macaulay. It explores Hoover Dam's hydroelectric capabilities by explaining how it is able to harness the potential energy stored in the reservoir and convert it to electri...

  • This video segment, adapted from NOVA scienceNOW, addresses how new technology can help monitor and modernize the infrastructure of the U.S. power grid, which is ill-equipped to handle our increasing demand for electricity. Video provides a great ove...

  • In this video, adapted from KUAC-TV and the Geophysical Institute at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, viewers learn how one-celled organisms in permafrost may be contributing to greenhouse gas levels and global warming.

  • This video segment from 'What's Up in the Environment,' shares how an entire home can be constructed using green energy sources (solar and geothermal energy). Video is narrated by young boy whose father is the chief engineer on the project.

  • In this video segment from NOVA's Saved By the Sun hour-long video, students learn about photovoltaics and see how two families are using solar technologies in their homes. The video introduces the ideas of state incentives and net metering benefit...

  • In this activity, students explore energy production and consumption by contrasting regional energy production in five different US regions.

  • This video shows some of the most dramatic fluctuations to our cryosphere in recent years, using visuals created with a variety of satellite-based data.

  • This web page from the National Snow and Ice Data Center contains two related visualizations and supporting information about them. The first visualization gives an estimate of the percent contribution to sea level change since the 1990s from three ...

  • This animation presents the characteristics of wind power as a source of clean energy. The viewer may examine how a wind turbine works by pausing and clicking on its components. They include a gear box, rotor, high-speed shaft, generator, wind vane, ...

  • This video describes how geothermal heat resources in California have been tapped to supply 850 MW of electricity. Images and animations show how the area known as The Geysers has been developed to capture steam, produced from trapped rainwater and ...

  • This short video features the Alaska Lake Ice and Snow Observatory Network (ALISON project), a citizen science program in which 4th and 5th graders help scientists study the relationship between climate change and lake ice and snow conditions.

  • In this video clip from Earth: The Operators' Manual, host Richard Alley discusses China's efforts to develop clean energy technologies and to reduce CO2 in the atmosphere, by building coal plants using CO2 sequestration technology. (scroll down pa...

  • This video examines how scientists learn about the effects of climate change on the water cycle and what those effects might mean for our planet.

  • This video documents the impact of the 2011 drought on the water supply of two Texas towns. It discusses how the higher temperatures have increased the evaporation from open reservoirs, resulting in a drop in water levels. The use of water in fighti...

  • This video, from ClimateCentral, features a team of scientists from the Northern Greenland Eemian Ice Drilling Project who study atmospheric air bubbles trapped in an ice core. This work highlights a period in Greenland's ice sheet which began abou...

  • This video reviews the benefits and drawbacks associated with growing corn to make ethanol.

  • This hands-on activity is a kinesthetic game illustrating the dynamics of the carbon cycle. Acting as carbon atoms, students travel from one carbon reservoir to another. At each reservoir they determine, by rolling dice, how long they stay in the res...

  • This video is from the Energy 101 video series. It explains the process for converting micro-algae into fuel and makes the case that algae-based biofuels hold enormous potential for helping reduce our dependence on imported oil.

  • This video is one of a series of videos from the Switch Energy project. It describes three types of geothermal sources -- rare ones in which high temperatures are naturally concentrated near the surface, deep wells that require fracturing the rock an...

  • This video is one of a series from the Switch Energy project. It reviews the environmental impacts of various energy resources including fossil fuels, nuclear, and renewables. CO2 emissions as a specific environmental impact are discussed.

  • This video highlights the benefits of electric vehicles, including improved fuel efficiency, reduced emissions, and lower maintenance costs.

  • This video is one of a series of videos produced by the Switch Energy project. It presents the pros and cons of wind power, such as where to build, affordability, efficiency, transmission.

  • This video is one of a series produced by the Switch Energy project. It reviews the pros and cons of natural gas as a source of energy.

  • This suite of short video clips is part of a series produced by the Switch Energy project. There are several video segments that discuss different perspectives of biofuels as a renewable source of energy.

  • This short video shows how different biomass feedstocks are processed and refined into sustainable biofuels via biochemical and thermochemical processes.

  • This video explains what is involved in conducting a home energy audit. Such an audit evaluates how much energy you use in your house and suggests the most cost-effective measures you can take to improve the energy efficiency of your home. The outcom...

  • The Electricity data browser allows individuals and organizations to create, download, or view graphs, reports, and tables based on energy data sets from the US Energy Information Administration. These data sets are updated periodically and include...

  • This video reviews key points as well as pros and cons of nuclear power.

  • This video shows where and how ice cores are extracted from the West Antarctic Ice Sheet. The cores are cut, packaged, flown to the ice core storage facility in Denver, further sliced into samples, and shipped to labs all over the world where scienti...

  • In this video, NOAA’s Deke Arndt, Chief of the Climate Monitoring Branch at the National Climatic Data Center, recaps the temperature and precipitation data for the continental US in summer 2012. It describes how these conditions have led to drou...

  • This video takes viewers high into the Rocky Mountain snowpack, where researchers dig snow pits to explore the source of Colorado's water supply. Highlights the importance of snowpack on the supply of fresh water available in western and southwestern...

  • This short activity provides a way to improve understanding of a frequently-published diagram of global carbon pools and fluxes. Students create a scaled 3-D visual of carbon reservoirs and the movement of carbon between reservoirs.

  • In this activity, students act as water molecules and travel through parts of the water cycle (ocean, atmosphere, clouds, glaciers, snow, rivers, lakes, ground, aquifer). Students use a diagram of the hydrologic cycle to draw the pathway they travel...

  • This beautifully filmed and produced video describes the changes that global warming is already bringing to Northern Canada and Greenland. Local people describe changes to ecosystems, impacts on culture and life styles, and the challenges of melting ...

  • This video highlights the work of climate scientists in the Amazon who research the relationship between deforestation, construction of new dams, and increased amounts of greenhouse gases being exchanged between the biosphere and the atmosphere.

  • This video segment features subsistence fishing and harvesting in the Northwestern US. The segment was adapted from a student video produced at Northwest Indian College in Bellingham, Washington.

  • This short video from Climate Central explains the technology used to monitor changes in Arctic sea ice. Long-term tracking (since the late 1970's) shows Arctic sea ice has been on a steady decline and this could have significant implications for g...

  • In this lab activity, students use brine shrimp as a proxy for krill to study how environmental factors impact behavioral responses of krill in the unique environment of Antarctica.

  • This video illustrates the advantages of woody biomass as a renewable, carbon-neutral energy source. Woody biomass is underutilized and often overlooked as a renewable fuel, and it can be harvested sustainably and burned cleanly.

  • This visualization includes a series of flow charts showing the relative size of primary energy resources and end uses in the United States for the years 2008-2012.

  • This video is the first of a three-video series from the Sea Change project. It features the field work of scientists from the US and Australia looking for evidence of sea level rise during the Pliocene era when Earth was (on average) about 2 to 3 de...

  • This animated visualization was created for the planetarium film 'Dynamic Earth'. It illustrates the trail of energy that flows from atmospheric wind currents to ocean currents.

  • This video features interviews with native people living on atoll islands in Micronesia, so viewers are able to understand the real, current threats that these people are facing due to climate change.

  • In this activity, students examine the effects of hurricanes on sea surface temperature using NASA data. They examine authentic sea surface temperature data to explore how hurricanes extract heat energy from the ocean surface.

  • This video features the story of a multi-generational, family-run dairy business in Oregon. The family strives for sustainability in their operations by conserving energy and reducing greenhouse gases across many aspects of their business.

  • This video features research conducted at University of Colorado's Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research, which studies isotopes of hydrogen trapped in ice cores to understand climate changes in the past.

  • This is an animated interactive that displays, on a Global Viewer, NOAA datasets on hazards, ocean, and climate. User can visualize data on phenomena such as hurricanes, humpback whale migrations, carbon tracker, sea ice extent, IPCC scenarios on glo...

  • This introductory video addresses key points as well as pros and cons of oil as an energy source for transportation.

  • This video addresses the importance of efficiency in providing power to an increasingly large global population.

  • This video shows 15 years of data obtained via Polar-orbiting satellites that are able to detect subtle differences in ocean color, allowing scientists to see where there are higher concentrations of phytoplankton - a proxy for the concentration of c...

  • In this 3-part lab activity, students investigate how carbon moves through the global carbon cycle and study the effects of specific feedback loops on the carbon cycle.

  • These five short videos are an introduction to the pros and cons of energy issues, including cost, choices, efficiency, environmental impact, and scale. The videos are segments of a feature documentary entitled, Switch: Discover the Future of Energy.

  • This activity is part of the Antarctica's Climate Secrets flexhibit. Students learn about and create models of glaciers and ice sheets, ice shelves, icebergs and sea ice.

  • This video follows Bermuda scientists into the field as they collect data that documents a warming trend in ocean temperatures. BIOS Director Tony Knapp discusses some of the impact of warming temperatures on sea levels, storms, and marine ecosystems...

  • This visualization explains in simple and easy-to-understand visuals the causes of sea-level change.

  • This video describes how Colorado has planned for and uses clean energy resources to reduce its carbon footprint.

  • This video discusses how methane digesters turn waste from dairy cows, food garbage, and other organic matter into usable gases and other fuels.

  • This video segment highlights research that supports the idea that warmer oceans generate and sustain more intense hurricanes.

  • In this activity, students explore the role of combustion in the carbon cycle. They learn that carbon flows among reservoirs on Earth through processes such as respiration, photosynthesis, combustion, and decomposition, and that combustion of fossil ...

  • This animated video outlines Earth's energy. The video presents a progression from identifying the different energy systems to the differences between external and internal energy sources and how that energy is cycled and used.

  • This video features a number of different climate scientists describing the effects of the increasing amount of carbon dioxide on global climate and proposing a series of solutions to mitigate these effects. Video addresses health problems and other ...

  • This video considers the current estimates of sea level rise as possibly too conservative and discusses more recent data on ice melt rates coming from Antarctica and Greenland, showing rates of melt at up to 5 times as rapid. Scientists discuss what ...

  • In this video scientists discuss possible rates of sea level rise, storms and resulting damage, rising temperatures and melting ice, and their collective effects on ecosystems.

  • The Greenland 2014: Follow the Water video is about Greenland's ice sheet, accompanied by computer models of the same, to show how the ice is melting, where the meltwater is going, and what it is doing both on the surface and beneath the ice.

  • This video, from Yale Climate Connections, explores the 2014 melting of the West Antarctic ice sheet that captured headlines. Interviews, animations, and news broadcasts explore what the melting meant for both the future of some of the Antarctic glac...

  • This data viewing tool from NOAA offers nearly instant access to dozens of datasets about Earth through an engaging interface. Users can select data categories from atmosphere, ocean, land, cryosphere, and climate and drill down from there into more ...

  • This video discusses carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere that have increased due to the burning of fossil fuels in electricity generation, transportation, and industrial processes. Video includes history of Keeling and his research, as we...

  • This is a multi-media teaching tool to learn about climate change. The tool is comprised of stills, video clips, graphic representations, and explanatory text about climate science. Acclaimed photographer James Balog and his Extreme Ice team put this...

  • This animation depicts real-time wind speed and direction at selected heights above Earth's surface, ocean surface currents, and ocean surface temperatures and anomalies.

  • This visualization is a collection of maps, by continent, that project the impact on coastlines of a 216-foot rise in sea level, which is assumed to be the result of melting all the land ice on Earth.

  • This NASA video provides a nice overview of Earth's water cycle from the perspective of looking at Earth from space.

  • This video uses Bangladesh as a case study by describing climate change adaptation strategies being implemented in Bangladeshi communities as well as in other countries.

  • This series of visualizations is part of a rich multi-agency effort to showcase the usefulness of open data (i.e., data provided in a discoverable, sharable, and machine-readable format) by exploring the 16-year drought as of 2016 and its effects on ...

  • This video segment examines the issue of climate change from the perspective of Native Americans. The video segment was adapted from a student video produced at Haskell Indian Nations University in Lawrence, Kansas.

  • From TeachEngineering - Students use everyday building materials—sand, pea gravel, cement and water—to create and test pervious pavement. They learn what materials make up a traditional, impervious concrete mix and how pervious pavement mixes differ....

  • From TeachEngineering - Students gain a basic understanding of the properties of media—soil, sand, compost, gravel—and how these materials affect the movement of water (infiltration/percolation) into and below the surface of the ground. They learn ab...

Planning Curriculum gives connections to other areas of study for easier curriculum creation.