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Earth & Environment Classroom Resources

This collection of lessons and web resources is aimed at classroom teachers, their students, and students' families.

Hazards Scene Activity
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Snapshot Safari Activity
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The Scientific Method Activity
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Water vs Land
Grade level k - 5 Download PDF | B&W Version

The Water Cycle
Grade level 3 - 6 Download PDF

Ancient Animal Puzzle
Grade level 3 - 7 Download PDF

Plate Tectonics Puzzle
Grade level 3 - 8 Download PDF

Gravity on Earth
Grade level 9 -12 Download PDF | B&W Version

Soil Sleuth Activity
Grade level 4 -12 Download PDF

Thunderstorm Activity
Download PDF

Recycling Hidden Picture Activity
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The Globe Series
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Coloring pages:

Science of Rocks
Science of Rocks worksheet

What is in a Rock
What is in a Rock worksheet

STEM Booklets:

Soaring into the Future
Soaring into the Future booklet

Journey Through Air
Journey Through Air booklet

Voyage into Planet Earth
Voyage into Planet Earth booklet

Exploring the Ocean with ALVIN
Exploring the Ocean kid booklet

April Showers Bring... The Science of Spring (Special Report)

NEON - National Ecological Observatory Network (Special Report)

SESYNC Collection of Socio-Environmental Educational Resources
Resource: Educators, Students (undergraduate and graduate), and Researchers
This site, from NSF-funded National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center (SESYNC), provides a collection of resources for college professors and informal outreach instructors to help students build foundational knowledge of coupled social and environmental systems across the world. There are lesson plans, short video lectures, case studies, audio interviews and publications.

CLEAN Collection of Climate and Energy Educational Resources
Resource: Educators (Middle and High School, Undergraduates)
This site, provided by the Climate Literacy & Energy Awareness Network (CLEAN), offers more than 700 free, ready-to-use learning resources about climate and energy for educators. The resources include education acitvities, visualizations, videos, and short demonstrations and experiments.

GLOBE Learning Activities
Resource: Educators, Students (K-12)
This site provides free activities that for downloading to help students learn about the atmosphere, biosphere, Earth as s system, hydrosphere and pedosphere. The activities can be sorted by grade level, and there is a link to Elementary Globe, a series of modules to introduce students in grades K-4 to the subject of Earth system science.

IRIS Education
Resource: Educators (K-16), Students
This site, from Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology (IRIS), offers educational resources to help teachers and students learn about earthquakes. There are animations, visualizations, short video lectures, images, downloadable fact sheets, posters and other products, plus links for professional development.

NCAR Education + Outreach
Resource: Educators (K-12), Students, Researchers, General Public
This site, from the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), presents materials to engage and inspire students, teachers and the general public about science at NCAR and about the excitement of atmospheric and related sciences. There is information about NCAR's lecture series and a link to the Center for Science Education (SciEd) website that has games, activities, videos and mobile apps for students of all ages, and lesson plans and activities for teachers to use in their classrooms.

Ocean Observatories For Educators
Resource: Educators and Students (undergraduates)
This site, provided by the Ocean Observatories Initiative (OOI), offers live video of Axial Seamont, the most advanced underwater volcanic observatory in the world's oceans. Also available are archives of previously recorded videos and online data investigations to engage students in analyzing evidence and developing arguments from the analysis of data. The site also provides information on marine technologies used in OOI's networked sensor grid.

Science Education Resource Center (SERC) Resources
Resource: Educators (K-12)
This site offers links to Earth sciences-related lessons, activities, lab investigations and field trip ideas for K-12 educators. The material is organized by grade level and topic. There is also material on teaching strategies and an educator's toolbox with ideas for using innovative tools including visualizations, simulations and videos.

UNAVCO Education
Resource: Educators (K-12), Students, Researchers
This site presents activities and materials for K-12 teachers, college professors and informal outreach instructors so they can help students explore geodesy (the study of Earth's shape, gravity field and rotation), geodetic data and the role geodesy plays in everyday lives. There are animations and videos, interactive data and mapping tools, hands-on demonstractions and links to request educator packets. UNAVCO is a non-profit university-governed consortium that facilitates geoscience research and education using geodesy.

Understanding NSF Research: Earth & Environment
Resource: All Audiences
Earth's environments range from polar ice caps to hot, dry deserts, from dark ocean depths to high mountaintops. The planet's ecosystems involve complex interactions between the physical (non-living) and biological (living) worlds. NSF supports research that leads to an understanding of Earth's environment. These studies help people comprehend effects on the planet, and how the environment, in turn, responds to the impacts of human activities. Through news articles and beautiful imagery, this page encourages the mind to seek answers through research.

U.S. Antarctic Program Video Clips, Maps and Images
Resource: Educators, Students, General Public
This website offers links to live webcams at the three U.S. stations in Antarctica--McMurdo Station, South Pole Station and Palmer Station--and real-time weather information. There are also video clips of research and events taking place in Antarctica, podcasts and articles, and maps and images. Through the United States Antarctic Program (USAP), NSF manages all U.S. scientific research and related logistics in Antarctica as well as aboard ships in the Southern Ocean.


On the front lines -- When Nature Strikes

4 Awesome Discoveries You Probably Didn't Hear About — Episode 42

4 Awesome Discoveries You Probably Didn't Hear About — Episode 43

Researchers tackle tornadoes

The Ogallala aquifer -- Sustainability: Water

Kilauea: Up close and personal with red hot science (Science Nation)

Agriculture -- Human Water Cycle

Jellyfish swarms and environmental change

Biogeoscientist -- Profiles of Scientists and Engineers

See more videos related to Earth and Environment in the NSF Multimedia Gallery