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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.

Coloring pages:

Science of Rocks
Science of Rocks worksheet

What is in a Rock
What is in a Rock worksheet

Voyage into Planet Earth
Voyage into Planet Earth booklet

Exploring the Ocean with ALVIN
Exploring the Ocean kid booklet

Featured Video

On the front lines -- When Nature Strikes

More Videos

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

Other Featured Content

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

NEON - National Ecological Observatory Network (Special Report)

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.

Consortium for Ocean Science Exploration and Engagement
Resource: Opportunities for Educators to participate in Oceanic Experiences
The Consortium for Ocean Science Exploration and Engagement (COSEE) is a consoritum of ocean science resaerch institutions, information science organizations and formal education entities. The COSEE website offers resources for educators, students and the public to promote a better understanding ocean science concepts.

Earth and Moon Viewer
Resource: Educators, Students, General Public
This website was developed and is maintained by John Walker, founder of Autodesk, Inc. It features a variety of color-enhanced satellite images of the Earth and the Moon. View a map of the Earth, Moon, and events such as eclipses with explanations of each image. With a variety of photographs, this website is a valuable resource for all ages.

The EnviroLink Network
Resource: Young Adults and General Public (adult)
EnviroLink is a website created by a non-profit organization that unites hundreds of organizations and volunteers around the world on the subject of the environment. EnviroLink is dedicated to providing comprehensive, up-to-date environmental information and news.

Resource: Students (elementary)
Rader's Geography4Kids website encourages elementary school age children to explore Earth sciences. The site offers content on the Earth's structure, atmosphere, hydropshere, biosphere and other topics. There are engaging activities including quizzies, live cameras and real-time monitoring stations, and links to useful reference materials.

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.

Kids Environment - Kids Health
Resource: Educators, Students (K-12 and above), Parents
The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) provides an online resource of lessons, articles, and activities and games related to health, science and the environment. There are links to the NIEHS Scholars Connect Program that provides opportunities for highly motivated STEM focused undergraduate students to connect with NIEHS for hands-on, mentored research experiences, and a special page for younger children.

NASA Earth Science
Resource: Educators (grades K-8) and Students (elementary)
This NASA website focuses on the missions of the Earth Science Division and explores how researchers are helping us to understand the planet's interconnected systems. There are articles on Earth science focus areas, recent news and links to information for researchers and learners. The content is geared for everyone.

NASA STEM Engagement
Resource: Educators and Students
This NASA website delivers tools for young Americans and educators. It seeks to increase K-12 involvement in NASA projects, enhance higher education, support underrepresented communities, strengthen online education and boost NASA's contribution to informal education. There are special pages for educators, students and the NASA Kids' Club.

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.

NOVA Planet Earth
Resource: Educators, Students, General Public
This website of the Public Broadcasting Service's (PBS) NOVA series offers recent episodes and articles about topics related to Planet Earth. Among the features: Dispatches from Antarctica, reports by a NOVA team that traveled to Antarctica to check out science research at the bottom of the Earth. The Planet Earth site also offers quizzes and interactive activities. There are educator guides for teachers and background materials as well. The site's engaging resources appeal to all ages.

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.

Student Curriculum: Recipes for Healthy Kids and a Healthy Environment
Resource: Educators and Students (ages 9-13)
This Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) website provides nine downloadable lesson plans designed to excite kids about environmental health and empower them to take steps in their everyday lives to improve the environment for their community and reduce their environmental risk. The site includes teacher guides and links to online environmental resources for educators.

Resource: Educators, Students (elementary), Parents
This site provides free and engaging hands-on lessons focused on enviromental science along with teaching strategies and resources designed to spark students interest in STEM. It also features collaboration tools to enable teachers to share effective instructional practices.

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.