Tag Archives: Lesson Plans

Is Global Warming Affecting Portland, Oregon? You Be The Judge.

radiation data

Is Portland, Oregon Experiencing Global Warming? Analyze data to decide for yourself.

Is Portland, Oregon experiencing global warming?

In this lesson plan from My NASA Data, students will use long wave radiation data to determine whether the climate has changed in Portland, Oregon over a 20 year time span.

The lesson, appropriate for grades 6-9, has the following standards based outcomes:

Learning Outcomes:

  • Students will understand the difference between climate and weather.
  • Students will practice line graphing skills.
  • Students will find the longitude and latitude of a city on a world map.
  • Students will learn the definition of longwave radiation and Watts per meters squared.
  • Students will discover that temperature and radiation changes vary on our planet

The lesson plan includes step by step instructions, teacher notes, access to data sets, and resources needed to use the activity in a classroom setting.


The My NASA Data website includes many other lesson plans and projects which use authentic NASA atmospheric and earth science data sets.  This is a great way to involve your students in hands-on, standards based science!

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New Educational Materials Available at NASA Website

The Educational Materials section of NASA’s Web site offers classroom activities, educator guides, posters and other types of resources that are available for use in the classroom. Materials are listed by type, grade level and subject. The following items are now available for downloading.

International Space Station: National Laboratory Education Concept Development Report

The International Space Station is the largest and most complex space vehicle ever built. Planned for completion in 2010, the space station will provide a home for laboratories equipped with a wide array of resources to develop and test the technologies needed for future generations of space exploration.

This report explores the potential of the space station to engage, inspire, and educate students, teachers, and faculty in the areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Information about current NASA and non-agency programs aimed to increase STEM achievement is included in the report. Diagrams and detailed information about the station are also included.

2007 NASA Education Highlights

NASA has a tradition of investing in programs and activities that inspire and engage students, educators, families and communities at large in the excitement and discovery of exploration. Read about the innovative ways NASA is creating new activities that spark the interest and imagination of people from all segments of society. Also learn about the education milestones and accomplishments achieved by NASA Education in 2007.

Additional Video Learning Clips Added

The educational video clips listed below have been added to the Videos section of the NASA Educational Materials site. Click on the link below each list of video clips to access the videos online.

Designed for students in grades 5-12, these video clips from the Universe DVD let the viewer travel billions of years through time. The viewer watches the universe evolve from one primordial mass into the stars and galaxies seen today. These videos are narrated by William Shatner.

Titles in this series:
— Scientists Use Observatories to Learn About the Sun
— The Planets
— A Look Beyond the Planets: Nebulae, Stars, Quasars and Galaxies
— Lifecycle of a Star
— The Evolving Universe
— Is There Life Out There?: NASA’s Search Continues

Targeting students in grades 5-12, the Liftoff to Learning: Plants in Space video clip series follows a group of students at an elementary school as they participate in an experiment on plant growth with space shuttle astronauts. Identical seed growth pouches are planted with corn and soybean seeds. Some of the seeds are germinated on Earth and others on the space shuttle in Earth orbit. Rather than drawing conclusions on the effects of microgravity on plant growth, viewers are invited to participate in the experiment by growing seeds on Earth as control experiments.

Titles in this series:
— How Plants Grow in Space: The Effects of Gravity and Light
— Tropisms of Plants in Space and on Earth
— Why Scientists Study Plants in Space
— Evaluating Experimental Treatment: Controls of Plants Growing in Space
— Discussion Points About Growing Plants in Space

The video clips in the NASA’s Destination Tomorrow™: Bringing the Future into Focus series are designed for educators, parents, and students in 9-12 and college. These clips build on the premise that much of NASA’s aeronautical research focuses on increasing today’s knowledge to solve tomorrow’s problems.

Titles in this series:
— Helios, NASA’s Unmanned, Remotely Powered Flying Wing
— The Smart Probe, an Early Cancer Detection Tool
— A Retrospective Look at the Gemini Program
— Alleviating Aircraft Noise: The Quiet Aircraft Technology Program
— Spacesuits and How They Work

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Register Now For Upcoming JPL / NSTA Educator Seminars On Mars Exploration

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory is collaborating with the National Science Teachers Association to develop a series of free Web seminars for 5-12 science educators on the topic of Mars Exploration.

The Web seminars are 90-minute, live professional development sessions that use online learning technologies to allow participants to interact with nationally acclaimed experts, scientists, engineers and education specialists from NASA. The Web seminars are conveniently scheduled so that educators from all U.S. time zones may participate, and no travel is required. Each web seminar is a unique, stand-alone program. Archives of the Web seminars and the presenters’ PowerPoint presentations will be available online.

Upcoming JPL/NSTA Web seminars are listed below. Online registration for each is now open. All web seminars are scheduled from 6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. Eastern time.

Oct. 4, 2007 — JPL/NSTA Web Seminar: Using Earth to Explore Mars

Join Dr. Michael Meyer, Senior Scientist at NASA Headquarters, and Brian Grigsby from the Arizona State University Mars Education Program as they compare and contrast Earth and Mars. The seminar will highlight ways to familiarize students with planetary processes and landforms by integrating non-Earth examples. A Mars mission update will also be included.


Oct. 16, 2007 — JPL/NSTA Web Seminar: How Science REALLY Gets Done

Join Dr. Philip Christensen, Regents Professor in Arizona State University’s School of Earth and Space Exploration, as he shows teachers how scientists approach complex problems and ways to engage students’ curiosity to help them think like scientists.


Nov. 29, 2007 — JPL/NSTA Web Seminar: Robotic Engineering: Big Toys, Big Fun

Join Kobie Boykins, one of the engineers responsible for building the enduring Mars Exploration Rovers, for a look “behind the scenes” of what it was like to build the twin Mars rovers that are still exploring the surface of Mars.


Dec. 6, 2007 — JPL/NSTA Web Seminar: Are We Alone?

Join Dr. Jack Farmer as he talks about astrobiology, extreme environments, some of the extreme places life has been found and the applications of these subjects to Mars exploration.


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