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Explore Energy With NASA During Earth Science Week
Earth Science Week logo

Use NASA resources to celebrate Earth Science Week in your classroom. Image Credit: NASA

We all know how it feels to be low on energy after a long day, and we know how it feels to be full of energy after a good night's rest or a good meal. Energy is just as important to Earth's everyday life as it is to ours.

"Exploring Energy" is the theme of this year's Earth Science Week, Oct. 10-16, 2010. The American Geological Institute hosts Earth Science Week annually in cooperation with various sponsors to engage people in Earth science and encourage stewardship of Earth.

NASA develops, deploys and manages an array of satellites that monitor and measure energy as it flows into, through and out of the Earth system. During Earth Science Week, a series of short videos will be posted to NASA's Earth Science Week website at http://climate.nasa.gov/esw2010/. The videos will contain short experiments related to energy, such as the energy that fuels hurricanes. Educators may use the videos in their classrooms.

NASA has contributed to the following materials in an educator kit designed to help teachers engage students in Earth science before, during and after this special week:
  • NASA Climate and Energy Education Resources -- A two-sided color information sheet lists NASA websites and other resources for Earth science news, data and imagery, and education activities and programs.

  • WebRanger Bookmark -- An oversized color bookmark contains information about WebRangers, a National Park Service program through which kids can explore national parks, monuments and historic sites. The WebRangers website includes a series of activities on climate change and its potential impact on families, neighborhoods and national parks. This series and the bookmark were developed by the National Park Service, NASA, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

  • Tour of the Electromagnetic Spectrum DVD and Downloadable book -- A NASA video uses 3-D animations to explain the electromagnetic spectrum and shows examples of how people interact with it on a daily basis. The video is available online at http://missionscience.nasa.gov/nasascience/ems_full_video.html. A visually stunning 29-page companion booklet covering the spectrum, wave behaviors, anatomy of an electromagnetic waves, and how images are created. Each region of the spectrum is detailed with spectacular images from NASA missions. Available for download at http://missionscience.nasa.gov/ems/TourOfEMS_Booklet_Web.pdf.

  • Earth's Energy Budget Lithograph -- A two-sided lithograph features a full-page color diagram illustrating the various kinds and amounts of energy that enter and leave the Earth system.

  • The GLOBE Earth System Science Poster Learning Activities -- An activities guide examines connections among environmental phenomena at the local, regional and global scales. The activities help students understand that the environment is a result of the interplay among many processes that take place on varying scales of time and space.

  • Solar Cell Energy Nationwide Learning Activity -- A MY NASA DATA lesson for grades 7-12 is featured as the March learning activity in the Earth Science Week 2010-2011 Earth Science Activity Calendar. The activity text provides background information about the sun's energy, what happens to it upon entering Earth's atmosphere, and the factors affecting the amount of energy produced by solar panels. Students use NASA data to determine areas of the country that are most likely to produce solar energy.
For more information, visit NASA's one-stop shop for Earth Science Week resources and materials at http://climate.nasa.gov/esw2010/. The website includes a video that introduces the theme of Earth Science Week, discusses how NASA studies energy, and looks in depth at resources in the educator kits. NASA's Scientific Visualization Studio has additional educator resources related to energy at http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/Gallery/EnergyEssentials.html.

To order an educator kit, visit the American Geological Institute's Earth Science Week website at: http://www.earthsciweek.org.

Dan Stillman, Institute for Global Environmental Strategies