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When Bad Things Happen to Good Students
Who Are NASA's Earth Explorers?

The student thinking about El Niño. The scientist studying climate. And the farmer looking at satellite images. All of these people are Earth Explorers. They're all curious about how Earth works. This is a story about a NASA Earth Explorer.

Students studying their GLOBE cloud charts
Image above: Kittrell students study their GLOBE cloud charts. Credit: NASA
Spring was in the air. Flowers were in bloom. Fifth-graders at a school in Iowa were ready. They had watched the weather all winter. They wanted to learn what temperature and clouds do to tree buds.

But then came a morning in April. The students did not believe what they saw. Someone had broken their weather box. And their new digital thermometer was gone. It had cost a lot of money. This wasn't their idea of a fun April Fools' joke.

The students were sad. But, they were mad, too. They wanted to do something about it. So they wrote a letter to their newspaper. They asked for help. The letter was printed. What happened next was amazing.

People sent in money. It was enough to buy a new thermometer. A man who builds the weather boxes gave the school two new ones. The biggest surprise was a visit from their TV weatherman. He gave the school a $200 check!
Carol Boyce
Image above: Carol Boyce is in charge of the GLOBE program at Kittrell. Credit: NASA

The name of the school is Kittrell Elementary. Students there study the land, air and water. They study plants and animals. And, they get to meet scientists. All of this is part of a program called GLOBE. Kids all over the world take part in GLOBE.

This year, the students at Kittrell learned more than just science. They learned about life. They learned that bad things can happen. But they learned that good can come from bad.

11-year-old Shelby felt like most of the students. She was sad that someone would break and steal their tools. But, she was glad to see that there are good people who want to help.

"I think something good happened because I learned that there are many people that will help others," Shelby said.

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Dan Stillman, Institute for Global Environmental Strategies