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This NOAA & NASA program is a connection that allows students to learn about sea level rise, its causes, its impacts, and challenges students to think about what they can do in response. This lesson features an integrated educational package of grade-appropriate instruction and activities centered around a 45 to 60 minute videoconference.  Students will actively learn with a NASA Education Specialist or a NOAA Education Specialist.

Grade Level: 6-12

Focus Question: What is causing sea level rise and what can be done about it?


5E Learning Objectives:

  • Engage: the learner will (TLW) recall prior knowledge related to sea level and sea level rise
  • Explore: TLW explore resources and materials that indicate sea level is rising
  • Explain: TLW explain the causes of sea level rise
  • Elaborate: TLW apply new knowledge to understand how their actions impact sea level rise and climate change.
  • Evaluate: TLW calculate their carbon footprint and determine what, if any, changes can be made.


Next Generation Science Standards

  • MS-ESS3-3: Apply scientific principles to design a method for monitoring and minimizing a human impact on the environment.
  • MS-ESS3-5: Ask questions to clarify evidence of the factors that have caused the rise in global temperatures over the past century.
  • HS-ESS3-5: Analyze geoscience data and the results from global climate models to make an evidence-based forecast of the current rate of global or regional climate change and associated future impacts to Earth systems.
  • HS-ESS3-6: Use a computational representation to illustrate the relationships among Earth systems and how those relationships are being modified due to human activity.


Pre-Conference Activities

Sea Level Rise Module Guide for Educators

Teacher background information: http://oceanservice.noaa.gov/education/pd/climate/factsheets/issea.pdf

Grades 6-8: Ocean Explorer: http://oceanexplorer.noaa.gov/edu/learning/player/lesson10.html

Grades 9-12: Ups and Downs – What Causes Tides: http://oceanservice.noaa.gov/education/lessons/ups_downs.html


In-Conference Materials:

Sea Level rise Graph PDF – 1 per student


Post-Conference Activities

Teacher Background Information: http://oceanservice.noaa.gov/education/pd/climate/factsheets/whatgreenhouse.pdf

Data in the Classroom: http://dataintheclassroom.noaa.gov/SitePages/sea-level/index

Data in the Classroom curriculum guide (required for Data in the Classroom): http://dataintheclassroom.noaa.gov/SitePages/sea-level/teachers

Calculating Your Carbon Footprint: http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/outreach/lesson_plans/Calculating_Your_Carbon_Footprint.pdf

Page Last Updated: December 1st, 2014
Page Editor: Lyle Tavernier