Event Catalog

Mission Geography: Investigation 1: Where we choose to live and why?

Target Audience
  • Students
Hosting Center(s)
  • Dryden Flight Research Center
  • Stennis Space Center
Subject Category
  • History
  • Earth Science
  • Physical Science
Unit Correlation
  • Exploring Earth
Grade Level
  • 5-8
  • 9-12
Minimum Delivery Time
  • 050 min(s)
Maximum Connection Time
  • 060 min(s)
Event Focus

Using nighttime satellite images to learn about population.


This module is appropriate for video conference AND web conference presentation

Students use a nighttime image to observe areas of light across the United States and to identify patterns and spatial distributions of human settlements. They explain the reasons for these patterns by answering questions and making inferences about what they observe.

Instructional Objectives



Learners will be shown satellite images of various places on Earth and asked what we can learn.


Students are introduced to spatial concepts: patterns, dispersion and density.


Students and teachers will discuss the concepts shown and answer questions.


Students will construct a picture from the activity puzzle using knowledge gained.


Students will discuss their constructed map puzzles. What clues did they use to determine the orientation of the pieces? Can we identify features on the map by areas of light and dark?

Sequence of Events

Pre-Conference Activities
Videoconference Activities
  • The Earth will be studied from satellite images and explanations given how astronauts take images from the ISS.
  • Proceed to Log 1 and Figure 1 where students will explore and answer questions.
  • Discuss results of student answers from Log 1.
  • Students will be given Figure 2, scissors and instructions on how to assemble the night time 'Puzzle' and answer questions 1-5.
  • Results of the student investigations will conclude the activity.
Post-Conference Activities
  • Continue discussions of Log 2 questions about identifying night features and population distribution.
  • Complete Log 3a and 3b using Figures 3 and 4 of the lesson.



Geography Standards

  • Standard 3: How to analyze the spatial organization of people, places, and environments on Earth’s surface
  • Standard 4: The physical and human characteristics of places

Science Standards

  • Systems, order, and organization
  • Evidence, models, and explanation
  • Constancy, change, and measurement
  • Populations, resources, and environments