In this lesson, students learn about the Japanese festival celebrating the appearance of cherry blossoms in the spring and analyze average bloom date data from over 1000 years of records to understand how climate has changed.

Impacts of Climate Change

Drip Drop! is a music video intended to engage young people in a conversation about climate and water.

How Climate Works Impacts of Climate Change

Students observe that air under high pressure will move toward a low-pressure area and certain objects in the air’s path may move in the same direction.

Layers of the Atmosphere

This teaching box is filled with educational resources that help students explore the science of, and solutions to, air pollution.

Air Quality

Align tree ring cores of different ages to build up a long timeline of past climate data in this hands-on activity.

How Climate Works

Students analyze cloud data from a storm that crossed the United States in late November 2019. They identify cloud types from photos of the sky in various locations to identify the zonation of clouds across a cold and warm front.

Clouds Storms and Other Weather

In this activity, students move chips representing sunlight, heat, and infrared radiation around a series of boards representing Earth and its atmosphere. Students learn how models are constructed and work, and learn about layers of Earth's atmosphere and the greenhouse effect.

How Climate Works Layers of the Atmosphere

Air takes up space. It's only when air in the bottle escapes that more air is easily added!

How Weather Works Layers of the Atmosphere

Find out how some wavelengths of light are scattered more than others producing blue skies and red sunsets.

Layers of the Atmosphere

Students observe that a change in the temperature of air can impact the size of a bubble placed on a bottle that is cooled and/or heated.

Layers of the Atmosphere

The amount of CO2  is increasing, which has an impact on global climate. In this lesson, students will investigate some of the ways CO2 gets into and out of the atmosphere, and how this process might affect the overall balance in our world.

How Climate Works Solving Climate Change

Are you in a place where snow falls in winter? If so, try catching snowflakes. Then take a close look. Can you find two snowflakes that look alike?

How Weather Works

Investigate water in a warmer world. This teaching box is filled with explorations and readings that help secondary students learn how climate change is affecting the water cycle.

Impacts of Climate Change Earth as a System

Students match graphs showing aspects of observed climate change with statements that describe the observations.

Impacts of Climate Change

Elementary students learn about the climate zones of the world by interpreting graphs and identifying climate zones described in postcards.

Impacts of Climate Change

Students use a deck of cards to model climate variability and longer-term trends in climate.

How Climate Works

Download the Cloud Trivia Game for foldable fun! Print copies for yourself or your entire class.

Clouds

Use the Cloud Viewer to explore the clouds and sky outside. What type of clouds do you see? What color is the sky?

Clouds

An experiment that demonstrates why there are clouds in the sky. Start with air, invisible water vapor, particles we call condensation nuclei, and air pressure...the cloud comes later!

Clouds

A collection of educational resources to bring cloud science to elementary students.

Clouds

This Teaching Box combines hands-on activities, data analysis, and discussion that help high school students consider how weather can affect cloud types and how cloud types can affect climate.

Clouds Storms and Other Weather How Climate Works

Students analyze the energy consumption of a hypothetical household to determine the amount of carbon dioxide they are adding to the atmosphere each year.

Air Quality Impacts of Climate Change

Students compare satellite images with photos they take with a UAV (drone).

Engineering, Computers, and Modeling

Use jelly beans to compare the compositions (amounts of different gases) of the atmospheres of Earth, Mars, and Venus.

Layers of the Atmosphere

Students demonstrate their knowledge of interconnections between natural systems such as weather and climate and the built environment in which they live.

How Weather Works How Climate Works Earth as a System

Students analyze and interpret data on a map of floodplains to assess risk of flooding inform decision-making that will mitigate the effects of flooding.

How Weather Works

In this hands-on activity, students experiment to discover how moisture, pressure, temperature, and condensation nuclei play a role in cloud formation.

Clouds

Students consider weather conditions before, during, and after a tornado and build a model to visualize what is happening when a tornado occurs.

Storms and Other Weather

In this lesson, students are introduced to the effects a major volcanic eruption has on the atmosphere through recent and historical images and videos and by exploring a simple model. They will learn about atmospheric change that causes a reduction in light to Earth’s surface and how this contributes to climate change.

How Climate Works

Students will observe two scale models of Earth's atmosphere and the layers of the atmosphere to gain an appreciation for the size of the atmosphere compared to the planet Earth.

Layers of the Atmosphere

Students use a model to test actions for staying safe from the Sun's ultraviolet radiation. 

Layers of the Atmosphere

This activity helps to uncover common misconceptions as students determine if a statement about science is true or false.

In this classroom activity, students investigate how clouds change over time by making repeat observations of a section of sky and then representing their data graphically.

Clouds

Fly a drone to monitor a volcano in this board game that teaches engineering practices.

Engineering, Computers, and Modeling

This Teaching Box combines readings and activities to build student understanding of the changes that happen during an El Niño event.

Earth as a System

This teaching box will help your students understand how conservation of energy determines the average temperature of a planet, including Earth. These activities also illustrate how the greenhouse effect prevents our home planet from becoming a frozen ball of ice!

How Climate Works Earth as a System Layers of the Atmosphere

Ice is slippery, causing cars and trucks to skid out of control. You can safely explore how cars slip on ice by making a model of an icy road and testing out how well the wheels of toy cars grip onto the ice.

Storms and Other Weather

In this graphing activity, students investigate Oxygen-18 data from ice cores used to investigate past climate.

How Climate Works

Students develop an understanding of the dynamic and variable nature of the Sun by comparing and contrasting images that vary with respect to time, scale, or technology, and share their findings with peers. The class discusses the implications of the Sun as a variable force of nature and brainstorms a list of questions that have been raised by the comparison of images. During the following class period, the instructor facilitates a slide show to further student understanding of the dynamic processes of our Sun and offer explanations to student questions.

Students learn about the urban heat island effect by investigating which areas of their schoolyard have higher temperatures. Then they analyze data about how the number of heat waves in an urban area has increased over time with population.

Sun and Space Weather

In this activity, students gather information about atmospheric scientific field projects in order to understand how a research question about the Earth system can be answered by collecting data using many different research platforms and instruments.

How Weather Works How Climate Works

This teaching box is filled with explorations and readings that help secondary students learn the science of flash flooding. Get your feet wet by bringing the science of flash floods to your classroom.

Storms and Other Weather

Students test the hypothesis that a 100-year flood happens once every hundred years, learning how the probability of a flood does not mean that floods happen at regular intervals.

Storms and Other Weather

Students review illustrations, maps, cross-sections, and graphs that tell a piece of the story about the effects of clouds on climate. They answer "True and False" questions about each visual and discuss what they take away from the information.

Clouds How Climate Works

Students review graphs and charts of severe weather data then answer "True and False" questions about the content conveyed.

Storms and Other Weather

Students compare photographs of glaciers to observe how Alaskan glaciers have changed over the last century.

How Climate Works Impacts of Climate Change

GLOBE Weather is a five-week curriculum unit designed to help middle school students understand weather at local, regional, and global scales.

How Weather Works Storms and Other Weather

Graph the extent of sea ice, over months and years, in the Arctic and Antarctic. Learn about the seasons and long-term trends.

Impacts of Climate Change

This teaching box provides resources related to the greenhouse effect. It will help you teach how the greenhouse effect warms our planet.

Layers of the Atmosphere Earth as a System How Climate Works

This Greenhouse Gas Game enables students to interact with each other as they learn about the heat-trapping properties of greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change. They learn that human actions are altering the levels of greenhouse gases in our atmosphere. Teams explore how long it takes to reach the top of the Temperature Tracker based on human activity, with the winner taking the longest to reach the top of the Temperature Tracker.

How Climate Works

Measure the speed of a flying UAV (drone).

Engineering, Computers, and Modeling

Measure and calculate the height (altitude) of a flying UAV (drone).

Engineering, Computers, and Modeling

In this activity, students identify the location of an atmospheric river over the Pacific (also called the Pineapple Express) by analyzing water vapor data collected by COSMIC satellites.

Storms and Other Weather

Hurricane Resilience is a 20-day high school environmental science curriculum for use in coastal locations where hurricanes are common and helps students make connections between the science of hurricanes, how they affect their community and region, and how we can plan for a more resilient future.

Storms and Other Weather

Students investigate maps and data to learn where and when hurricanes form and how climate change may be affecting them.

Storms and Other Weather How Climate Works Impacts of Climate Change

On May 20, 2013, a devastating tornado occurred in Moore, Oklahoma. How did the people of Moore work to rebuild their community?

How Weather Works

Students investigate three decades of tornado data through an interactive Story Map from Esri.

How Weather Works

In this activity, students will learn about science and its characteristics by reviewing statements and deciding whether each reflects science, non-science, protoscience, or pseudoscience.  

In this activity, students will construct models of the arrangement of water molecules in the three physical states. Students will understand that matter can be found in three forms or phases (solid, liquid, and gas).

Earth as a System

Students research the 2013 Colorado floods, present the information they find, and summarize all information presented.

Storms and Other Weather

Students learn basic maneuvers with a UAV, flying forward and back, left and right.

Engineering, Computers, and Modeling

Students begin to learn basics of flying UAVs/drones. This simple initial flight includes a take-off, hovering at different heights, and landing.

Engineering, Computers, and Modeling

Students learn basic aviation terminology and practice flying with a mock flight simulator in preparation for flying a UAV or "drone".

Engineering, Computers, and Modeling

Students receive data about tree ring records, solar activity, and volcanic eruptions during the Little Ice Age (AD 1350–1850). By comparing and contrasting time intervals when tree growth was at a minimum, solar activity was low, and major volcanic eruptions occurred, they draw conclusions about possible natural causes of climate change.

How Climate Works

Students brainstorm what the living conditions during the period known as the Little Ice Age (AD 1350–1850) might have been like. Then students study information about lifestyles, the economy, crop yields, and human and livestock mortality during the Little Ice Age. They compare and discuss what they have learned.

This hands-on inquiry activity allows students to explore how the color of materials that cover the Earth affects the amounts of sunlight it absorbs using a simple model.

How Climate Works Sun and Space Weather

Students explore factors that influence why certain areas in the United States have more tornadoes than others and observe a model to visualize what is happening during a tornado.

Storms and Other Weather

Students observe how different materials bend light and how we can infer the nature of the material based on the amount it bends light rays.

Layers of the Atmosphere

Students use a card sort activity to explore different actions we can take to reduce the risks of climate change and learn to recognize different types of climate solutions: mitigations and adaptations.

Solving Climate Change

Students follow steps to dilute a colored dye in water until the dye is one part per million. Then students consider atmospheric gases that are present in trace quantities, like ozone, and discuss how pollutants can be hazardous at very small concentrations.

Air Quality

Students make a model of glacier motion and then design an experiment to figure out what affects the speed of a glacier.

How Climate Works

Students create and investigate a physical model to explore how the resolution of a mathematical model impacts model results.

How Climate Works

In this activity, students observe how temperature changes can create a weather front, in particular how the mixing of warm and cold air can produce thunderstorms. Water, which behaves very similarly to air, and a density tank are used in this demonstration.

How Weather Works

In this activity, students use models to observe that air is a fluid that flows due to temperature-driven density differences.

Layers of the Atmosphere

In this activity, students create molecule models using marshmallows to understand and explain how smog forms.

Air Quality

After reading about hurricanes and their impacts on the coast, students model conditions during a hurricane that produce storm surge and witness its impact on model coastlines.  

Storms and Other Weather

In this hands-on activity, students explore how temperature affects the behavior of air molecules.

Layers of the Atmosphere

In this activity, students will observe and measure the water given off through transpiration by a plant in a small terrarium. 

Earth as a System

In this activity, students will develop a model of a forest using plastic bottles and then observe and analyze changes in winds related to differences in forest density. 

Earth as a System

Students test a glider's launch design, payload, and atmospheric wind conditions that could favorably or negatively impact the pilot's intention to provide rescue supplies to a mountain community in need.  

Engineering, Computers, and Modeling

Students create graphic organizers describing the four major air pollutants regulated by the U.S. Clean Air Act (ground-level ozone, particle pollution, carbon monoxide, and sulfur dioxide) and then identify the pollutants with a guessing game.

Air Quality

Students play a dice game to explore the differences between direct and indirect evidence to gain an understanding of how indirect evidence of climate change can be interpreted. The activity concludes with a discussion about the various records made by humans and indirect evidence found in nature that can be studied to understand how climate has varied through time.

Students participate in a quiz show on the nature of science to assess their knowledge and understanding as a fun review of content.

Students learn how to crush a can with only air pressure.

Layers of the Atmosphere

In this activity, students observe how rubber bands deteriorate, developing cracks or pits, in locations with different ozone levels.

Air Quality

Students will experiment to understand variations in the amount of ground-level ozone between different places in their neighborhood, town, or city.

Air Quality

Students examine "pollen" in simulated lake bottom sediment core samples to infer past climate in the vicinity of the lake.

How Climate Works

Students learn that when light shines on an object, it is reflected, absorbed, or transmitted through the object, depending on the object’s material and frequency (color) of the light.

Sun and Space Weather

Students use iron filings to explore the magnetic field around a magnet and record their observations. Next, students apply their experience with the magnet to understand the magnetic field around Earth. Following their investigation, students summarize their findings.

Sun and Space Weather

Students plan a disaster relief mission employing a UAV (drone) by filling in a comic book-like storyboard of engineering design steps.

Engineering, Computers, and Modeling

Students analyze the energy consumption of a household appliance and estimate the amount of carbon dioxide it is adding to the atmosphere each year.

How Climate Works Solving Climate Change

Use plungers to create a vacuum and learn about how air exerts pressure.

Layers of the Atmosphere

Project Resilience is a 20-day high school curriculum that helps students examine the environmental challenges facing communities along the Gulf of Mexico and learn about resilience planning using a resilience planning toolkit.

Storms and Other Weather

Students will investigate how different surfaces of the Earth reflect and absorb heat and apply this knowledge to real-world situations.

Earth as a System

Using language arts, math, and measurement skills, elementary students explore rainfall data and learn how to measure precipitation through an interactive story. 

How Weather Works

Students use a simple model to explore how roof colors can impact the temperature of an urban area.

Earth as a System Sun and Space Weather

Students investigate a physical model to explore how satellite data impacts weather monitoring and forecasting.

Storms and Other Weather

Help your middle school student learn how satellites help make weather forecasts more accurate and how the COSMIC satellites collect data about the atmosphere by measuring bending radio waves.

How Weather Works

This activity uses stacks of blocks to demonstrate how a parallel-processing computer can complete calculations more quickly than a single, serial processor.

Engineering, Computers, and Modeling

Students use information from Project Drawdown to learn about the sectors where climate solutions are being implemented to help slow down climate warming. Students construct a plan for using specific solutions to reduce and remove the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, and make a claim describing how their plan could work to keep global temperature change below 1.5 °C .

Solving Climate Change

In this activity, students will analyze data sets that show how carbon dioxide varies through the atmosphere at different latitudes, altitudes, and different times of year.

How Weather Works How Climate Works

This teaching box contains lessons about features of the Sun relevant to space weather prediction.

Sun and Space Weather

Students identify sunspots on images of the Sun, discovering that the number, location, and size of spots are not always the same. During the first part of the activity, students make a graph that shows how the number of sunspots has changed over the past 30 years, discovering that there is a regular pattern to the number of sunspots (the 11-year sunspot cycle).

Students use a cloud identification guide to identify clouds in landscape paintings, then make their own art to identify cloud types.

Clouds

Students build a simple version of a magnetometer, an instrument capable of detecting areas that have strong magnetic fields. Students use their magnetometer and models of the Sun to investigate areas that have strong magnetic fields. Students examine images of the Sun to describe the features associated with the Sun's strongest magnetic fields and learn more about the features they have identified either through student research or teacher presentation.

This teaching box engages middle and high school students in the Nature of Science – what it is and what it isn't – along with activities to ensure engagement and enhance science understanding explicitly. 

Students play the role of nitrogen atoms traveling through the nitrogen cycle to gain understanding of the varied pathways through the cycle and the relevance of nitrogen to living things.

Earth as a System

Systems thinking is an important concept across the Earth sciences. In this game, students either are a part of a system or serve as scientists tasked with observing and making sense of the system moving in front of them.

How Weather Works How Climate Works Earth as a System Sun and Space Weather

Through a simple online model, students learn about the relationship between average global temperature and carbon dioxide emissions while predicting temperature change over the 21st Century.

Solving Climate Change

Students investigate how thermal expansion of seawater impacts sea level.

How Climate Works

In this teaching box are resources to help students learn why and where tornadoes happen and how these weather events impact people’s lives.

Storms and Other Weather

Students review what scientists know and what they’re working to understand about the relationship between extreme weather events and climate change.

Storms and Other Weather Impacts of Climate Change

Students read news articles about Hurricane Irene, present information with classmates, and construct a timeline to describe the hurricane’s story over time and across geographic area, exploring what happened, how people were affected, and how they reacted.

How Weather Works

Students observe tree rings in a tree cross-section sample and analyze tree ring data to interpret paleoclimate conditions. 

How Climate Works

Students will fly their UAVs over a scale-model town that has been struck with a disaster, surveying the damage via a camera on the UAV.

Engineering, Computers, and Modeling

Students deliver a payload (representing disaster relief aid) using a UAV (drone) after designing a skyhook to carry and release the payload.

Engineering, Computers, and Modeling

Students use a UAV to pick up and carry a small payload, retrieving it from the far side of the room. Students design a "sky hook" to grab the payload.

Engineering, Computers, and Modeling

Students test the battery life for UAVs ("drones") in preparation for more advanced "missions" and challenges.

Engineering, Computers, and Modeling

Students test the ability of a UAV ("drone") to lift and carry a weight. The weight simulates a payload, such as sensors or supplies, transported by the UAV.

Engineering, Computers, and Modeling

Learn about Bernoulli's Principle with hairdryers and ping pong balls!

Layers of the Atmosphere

In this activity, students use a graph to make a hypothesis about the difference between urban heat in New York City streets and in Central Park.

Earth as a System

A 3d View from a Drone: Make a 3d model from your photos

Engineering, Computers, and Modeling

In this computer-based virtual lab, students will learn about the layers of Earth's atmosphere by launching virtual balloons to collect temperature and pressure data at various altitudes. Given a limited number of balloon flights, students must plan carefully to gather data that generates a good "picture" of the atmosphere’s structure.

Layers of the Atmosphere

In this activity, students will build a model to simulate parts of the water cycle. They will be able to recognize and explain the essential elements of the water cycle.

How Weather Works Earth as a System

Students create and observe wavelengths at both high and low energy levels using safety glasses, rope, and a power drill.

Sun and Space Weather

Students explore the relationship between weather and climate by graphing weather temperature data and comparing with climate averages.

How Weather Works How Climate Works

In this activity, students will compare stories about a weather event from different media sources and different perspectives.

How Weather Works

Students will use soda to explore how carbon dioxide is able to dissolve into liquid. They will learn about Henry's law, which describes how the solubility of gas into liquids is dependent on temperature, and develop hypotheses about how the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, a greenhouse gas, is affected by rising atmospheric and oceanic temperatures.

Earth as a System

In this activity students get a sense of the many ways in which daily activities use natural resources and contribute to air pollution.

Air Quality

In this activity, students will play the roles of various atoms and molecules to help them better understand the formation and destruction of ozone in the stratosphere.

Layers of the Atmosphere

A collection of educational resources about the science of winter weather for primary grade students.

Storms and Other Weather