Educator & Student Resources

All kinds of people do science: girls and boys, young and old, and from all races and ethnicities. IGES encourages students with a variety backgrounds and interests to give science a try.

IGES works with educators and scientists to develop educational resources for the classroom. By partnering with agencies such as NASA and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), IGES is able to produce scientifically accurate products that are geared toward students of varying grade levels




2017 Earth and Human Activity: Educator Toolkit

Framing Phenomena-Based Student Investigations

Teachers gain quick and easy access to NASA resources that support student investigations of the Earth system.






2016 Our Shared Geoheritage: Educator Toolkit

National Parks – from Space

This collection of stories and images was compiled from NASA’s Earth Observatory. The IGES team worked with Earth to Sky (a NASA-National Park System partnership) and NASA’s Landsat mission outreach to create this curated collection and identified strategies and supplemental resources for educators to use the stories with middle and high school students.




2015 Visualizing Earth Systems: Educator ToolkitVisualizingEarth

Visualizing Earth Systems Video Gallery

This curated collection of scientific visualizations is organized by educational topic, and includes both annotated and non-annotated versions for interpretation.

Inquiry-Based Teaching with Visualizations

Learners use their prior knowledge, observations, and inferences to interpret this unlabeled image.


Reading Guide for Visualizing Earth Systems Blogs





Educators Guide to NASA Earth Science Data & Imageseducatorsguide

Description: This 16-page booklet illustrates multiple NASA sources that allow educators to incorporate real Earth science data and images in their teaching and programs. Sample resources as well as firsthand accounts of how these are being used in the classroom or informal education setting are included








Mapping Our World Interactive

This interactive visualization allows you to explore data sets from over a dozen NASA Earth science missions for 25 unique views of our world.




Hurricane Katrina

This problem-based learning activity uses Hurricane Katrina as the context for students to conduct an Earth system analyses in order the consider the following questions: Are recent increases in the number and strength of hurricanes a result of an increased greenhouse effect and a warmer climate? Or are they the result of a natural cycle?

Hurricane Katrina teacher guide

Hurricane Katrina student activity

Evaluation Rubric

Investigating The Climate System

With support from NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, IGES has developed educational materials that incorporate information and data from the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM), a joint satellite mission between the United States and Japan. Investigating the Climate System is a series of five learning modules for grades 5-12 created by educational specialists along with TRMM scientists, and finalized by IGES for national distribution. Each module focuses on a different component of the Earth system






NASA Education Samplers

These one-pagers feature a selection of NASA-reviewed educational resources and multimedia tools. Each piece is targeted for a specific grade range, elementary, middle school and high school, and organized by theme. They were developed for initial distribution at the 2011 National Science Teacher’s Association (NSTA) conference.


Middle School

High School 

Potential Consequences Of Climate Variability and Change

With funding from NASA and EPA, and in support of the U.S. Global Change Research Program, IGES developed The Potential Consequences of Climate Variability and Change, a series of learning modules for grades 1-12. The activities focus on the impact of climate change on everything from agriculture and coastal areas to human health. IGES has also provided small grants to several organizations, including Girl Scouts of the USA, to help promote use of these modules.


Too Many Blankets (Grades 1-4)

Global Balance (Grades 5-12)

Coastal Areas

What Could a Hurricane Do to My Home?

What Is El Niño? (Grades 5-8, 9-12)

Coral Reefs in Hot Water (Grades 9-12)


A Sticky Situation (Grades 5-8)

Planet Watch 2000 (Grades 9-12)

Human Health

Beyond the Bite: Mosquitoes and Malaria (Grades 5-8, 9-12)

Climate and Disease: A Critical Connection (Grades 9-12)


Here, There, Everywhere (Grades 7-8, 9-12)

Looking At Earth From Space

The Maryland Pilot Earth Science and Technology Education Network (MAPS-NET) project was sponsored by NASA from 1992-1996 to enrich teacher preparation and classroom learning in the area of Earth system science. Teachers who participated in MAPS-NET completed a graduate-level course and developed activities that incorporate satellite imagery and encourage the hands-on study of Earth.

This publication replicates much of the material taught during the graduate-level course and developed by the teachers. Both are important elements in the series, Looking at Earth from Space, developed to provide teachers with a comprehensive approach to using satellite imagery to enhance science education. They will enable teachers (and students) to expand their knowledge of the atmosphere, common weather patterns, and remote sensing. Because the Guide is designed to expand the teachers’ knowledge, it is divided into topical chapters rather than by grade-level. The classroom activities are listed by suggested grade level.

Looking at Earth From Space (*This file is 9.2 MB. You may also download it in separate sections below)

Weather Systems and Satellite Imagery

Classroom Activities

NOTE: Since this guide was first published in 1996, some of the information it contains is out-of-date (specifically the section describing NASA’s Mission to planet Earth, now the NASA Science Mission Directorate – Earth Science, and the sections on the internet). There are numerous websites that provide access to geostationary and polar satellite imagery.