Windows to the Universe is a rich learning ecosystem for the Earth and Space sciences as well as related disciplines including multi-level interdisciplinary content, interactives, classroom activities, and supplementary resources for teachers and students. Note that some materials are only available as a purchase or with paid membership.
Developed by the Department of Atmospheric Sciences (DAS) at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), the Weather World 2010 project (WW2010) is a world wide web framework for integrating current and archived weather data with multimedia instructional resources.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Ocean Exploration program provides a variety of learning and teaching tools designed to engage broad audiences and enhance America’s environmental literacy through the excitement of ocean discovery. In the Educational Materials section you will find links to hundreds of lesson plans written by teachers for teachers. These lessons are built around specific ocean exploration expeditions across the globe and multimedia packages on specific ocean science topics.
The Environmental Science Institute at the University of Texas has created a variety of educational resources including lectures, guides, and websites that are useful to geography, environmental, aquatic, and earth science teachers.
From the main “Teaching Resources” section you can access teaching modules developed by the Environmental Literacy Council as well as a variety of classroom materials. In the “Teacher Exchange” you can find labs, class notes, and teaching ideas contributed by science teachers. Looking for state-specific resources or handouts on parks, museums, or natural resource agencies? Search the clickable map.
Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology (IRIS) is a consortium of Universities dedicated to collecting and curating seismological data. Browse the “Learning/Teaching Resources” in the left menu bar to find animations, videos, and lesson plans for teaching about earthquakes.
This interactive, online simulations project produces activities for the life sciences or earth science field study laboratories. The site allows students to be hands-on without physically being in a lab, and prompts students to make inquiries and ask questions about the material they are learning.
Not since the creation of Google itself has anything truly demonstrated its wealth of knowledge towards the public quite like Google Earth. As a vast virtual geographic simulation, it has come to be used for finding locations, analyzing terrain, and even taking a look into the past using archived satellite photography. For Earth Sciences especially, Google Earth has allowed geologists to map transects, calculate changes in terrain over time, and plot geologic hazards in a matter of minutes. This section outlines potential uses of Google Earth for students and teachers, shows how to get started, provides a user guide, and offers examples.
EcoKids is an award-winning website for kids that teaches about the environment through interactive, fun and educational games and activities. Categories include wildlife, climate change, energy, exploring the north, water, waste, land use, the first nations, and the inuit community. Be sure to check out the EcoKids Teacher’s Lounge at the top of the home page. Sign-up for a free account and receive access to lesson plans, printable handouts, activity sheets, as well as class kits and resources for working with ESL students.
The U.S. Geological Survey Education website provides info on natural resources, natural hazards, geospatial data, and issues affecting quality of life. Not only does it feature lessons, data, maps, support teaching, and support learning for education (K-12), but it also provides up-to-date inquiry and research for more advance students at the university level. Some highlights include GIS Lesson Plans, USGS Fact Sheets, podcasts and online lectures for teachers.
It is hard to imagine our current level of expansive scientific resources without GIS (Geographic Information Systems). GIS represents a graphical, analytical, computer-based means of exploring and developing data. This section of “Starting Point: Teaching Entry Level Geoscience” introduces teachers to applications, methods, and reasons for integrating GIS in Education. Although primarily geared towards undergraduate students, this resource can be a good starting point for anyone interested in learning more about GIS and it’s uses.
The ESA is a nonprofit science organization founded in 1915 devoted to the promotion and appreciation of the ecological science community. It’s website provides a vast amount of science resources from other organizations, as well as it’s contributions to news and media. Check out “Educator Resources” and “Student Resources” under the “Education and Diversity” section to learn more about the ESA, other organizations, and meetings and conventions.
Provided by the Discovery Channel online, these Environmental Studies Lesson Plans are just a few examples of the many lesson plans that Discovery has to offer. Separated by K-5, Middle School, and High School lesson plans, teachers can search based on specific topics, grade levels, and student interests. Although there is only a small selection on this page, be sure to the click the Lesson Plans link under the “Teachers” tab at the top of the page for many more resources.
This page produced by the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) lists an array of environmental and science based lesson plans, activities, and experiments. Play games, get homework help, get involved in community service, participate in earth day, and much more. Click on any of the EPA or External resources listed on the page, and be directed to several different lesson plans and activities for each one.