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Teaching Climate Change

At the NASA Wavelength website, K-16 educators can find a peer-reviewed digital resource collection for teaching about climate change. NASA's Climate Change: Vital Signs of the Planet provides up-to-date news and information about Earth’s changing climate, including best-reviewed climate education materials from NASA and several other leading scientific organizations.

This NASA/GISS website offers secondary teachers a small collection of digital climate change lessons, modules, models and a role-play. Developed through collaborations between GISS scientists and educators, the following resources are motivated by fundamental questions and topics our climate scientists study, engage students in problem-based investigations and address national education standards.

Lessons and Modules

Hot: One World, One Climate Curriculum Units

A series of lessons and videos from leading climate scientists to introduce some of the underlying scientific ideas and questions that drive climate change research and public interest about this topic. (Note: This is a beta version.)
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Hot: One World, One Climate Role Play

Immerse students in learning about climate change, thinking about its implications and evaluating and designing possible solutions. Students are asked to imagine that a Climate Challenge is announced to give youth a vital voice and role in recommending energy solutions to mitigate climate change by lowering carbon emissions. (Note: This is a beta version.)
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What Determines a Planet's Climate?

2005 Approved NASA Earth Science Education Product) Students will work through a series of hands-on learning activities to gain the scientific understanding and technical skills to address this question. Activities include: experimenting with physical models, making observations and simple mathematical modeling of the world.
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The Carbon Question

In this module, the fundamental science question, "How much carbon is being stored in the terrestrial part of the earth?" is explored from many vantage points, including studies in local environmental settings and ecosystems and global biomes and measurements from ground based and satellite instruments.
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Introduction to Statistics

Basic statistics concepts explained: mean, median, mode, variance, standard deviation, correlation coefficient.
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ICP's Guide to Presenting Your Research

Provides suggestions from scientists on preparing a scientific presentation in a poster, paper or talk. This material can be used to support a lesson on science communication.
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Models and Simulations

The following spreadsheet-based models and simulations require the use of Microsoft Excel.

Albedo Calculator

An experimental tool to explore the albedo of Earth's land surface features and clouds.
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Global Equilibrium Energy Balance Interactive Tinker Toy (GEEBITT)

A spreadsheet model that allows students to study the effects of climate variables on the earth. The GEEBITT paper describes activities that can be done using this model.

  • Mini-GEEBITT Version A3 A simple climate model to be used to conduct experiments on factors that influence planetary temperature: luminosity of the Sun, albedo, and distance from the Sun.
  • Mini-GEEBITT Version B3 A simple climate model to be used to conduct experiments on factors that influence planetary temperature: luminosity of the Sun, albedo, distance from the Sun and the absorption effect of a planet.s atmosphere. This GEEBITT includes the Greenhouse Factor.
  • GEEBITT - Full Version A simple climate model to conduct experiments on the radiative effects of a planet under various conditions: Black Body, Reflective Surface, Raleigh Scattering and Aerosols, Clouds and Stratospheric and Tropospheric Components. This stand alone version includes data tables in which the investigator may save data for analysis at a later time.

Energy Scenario Simulation

Develop future energy scenarios that alter the amount of energy produced by different sources and sectors and calculate the changes in carbon dioxide emissions for a particular scenario.
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