This resource could be a fun way to introduce a unit on space. Have students freely explore the app solo or in pairs for at least 30 minutes, and choose their favorite story. Come together as a class and ask students which story they chose and why.
Continue to use the resource at least once per week or as time allows. Either assign a specific story for kids to explore or have them select their own. Students could use the topics they enjoy as a springboard for a design project or larger writing piece. Allow for additional time so kids can further research topics that truly inspire them.Continue reading Show less
NASA Visualization Explorer is a database of stories that, according to the developers, are updated on a weekly basis. The stories are highly visual, with satellite imagery, computer-generated models, and videos to support the content.
The app includes the latest information about advanced space-based research. It also includes historical information about some of NASA's missions and discoveries. Students can use a drop-down menu to search for stories by topic; they can also save stories, mark them as "read," and create a Favorites list. Navigation is pretty simple: Students swipe and tap to gain access to the content.
Just knowing that they're tapped into the latest advanced NASA research will inspire many students to learn as much as they can through this resource. The visual support makes the stories much more engaging than a static feed or article.
Compared to some of NASA's other digital reference tools, this one is very nicely organized, which makes it easier for kids to focus on what they're learning rather than just trying to find a topic of interest. One minor downside is that teachers will need to add a lot of their own instructional support, especially for the younger kids.
Key Standards Supported
Earth and Human Activity
Ask questions to clarify evidence of the factors that have caused the rise in global temperatures over the past century.
Analyze geoscience data and the results from global climate models to make an evidence-based forecast of the current rate of global or regional climate change and associated future impacts to Earth systems.
Earth’s Place in the Universe
Develop and use a model of the Earth-sun-moon system to describe the cyclic patterns of lunar phases, eclipses of the sun and moon, and seasons.
Use mathematical or computational representations to predict the motion of orbiting objects in the solar system.
Construct an explanation based on evidence for how geoscience processes have changed Earth’s surface at varying time and spatial scales.
Analyze geoscience data to make the claim that one change to Earth’s surface can create feedbacks that cause changes to other Earth systems.