Teachers can use NASA Climate Kids as a toolbox for learning about global climate change. Exploring the Guided Tour of the Big Questions could help build essential background information before you dig deeper. Teachers can have students try games, such as Offset, to make learning about the carbon cycle more engaging. These games could be flipped for playing at home, with follow-up discussions taking place at school. Videos such as "What is Happening in the Ocean" can spark whole-class discussions. The Teach about Climate Change page is full of resources and links that teachers may find useful for planning lessons.Continue reading Show less
NASA Climate Kids is a comprehensive website covering a variety of global climate change topics. The website provides many ways to engage in learning including games, hands-on activities, facts, videos, and career profiles. The site is organized into categories such as air, ocean, fresh water, carbon cycle, and energy. The Guided Tour of the Big Questions uses a topic wheel to introduce students to the basics and provides answers to "What is global climate change?" and "What can we do to help?" The information is often text-heavy, and no audio support is offered. A page is dedicated to teaching about climate change and includes links to other websites; some of these links no longer work.
The Climate Change Time Machine is a standout interactive feature of the site that feeds the scientific inquiry process. Users can go backward and forward through time to visually see evidence of how Earth has changed over the years. The Time Machine includes maps of sea ice, sea level, carbon emissions, and average global temperature.
NASA Climate Kids is an excellent learning tool for students because it provides accurate scientific information using a variety of media (games, videos, and interactives) that touch on the same topics. Offering multiple ways to access this critical information reaches a diverse set of students and provides opportunities for deeper learning. The website is colorful and well-designed, but some students may struggle with the text-heavy articles. The site would be even more useful if information was easier to find and it provided audio support, translations, and other accessibility features.
Key Standards Supported
Earth and Human Activity
Obtain and combine information to describe that energy and fuels are derived from natural resources and their uses affect the environment.
Generate and compare multiple solutions to reduce the impacts of natural Earth processes on humans.
Obtain and combine information about ways individual communities use science ideas to protect the Earth’s resources and environment.
Analyze and interpret data on natural hazards to forecast future catastrophic events and inform the development of technologies to mitigate their effects.
Apply scientific principles to design a method for monitoring and minimizing a human impact on the environment.
Construct an argument supported by evidence for how increases in human population and per-capita consumption of natural resources impact Earth’s systems.
Ask questions to clarify evidence of the factors that have caused the rise in global temperatures over the past century.
Analyze and interpret data from maps to describe patterns of Earth’s features.
Develop a model to describe the cycling of Earth’s materials and the flow of energy that drives this process.
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