Students at all grade levels will need teacher support to use MND, access data, and make sense of it, but don’t let that deter you! Elementary teachers will want to run a whole-group session, since instructions are fairly detailed. Still, this is a great opportunity for kids to authentically explore graphs and line plots. Try the “Deep Connective Clouds” lesson, which lets kids use data to predict thunderstorm seasons.
Though middle school and high school kids will be able to work more independently, teachers will probably still want to do an overview. After that, small groups of kids should be able to follow student directions straight from MND’s lesson plans. The data may be especially meaningful blended with that collected firsthand; use their weather data in conjunction with satellite data to enrich discussions and expand thinking. With some practice, kids should be able to use the site to find data that answers and extends their own questions and investigations.Continue reading Show less
MY NASA DATA provides access to satellite data and related lesson plans and resources, allowing classrooms to utilize Earth systems information collected over decades. The site links users to the MND’s Live Access Server (LAS), which can generate graphs using more than 100 parameters, from cloud coverage to sea surface temperature. There are basic and advanced levels. Use the top left button (data set) to view available data, and know there are innumerable ways to adjust your constraints and views.
The rest of the MND site hosts resources that support data use: lesson plans, science project ideas, content explanations. From the homepage, note the horizontal colored tabs. The red “Using MND” option takes users straight to helpful tutorials. Users may find inconsistencies in organization confusing; for example, left-hand menu options vary within the site.
Connecting kids to authentic data -- and having them learn something from the experience -- can be a challenging task. MY NASA DATA solves the authentic data dilemma: The site provides access to data –- reaching back decades –- about our atmosphere, oceans, and even biomes. MND also attempts to support learning by providing lesson plans and additional resources, but teachers will find that reliable student sense-making will definitely need their expert guidance.
For example, it will be common for kids to access data by simply following the lesson’s list of instructions, yet not at all grasp what they’re looking at, what the units are, how the data was collected, etc. Moreover, making the data make sense will need lots of teacher scaffolding. The site could do more to facilitate this if it included deeper teacher background info, answer keys, more concrete examples, and even sample student responses.
Key Standards Supported
Earth and Human Activity
Make a claim about the merit of a design solution that reduces the impacts of a weather-related hazard.
Obtain and combine information about ways individual communities use science ideas to protect the Earth’s resources and environment.
Construct an explanation based on evidence for how the availability of natural resources, occurrence of natural hazards, and changes in climate have influenced human activity.
Evaluate or refine a technological solution that reduces impacts of human activities on natural systems.
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.
Use a computational representation to illustrate the relationships among Earth systems and how those relationships are being modified due to human activity.
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.
Earth’s Place in the Universe
Use information from several sources to provide evidence that Earth events can occur quickly or slowly.
Compare multiple solutions designed to slow or prevent wind or water from changing the shape of the land.
Represent data in tables and graphical displays to describe typical weather conditions expected during a particular season.
Obtain and combine information to describe climates in different regions of the world.
Make observations and/or measurements to provide evidence of the effects of weathering or the rate of erosion by water, ice, wind, or vegetation.
Develop a model using an example to describe ways the geosphere, biosphere, hydrosphere, and/or atmosphere interact.
Describe and graph the amounts and percentages of water and fresh water in various reservoirs to provide evidence about the distribution of water on Earth.
Analyze geoscience data to make the claim that one change to Earth’s surface can create feedbacks that cause changes to other Earth systems.
Use a model to describe how variations in the flow of energy into and out of Earth's systems result in changes in climate.
Plan and conduct an investigation of the properties of water and its effects on Earth materials and surface processes.
Develop a quantitative model to describe the cycling of carbon among the hydrosphere, atmosphere, geosphere, and biosphere.
Construct an argument based on evidence about the simultaneous coevolution of Earth's systems and life on Earth.
Develop a model to describe the cycling of Earth’s materials and the flow of energy that drives this process.
Construct an explanation based on evidence for how geoscience processes have changed Earth’s surface at varying time and spatial scales.
Develop a model to describe the cycling of water through Earth’s systems driven by energy from the sun and the force of gravity.
Collect data to provide evidence for how the motions and complex interactions of air masses results in changes in weather conditions.
Develop and use a model to describe how unequal heating and rotation of the Earth cause patterns of atmospheric and oceanic circulation that determine regional climates.
Ask questions, make observations, and gather information about a situation people want to change to define a simple problem that can be solved through the development of a new or improved object or tool.
Analyze a major global challenge to specify qualitative and quantitative criteria and constraints for solutions that account for societal needs and wants.
Design a solution to a complex real-world problem by breaking it down into smaller, more manageable problems that can be solved through engineering.
Evaluate a solution to a complex real-world problem based on prioritized criteria and trade-offs that account for a range of constraints, including cost, safety, reliability, and aesthetics, as well as possible social, cultural, and environmental impacts.
Use a computer simulation to model the impact of proposed solutions to a complex real-world problem with numerous criteria and constraints on interactions within and between systems relevant to the problem.
Define the criteria and constraints of a design problem with sufficient precision to ensure a successful solution, taking into account relevant scientific principles and potential impacts on people and the natural environment that may limit possible solutions.
Evaluate competing design solutions using a systematic process to determine how well they meet the criteria and constraints of the problem.
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