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Teachers: Check out NOAA resources for virtual and in-person education

August 11, 2020

Back to school is looking quite different this year, but NOAA is still your trusted source for ocean, Great Lakes, weather, and climate education. We know teachers have been working extra hard to adapt to new ways of teaching. Here are a few of our favorite educational materials that can be used in both virtual and in-person classrooms. 

A NOAA Teacher at Sea alum with shark jaws.

Learn about national marine sanctuaries with stunning virtual dives.

Explore a 360° view of life in four national marine sanctuaries with virtual reality videos. Videos can be viewed on a computer, tablet, phone, or virtual reality headset for an optimal viewing experience. Five brand new NGSS-aligned lessons will further help students learn about America's underwater treasures. 

Talk to a real, live meteorologist.

The National Weather Service offers virtual meteorologist video calls for schools. Whether you’re all calling in from one classroom or you have 30 kids each calling in from home, their experts are ready to talk with your students about weather basics, severe weather, space weather, or anything else!

Visualize NOAA data in the palm of your hand.

As a pocket-sized version of NOAA’s Science On a Sphere® (SOS) the SOS Explorer™ free mobile app animates the world right on your smartphone or tablet. This app invites you to zoom in on specific interests, from the squiggly warm and cold lines of the world's ocean currents to the power of tsunami waves, the effects of climate change, and a view of Saturn’s rings. Recent tutorial videos can help you get more comfortable with the app. Some of the datasets can be paired with the NGSS-aligned SOS phenomenon-based learning modules, which can inspire your students to dig even deeper into these ideas. 

Teach with scientific data.

Data in the Classroom is a suite of online structured, student-directed lesson plans that use historical and real-time NOAA data. The five modules address research questions and include stepped levels of engagement with complex inquiry investigations with real-time and past data. These lessons incorporate NGSS principles, are mobile friendly, and have the option to print out for offline use. Coming in September — the included PDF worksheets in the sea level rise and ocean acidification modules will be fillable for your students for easier use during remote learning. Students can complete these worksheets with no need for printers or paper!   

Explore the complex and unique ecosystems of estuaries. 

Estuaries are unique habitats where a river meets the ocean or another large body of water, like a Great Lake. The National Estuarine Research Reserve System Estuary Education page hosts downloadable lessons, videos, and virtual tours on estuaries, data, climate, phenomena, and more. Most lessons can be done virtually, though some do require in-person (and sometimes outdoor) instruction.