NSTA Engage: Spring21

Welcome to NOAA's virtual booth at NSTA Engage: Spring21! offsite link Dive into this curated collection of lessons, activities, curricula, multimedia, data, background information, teaching guides, professional development, and funding opportunities from across all of NOAA. 

In a wooded setting, four young adults watch intently as another college student uses a pipet, or dropper, with help from a trainer during a session on measuring the chemistry of stream water. All participants wear laboratory gloves and safety glasses.
At the Lake Champlain Sea Grant Watershed Educator Internship training in the fall of 2019, undergraduate students at the University of Vermont are trained on stream monitoring protocols as a part of Lake Champlain Sea Grant’s Watershed Alliance community science program. Undergraduate interns learn how to monitor chemical, biological, and physical parameters of freshwater streams which they teach to K-12 students across the Lake Champlain basin. (Ashley Eaton/Lake Champlain Sea Grant)


Skip to

NOAA is collecting information from educators on multimedia distance learning.

Please consider completing our short survey (≤ 5 min.) offsite link to help NOAA identify the types of multimedia content that interests you for use with your students/audiences as well as your own professional development. Participation is voluntary and answers are completely anonymous.


NOAA and partner presentations

Adding NOAA's SOS Explorer to Your Data Visualization Education Toolbox

Hilary Peddicord, NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory; Stephen Zepecki, NOAA Office of Education; Beth Russell, NOAA Global Systems Laboratory

Modern society is awash with data that tell complex stories in the language of mathematics, physics, and chemistry. Most humans are intensely visual and find it difficult to find meaning in just numbers. NOAA's answer—SOS Explorer (SOSx), now available as a FREE APP on your tablet or smartphone!

Earth Day: Sea Level Rise — What It Is; Why It’s Happening; Why It’s So Very, Very Dangerous; and What You Can Do About It

Bruce Moravchik, NOAA National Ocean Service

This session engages participants in the exploration of middle school-oriented, classroom-ready, interactive, online, data-driven, three-dimensional activities and visualizations that present how sea level rise is caused by climate change, how NOAA monitors and measures these changes, how U.S. coastal regions are dangerously impacted by it, and how you can get up to $5,000 for your school to mitigate its impacts.

NESTA and CLEAN 1: Strategies for Integrating Climate Science into the Elementary Classroom [NOAA partner presentation]

Alicia Christensen, Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences; Rae Jing Han, University of Washington College of Education; Tiffany Boyd, Classrooms for Climate Action: Louisville, CO

Teachers will explore how to break down this controversial topic, teach it across disciplines, make it culturally relevant, and motivate students to develop climate change solutions.

NESTA and CLEAN 2: How to Teach with Climate Data and Tools [NOAA partner presentation]

Lin Andrews, National Center for Science Education; Jessica Bean, University of California, Berkeley; Mark Chandler, Columbia University; Louise Huffman, Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth; Cory Forbes, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Experience tools and data sources that help learners connect climate science content to local and global phenomena. Note: Attendees will need the ability to stay in the virtual session while exploring new tools online simultaneously, so split-screens or multiple monitors would be helpful but are not required. Presenters will not have the ability to correct internet issues or the inability of attendees to access resources presented that might arise due to time limitation. So please keep in mind firewalls and administrative privileges before the session.

The Journey Back: Leveraging Data Tools and EdTech in the Post-COVID Classroom

Amy Dean, Jewish Community High School of the Bay & NOAA Data in the Classroom

Engage in a lesson from NOAA’s Data in the Classroom to explore some effective engagement and assessment tools and technologies for the post-COVID classroom.


Back to top

Education resources


Data • Lessons & curricula • Multimedia • Professional development
The federal climate portal is a one-stop-shop for your climate teaching needs! This climate education portal was built so both formal and informal educators can incorporate climate science into their classes and programs. Search within the “Teaching Climate” tab to find rigorously reviewed educational resources around energy and climate topics and foster a community that supports learning about climate and energy topics from the CLEAN portal offsite link.
Elementary • Middle • High • Postsecondary

Coral reef resources

Discover exciting ways to teach about corals and coral reefs with the NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program. Highlights include information on how to 3D-print your very own coral polyp and an interactive coral reef with photos and facts. Explore data collected by satellites and buoys, as well as general reports on the health of coral reefs. Learn more about coral reefs with these infographics explaining what makes a coral reef, what coral bleaching is, and ways to protect coral reefs.
Middle • High • Postsecondary

Data in the Classroom

Lessons & curricula • Data
This interactive module is designed to help teachers and students use real scientific data to explore dynamic Earth processes and understand the impact of environmental events on a regional and global scale. Can ocean conditions support the growth and survival of marine life, both now and in the future? Data in the Classroom provides authentic research questions and scaled data interactions that give students the opportunity to explore this question (and more).
Elementary • Middle • High • Postsecondary

Estuary education

Lessons & curricula • Multimedia • Data • Professional development • Volunteer opportunities
Educators and estuary enthusiasts will find a variety of resources about the National Estuarine Research Reserve System — a network of 29 coastal sites designated to protect and study estuarine systems. This information will help educators share the wonders of estuaries with students and others.
Elementary • Middle • High

Fourth National Climate Assessment

Background information
The 2018 National Climate Assessment (NCA) report is the official U.S. Government’s “state of the Union” about climate change, vetted by 13 federal agencies. The NCA offers a wealth of actionable science about the causes, effects, risks, and possible responses to human-caused climate change. This assessment is an excellent resource for educators to use as they implement the NGSS in their classrooms.
Middle • High • Postsecondary

JetStream: An online school for weather

Lessons & curricula • Background information
JetStream, the National Weather Service Online Weather School, is designed to help educators, emergency managers, or anyone interested in learning about weather and weather safety. This portal includes comprehensive, well-organized, colorfully illustrated resources designed to help teach about the wonders and dangers that abound in the Earth's atmosphere.
Elementary • Middle • High • Postsecondary

Mobile-friendly educational resources

Lessons & curricula • Multimedia • Data
With recent events, teaching students Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) disciplines has become even more of a challenge, especially for the children and young adults who need it most. Here is a list of NOAA’s mobile-friendly STEM educational resources that will help fill the gap, especially for students in need of higher-level resources in chemistry, environmental science, and technology. The list has been roughly ordered from greatest to least mobile usability.  
Elementary • Middle • High • Postsecondary

National Ocean Service education resources 

Lessons & curricula • Multimedia • Professional development • Teaching guide
NOAA’s National Ocean Service hosts resources and programs for educators, students, and kids who want to learn more about our ocean and coasts. From active professional development programs, content, and resources to Earth science topics like corals, tides, and global positioning, you’re bound to find something that fits your needs!
Elementary • Middle • High • Postsecondary

NOAA Marine Debris Program resources

Lessons & curricula • Background information
The NOAA Marine Debris Program and its partners offer free, downloadable education and outreach materials for people of all ages to learn about marine debris. Everyone has a role to play in raising awareness about this growing issue, so spread the word to help keep the sea free of debris.
Elementary • Middle • High

NOAA Satellites and Data predict and protect our world

Lessons & curricula • Multimedia • Background information
The U.S. relies on NOAA satellites to predict all US and global weather. NOAA provides access to global environmental data and information from satellites and other sources to promote and protect the Nation's security, environment, economy, and quality of life. Discover more about NOAA Satellites with these infographics, learn hands-on with educator toolkits, and even build your own icosahedron globe!
Elementary • Middle • High • Postsecondary

Ocean Exploration education themes

Lessons & curricula • Multimedia • Background information
These education theme pages are designed to provide the best of what the Ocean Explorer website has to offer. Topics include marine archaeology, the Arctic, bioluminescence, seamounts, deep-sea canyons, deep-sea corals, cold seep, vents and volcanoes, and more! Explore the 2019 Deep sea dive video to learn how NOAA researchers are exploring the deep sea to better understand our ocean and its fascinating marine life and unusual habitats. 
Elementary • Middle • High

Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument virtual exploration

Using Google Earth and the Street View feature, you can visit Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument virtually! Stroll among millions of seabirds and various historic sites on Midway Atoll, or encounter monk seals and green sea turtles basking along the shores of Lisianski and Laysan islands.
Elementary • Middle • High • Postsecondary

Sanctuaries 360° virtual reality lessons

Lessons & curricula • Multimedia
NOAA's Office of National Marine Sanctuaries just released five lessons for middle school students that align with virtual visits to our national marine sanctuaries. Follow along with the NGSS-aligned lessons that bring students into our sanctuaries to learn about America's underwater treasures. Videos can be viewed on a computer, tablet, phone, or virtual reality headset for an optimal viewing experience.
Elementary • Middle • High • Postsecondary

Sea Grant's education at home resources

Lessons & curricula • Multimedia • Virtual tours • Background information
Sea Grant’s education at home offers a collection of sites dedicated to providing educational resources for teachers, parents, and students. Learn from coastal and marine science activities developed from Sea Grant programs in 26 states.
Elementary • Middle • High

SOS Explorer™ free mobile app

The SOS Explorer™ free mobile app animates the world right on your smartphone. As a pocket-sized version of NOAA’s Science On a Sphere®, 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.
Middle • High • Postsecondary

Hands-on teaching supplies from the American Meteorological Society offsite link [NOAA partner resource]

Lessons & curricula • Kits & materials
Looking for resources for teaching earth science topics? The American Meteorological Society’s Education Program offers an all-inclusive educational kit that includes 10 investigations including more than 25 activities that explore basic topics in meteorology and oceanography. From analyzing high and low pressure systems to visualizing the effects of El Niño and La Niña, these activities can be done at home, in a classroom, or as a laboratory. Some of the most popular elements, like “The Weather Cycler” may also be ordered individually.
Middle • High • Postsecondary


Back to top

Educator guides

Educator’s Guide to the Meaningful Watershed Educational Experience offsite link

The Educator’s Guide to the MWEE is designed for users with varying levels of familiarity with the Meaningful Watershed Educational Experience (MWEE). The guide describes the power of the MWEE approach, defines the essential elements and supporting practices, and provides planning documents to develop your own experience. The educator’s guide was developed by the Chesapeake Bay Program offsite link in partnership with NOAA but content is relevant to other geographic areas. Be sure to check out the MWEE 101 and MWEE 201 online courses to learn more!

Ocean Literacy Resources offsite link

With the support of NOAA, the National Marine Educators Association (NMEA) offsite link has developed an extensive ocean literacy framework made up of the Ocean Literacy Guide, the Ocean Literacy Scope and Sequence for Grades K–12 offsite link, and the Alignment of Ocean Literacy to the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) offsite link. This framework presents a vision of an ocean-literate society and outlines the knowledge required to be considered ocean literate. We recommend you see the NMEA Ocean Literacy page offsite link for additional resources and information about these efforts.

Toolbox for teaching climate & energy

NOAA Climate.gov and a community of educational and science partners have developed and organized a toolbox of supporting resources and programs for those who want to teach climate and energy science. Backed by some of the nation's most experienced professional educators, scientists, and engineers, the toolbox uses the Climate Action Learning Process to provide a path for teachers to follow in educating students, while also developing the skills to take action and reevaluating teaching methods.


Back to top

Funding and professional development opportunities

NOAA B-WET funding opportunities

The NOAA B-WET program funds relevant, authentic experiential learning for K-12 students and educators through Meaningful Watershed Educational Experiences (MWEEs). MWEEs are multistage activities that include learning both outdoors and in the classroom and aim to increase understanding and stewardship of watersheds and related ecosystems. Whether working with students directly or providing professional development to educators, B-WET grants empower students to investigate local and global environmental issues that affect their lives, choices, and communities. 

NOAA Planet Stewards

This national program provides resources (a biweekly newsletter, a book club, workshops and more!) and funding of up $5,000 for educators working with elementary through university age students to engage in hands-on stewardship in response to environmental challenges. Educators can apply online NOW. The website that has all the information needed to organize and submit a great stewardship project proposal for funding. Applications are being accepted through June 6th, 2021.

NOAA educator opportunities

Find information about educational professional development, conferences, grants, and field experiences that are available to educators through NOAA. 

Certified AMS Teacher Program (CAT) offsite link [NOAA partner resource] 

Launched by the American Meteorological Society (AMS) in 2020, the Certified AMS Teacher Program allows K-12 teachers a chance to distinguish themselves as Earth science leaders, connects educators to other teacher leaders in weather, ocean, and climate science, and opens doors to other leadership opportunities!

Weather, climate, and ocean science professional development opportunities for all in-service K-12 teachers from the American Meteorological Society offsite link [NOAA partner resource] 

The American Meteorological Society’s Education Program offers teachers low-cost graduate credit courses and professional development in weather, ocean, and climate science. Increase your confidence and access to trusted Earth science data sources via our 13-week fall and spring semester DataStreme courses facilitated in small mentor-lead cohorts. Alternatively, apply to attend one-of-a-kind AMS summer courses: Project Atmosphere and Project Ocean. These highly competitive courses include all travel costs, tuition, and stipends. Over time participants can take all five courses and apply any two of them to become a Certified AMS Teacher.


Back to top

You might find these other educational resources helpful: