NOAA resources for educators: NSTA STEM20

Featured resources

Explore lessons, activities, curricula, multimedia, data, background information, teaching guides, professional development, and funding opportunities from across all of NOAA. 


CLEAN portaloffsite link

Lessons & curricula • Multimedia • Data • Teaching guide
CLEAN's primary effort is to steward a collection of rigorously reviewed educational resources around energy and climate topics and foster a community that supports learning about climate and energy topics.
Elementary • Middle • High • Postsecondary

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.
Elementary • Middle • High • Postsecondary

Coral reef infographics

Background information
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

Coral reef data

Different parts of NOAA monitor corals in different ways. Explore data collected by satellites and buoys, as well as general reports on the health of coral reefs.
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.
Middle • High • Postsecondary

Coral videos

NOAA has released a handful of excellent videos all about corals. Ocean Today: Coral Spawning explores coral spawning, a synchronized event, when many coral species in an area release their eggs and sperm at about the same time. The Ocean Today: Coral Comeback? collection is a video series about the importance of coral reef ecosystems, the threats that they face, and how NOAA and its partners are working together to conserve them. The Coral Reef Economy describes the economic value of coral reefs.
Elementary • 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

Deep sea dive: 2019 greatest hits from NOAA Ocean Today

Here at NOAA, researchers are exploring the deep sea to better understand our ocean and its fascinating marine life and unusual habitats. Join NOAA Explorer Debi Blaney as she shares NOAA scientists' groundbreaking discoveries and learn how to watch one of their expeditions live.
Elementary • Middle • High

Educator’s Guide to the Meaningful Watershed Educational Experienceoffsite link

Teaching guide
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 Programoffsite 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!
Elementary • Middle • High

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 B-WET funding opportunities

Funding opportunity 
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. 
Elementary • Middle • High

NOAA Marine Debris Program resources

Lessons & curricula • Background information • Funding
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 Planet Stewards

Professional development • Funding opportunity
This national program provides resources (a biweekly newsletter, a book club, and more!) and funding up to $2,500 for educators working with elementary through university age students so they can build scientifically-literate communities and engage in hands-on stewardship in response to environmental challenges.
Elementary • Middle • High • Postsecondary

NOAA Satellites: Data to predict and protect our world

Multimedia • Background information
The U.S. relies on NOAA satellites to predict all US and global weather. NOAA Satellites generate vital advance warnings for severe weather events helping us to make informed decisions on everything from population evacuations to flight patterns.  
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!
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

Toolbox for teaching climate & energy

Teaching guide 
NOAA 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.
Elementary • Middle • High • Postsecondary

Working in Ocean Exploration

Background information
These pages offer a glimpse into what it is like to work in the field of ocean exploration through interviews with scientists, engineers, filmmakers, students, and others who are making careers out of exploring the deep. These interviews will help you understand the various career paths and opportunities that explorers have taken and what they are doing in their jobs.
Middle • High • Postsecondary


You might find these other educational resources helpful: 

Mary Cook, Teacher at Sea Alum, supports her students in Scammon Bay, Alaska.
NOAA Education resource collections
Education resources are distributed across many websites and program offices at NOAA and partner websites. This portal is designed to help you access these resources from one location. Materials are organized by themes aligned with common teaching topics. Find even more resources beyond what is listed here!
A painted lady butterfly rests on a NOAA Teacher at Sea flyer featuring a great white shark at the NOAA booth at NSTA in Seattle in December 2019.
Virtual conference booth
Find digital versions of many of the items we would have at an in-person exhibit booth.