Content
National Estuarine Reserves are living classrooms to educate and encourage future community leaders.

How NOAA's education resources support new science standards

1
Introduction
Supporting science standards
Teaching science at the elementary level
Modeling
Students use scientific data
Engineering

Educators asked NOAA for help finding resources that support new education standards. In response, a team of NOAA educators established this curated collection of NOAA and partner education resources that meet these needs.

NOAA is committed to the new vision for science education and will continue to develop resources to support educator needs. States and districts across the country are using the National Research Council report, A Framework for K-12 Science Educationoffsite link, to inform the design of their new standards. Key to the framework's design is three dimensional learningoffsite link that includes science or engineering practice (SEP), a disciplinary core idea (DCI), and a crosscutting concept (CC).

NOAA met with educators and science supervisors across the nation and found that they were particularly interested in NOAA content that supported three dimensional learning in the following priority areas:

  • Teaching science at the elementary level
  • Modeling 
  • The use of real time data
  • Engineering 

In this collection you will find a list of resources that meet these criteria. We will continue to develop resources that support educator needs and add them to this collection.

New science standards have challenged elementary teachers to incorporate more science into their instruction. These lessons will help to provide science content knowledge and confidence to bring science to young people in engaging ways. 


Data in the Classroom - El Nino

Students learn how to access and interpret sea surface temperature data, then how to identify and measure changes in temperature over time. Along the way, they will learn how these changes relate to other physical systems, specifically ocean circulation and the phenomenon of upwelling. Ultimately, students will examine these relationships with respect to biological systems, using data on chlorophyll as a measure of productivity. The goal is for students to become experienced with these kinds of data and the tools for accessing them, so that, by the end of the module, they can continue to explore data sets driven by their own inquiry. Modules are completely student-directed and can involve complex inquiry investigations which make use of historical and real-time NOAA data.

  • DCIs: MS: ESS2.A; ESS2.C; LS2.C
  • Elementary: Grades 6-8, could be scaled down for upper elementary
  • Modeling: Students can use models to represent systems and their interactions—such as inputs, processes and outputs—and energy, matter, and information flows within systems.
  • Engineering: No
  • Students Use Scientific Data: Yes
  • Type: Collection

Data in the Classroom - Sea Level Rise

The activities are organized as a pathway with five levels of increasing sophistication. Students first need to understand how to access and interpret sea surface height and tide data. To understand how to interpret these data, students will review and practice computing mean values. Along the way, they will learn how different factors such as storms affect tide levels and how to measure them. The goal is for students to become experienced with these kinds of data and the tools for accessing them, so that, by the end of the module, they can continue to explore data sets driven by their own inquiry. Modules are completely student-directed and can involve complex inquiry investigations which make use of historical and real-time NOAA data.

  • DCIs: MS: ESS2.C
  • Elementary: Grades 6-8, could be scaled down for upper elementary
  • Modeling: Students can use models to represent systems and their interactions—such as inputs, processes and outputs—and energy, matter, and information flows within systems.
  • Engineering: No
  • Students Use Scientific Data: Yes
  • Type: Collection

Data in the Classroom - Coral Bleaching

Students begin by examining temperature ranges needed for corals to survive and use maps to read sea surface temperature data collected from satellites. Next they learn how researchers monitor coral reef health over time and in situ in assigned reef locations, examine how stress on corals depends not only on temperature rise, but also on the duration of time the coral is subjected to temperature anomalies. Levels 4 and 5 ask students to identify data needed to support a simple hypothesis, and design an investigation and use real data to try to answer a research question of their choosing. The goal is for students to become experienced with these kinds of data and the tools for accessing them, so that, by the end of the module, they can continue to explore data sets driven by their own inquiry. Modules are completely student-directed and can involve complex inquiry investigations which make use of historical and real-time NOAA data.

  • DCIs: MS: LS2.A; LS2.C
  • Elementary: Grades 6-8, could be scaled down for upper elementary
  • Modeling: Students can use models to represent systems and their interactions—such as inputs, processes and outputs—and energy, matter, and information flows within systems.
  • Engineering: No
  • Students Use Scientific Data: Yes
  • Type: Collection

CLEAN Collectionoffsite link

The CLEAN Collection is a collection of high-quality digital educational resources, including learning activities, visualizations, videos, and short demonstrations/experiments, that addresses climate and energy literacy and NGSS. Each free digital resource undergoes a rigorous review by multiple practicing educators and climate and energy scientists. Resources are annotated with reviewers' comments and aligned with: a) the AAAS Project 2061 Benchmarks for Science Literacy; b) the Next Generation Science Standards; and c) the NAAEE Excellence in Environmental Education Guidelines for Learning. NOAA partnered with the Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness Network (CLEAN) to use the Climate and Energy Literacy guides to identify and integrate effective resources across different educational levels. The CLEAN framework for vetting, reviewing, and assuring scientific quality of climate and global change education materials on climate, energy and related topics will be very useful to teachers and educational systems across the nation.

  • DCIs: Supports 32 MS and 43 HS NGSS DCIs and all science disciplines.
  • Elementary: 34 reviewed climate and energy resources for grades 3-5.
  • Modeling: 61 resources that relate to measuring and modeling climate.
  • Engineering: 73 HS related resources, 22 MS related resources.
  • Students Use Scientific Data: 113 reviewed resources that are tagged with “Students Use Scientific Datasets.”
  • Type: Partner collection

The GLOBE Program

Since 1995, The Global Learning and Observation to Benefit the Environment (GLOBE) (http://www.globe.gov/) program has provided K-12 students opportunities to carry out inquiry-based science learning. GLOBE is currently working with educators and GLOBE Partners in the United States to develop and finalize documents that outline pathways for teachers to implement the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) Framework. The GLOBE Teacher’s Guide and website (www.globe.gov) provide access to protocols, learning activities, data sheets, field guides and associated data, for five scientific investigation areas: atmosphere, Earth as a system, hydrology, land cover/biology and soil. GLOBE is jointly sponsored by NASA and NSF, with support from NOAA and State Department.

  • DCIs: Supports 12 ES, 8 MS and 9 HS NGSS DCIs and all science disciplines.
  • Elementary: GLOBE science-based storybooks, classroom learning activities, and investigation protocols for grades K-5.
  • Modeling: GLOBE science investigations and associated learning activities for grades K-12 support the NGSS Practices integrated into the GLOBE Program Model for Student Scientific Research with a focus on the modeling concept.
  • Engineering: The GLOBE protocols, learning activities and investigations richly support engineering, technology, and applications of science for grades K-12.
  • Students Use Scientific Data: Classroom implementation of GLOBE engages students in the development of scientific investigations using GLOBE protocols to collect data and GLOBE activities to develop scientific concepts important to making sense of the data.
  • Type: Partner Collection

NOAA Sea Level Rise Learning Module

This online learning module is a cooperative effort between NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory and NOAA’s National Ocean Service. It informs about sea level rise, its causes, and impacts; and challenges students to think about what they can do in response. This module features an integrated educational package of grade level-appropriate (6-12) instruction and activities centered on a 23-minute video presentation.

  • DCIs: MS: ESS3.C; ESS3.D; HS: ESS3.D
  • Elementary: Grades 6-12 but many components could be used for upper elementary.
  • Modeling: MS-ESS3-3: Cause and Effect; MS-ESS3-5: Stability and Change.
  • Engineering: MS-ESS3-3 Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions; MS-ESS3-5 Asking Questions and Defining Problems.
  • Students Use Scientific Data: Incorporated into this module are NOS lesson plans with educational scaffolding that provide the learner direct access to real time data from the NOAA COOPS website, as well as the Data in the Classroom web site.
  • Type: Curriculum

Ocean Sciences Sequence for Grades 6-8: The Ocean-Atmosphere Connection and Climate Changeoffsite link

NOAA’s Office of Education invested in the development of two nationally field-tested curricula, the Ocean Science Sequences for Grades 3-5 and 6-8, which are part of the Lawrence Hall of Science’s Great Explorations in Math and Science series. Both curricula focus on the fundamental concepts of the Ocean Literacy Framework, including the ocean’s role in weather and climate. Both involved NOAA scientists and science educators in their development and incorporate NOAA data and visualizations. The Ocean Science Sequence for Grades 6-8 is particularly well positioned to respond to the changes recommended by the National Research Council (NRC)’s Framework for K-12 Science Education and the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). The NRC’s Framework was published during the development of the curriculum and informed its design.

  • DCIs: Supports over 30 MS NGSS DCIs across all science disciplines.
  • Elementary: No
  • Modeling: Throughout the curriculum, various models are introduced to bring certain features of a concept or object into focus. Students consider many models of the ocean and atmosphere systems, the carbon cycle and molecular theory. For example, to make sense of ocean currents, students explore models of mixed water of different densities, computer simulations, and graphic organizers. Students use models to explain and predict phenomena and generate data. The limits of the models are also purposefully explored with the students to determine which questions can and cannot be answered through the model. Students are frequently asked to create a model to explain their thinking and make revisions as evidence is presented. Specifically, Systems and System Models practice is supported in UNIT 2 (5-LS2-1) (3-LS4-4) and in UNIT 3 (3-LS4-4) (5-ESS2-1), (5-ESS2-2).
  • Engineering: ETS1.A: Defining and Delimiting Engineering Problems; ETS1.B: Developing Possible Solutions.
  • Students Use Scientific Data: Yes
  • Type: Partner curriculum. Note: Three curriculum units, each unit composed of 9-12, 45 minute long sessions. Cost $200 for the three units.

Ocean Sciences Sequence for Grades 3-5offsite link

The ocean plays an important role in our daily lives whether we live near the coast or far from it. However, few elementary and middle school curricula addressed concepts critical to understanding this role. To address this need, NOAA’s Office of Education invested in the development of two nationally field-tested curricula, the Ocean Science Sequences for Grades 3-5 and 6-8, which are part of the Lawrence Hall of Science’s Great Explorations in Math and Science series. Both curricula focus on the fundamental concepts of the Ocean Literacy Framework, including the ocean’s role in weather and climate.

  • DCIs: Supports 15 ESS NGSS DCIs across all science disciplines.
  • Elementary: Grades 3-5
  • Modeling: Throughout the curriculum various models are introduced to bring certain features of a concept or object into focus. Following each, the teacher either explains or asks the students to think about how the model isn’t exactly like the real thing. Students investigate ocean currents and ocean layers through physical models, a computer visualization, and specific scenarios. Specifically, Systems and System Models practice is supported in UNIT 2 (5-LS2-1) (3-LS4-4) and in UNIT 3 (3-LS4-4) (5-ESS2-1), (5-ESS2-2).
  • Engineering: Aligned to: ETS1.B: Developing Possible Solutions (3-5-ETS1-2 and 3-5-ETS-2).
  • Students Use Scientific Data: Yes
  • Type: Partner curriculum. Note: Three curriculum units, each unit composed of 9-12, 45 minute long sessions. Cost $200 for the three units.

Engineering Solutions for Sea Lion Research: A Marine Science and Engineering Curriculum (Grades 6-8)offsite link

Based on Oregon State University research on Steller sea lions, this curriculum for 6th-8th grades teaches about remote monitoring technology (telemetry), the biology and ecology of sea lions in Alaska, and how engineers develop solutions to science problems with hands-on engineering activities. It incorporates ocean literacy principles, science inquiry and engineering.

  • DCIs: MS: LS2.A; PS3.B; ETS1.A
  • Elementary: For advanced students in upper elementary.
  • Modeling: Students model the design of a prototype “transmitter” made out of a soda bottle to meet the following design constraints: size, shape (fixed by using a soda bottle), buoyancy, and transmitting abilities of the “antenna” and test their design.
  • Engineering: Yes, talks about engineering tags and using satellite telemetry to answer environmental and conservation questions.
  • Students Use Scientific Data: Yes
  • Type: Partner curriculum

Ecology by Inquiry

A series of seven lessons, designed to teach fundamental ecological principles using an inquiry-based approach to middle-school students. These lessons were developed in cooperation with the Highline School District and the Wascowitz Outdoor School.

  • DCIs:
  • Elementary: Primarily MS resources, could be adapted for upper elementary.
  • Modeling:
  • Engineering:
  • Students Use Scientific Data:
  • Type: Curriculum

Estuaries 101

The Estuaries MS curriculum includes a series of online activities for middle school students built around real-world events, use scaffolding, visualization and analysis tools, promote problem solving interactions, and provide feedback and reflection opportunities.

  • DCIs: MS: LS2.A: Organisms and populations are dependent both with living and non-living factors. Students will view and interpret data about the causes of a jubilee, including the effects of tides, time of day, wind direction, and levels of dissolved oxygen in the water and they will determine the exact day and time when a jubilee event most likely occurred. Students describe and interpret the relationship between several abiotic and biotic conditions in the estuary, including salinity, rainfall, oyster abundance, and the abundance of parasites and predators that attack oysters. Students investigate why habitats can expand or contract due to outside changes in things that affect either the physical components of the habitat or the organisms that help define the habitat.
  • Elementary: MS school activities may be used in other elementary grades but this curriculum was designed for grades 6-8.
  • Modeling: Students will create and use models to investigate how human-made structures affect sand movement along shorelines, model differences in physical properties resulting in layering of water and building a watershed model and using it to explore surface runoff.
  • Engineering: No
  • Students Use Scientific Data: Students use real-time data to investigate questions about monitoring the responses of estuary organisms to changing environmental conditions, use real salinity and precipitation (rainfall) data to determine effects on organisms. They also used archived data to investigate describe and interpret the relationship between several abiotic and biotic conditions in the estuary, including salinity, rainfall, oyster abundance, and the abundance of parasites and predators that attack oysters, and why estuary habitats change over time.
  • Type: Curriculum

Marine Debris STEAMSSoffsite link

Engaging Students in Marine Debris Efforts Utilizing a Comprehensive, Integrated STEAMSS Curriculum has separate tracks for 4-5, 6-8, and 9-12.

  • DCIs: 5-ESS3.C; MS: ESS3.C; HS: ESS3.C
  • Elementary: Intended for grades 4-12
  • Modeling: Grades 4-5: Students collect and analyze debris at their school campus, then compare the quantify of plastic with a similar sample at the mouth of the river where it empties into the ocean. In addition, they use drifters to model how trash found in inland waterways can move through the watershed and end up as marine debris. Grades 6-8: Students use a sampling protocol to collect, sort and quantify marine debris and create a graphical representation, model how air movement affects water movement, and ocean surface currents and winds to explain the dispersal of debris after natural disasters. Grades 9-12: Students model how different types of debris break down over time and how they are their degradation is affected by environmental conditions. Students construct models of ocean surface currents and winds to explain the dispersal of Japanese Tsunami Marine Debris.
  • Engineering: Grades 4-5: Students to engineer their own drifter made from biodegradable materials and use it to determine how long it takes trash to the ocean.
  • Students Use Scientific Data: Grades 9-12: Students explore ocean circulation and how debris travels across the ocean by using NOAA’s Ocean Surface Current Simulator (OSCURS).
  • Type: Thematic collection

Marine Debris Educators Guide

Grades K-12 curriculum with 9 activities at different grade levels. Each grade level provides an opportunity to investigate different forms of marine debris, according to its prevalence, type, mode of travel, origin and degradability.

  • DCIs: MS: ESS3.C; ETS1.B
  • Elementary: Grades K-5: Analyze data to make inferences about sources, origins and most abundant types of debris.
  • Modeling: Grades 6-8, Students build a model showing how water flows through a system (watershed) and evaluate different management practices.
  • Engineering: ETS1, Engineering Design. Grades K-5 students design a solution to remove marine debris. MS-ETS1-1, ETS1.B: Students are asked to design a machine that collects debris in the ocean without impacting wildlife.
  • Students Use Scientific Data: Yes
  • Type: Thematic collection of activities

Modeling is an important tool to science organizations, to conceptualize large, complex systems and test ideas. The use of modeling provides an avenue for students to gain understanding of systems and to convey their ideas to others.  


Data in the Classroom - El Nino

Students learn how to access and interpret sea surface temperature data, then how to identify and measure changes in temperature over time. Along the way, they will learn how these changes relate to other physical systems, specifically ocean circulation and the phenomenon of upwelling. Ultimately, students will examine these relationships with respect to biological systems, using data on chlorophyll as a measure of productivity. The goal is for students to become experienced with these kinds of data and the tools for accessing them, so that, by the end of the module, they can continue to explore data sets driven by their own inquiry. Modules are completely student-directed and can involve complex inquiry investigations which make use of historical and real-time NOAA data.

  • DCIs: MS: ESS2.A; ESS2.C; LS2.C
  • Elementary: Grades 6-8, could be scaled down for upper elementary
  • Modeling: Students can use models to represent systems and their interactions—such as inputs, processes and outputs—and energy, matter, and information flows within systems.
  • Engineering: No
  • Students Use Scientific Data: Yes
  • Type: Collection

Data in the Classroom - Sea Level Rise

The activities are organized as a pathway with five levels of increasing sophistication. Students first need to understand how to access and interpret sea surface height and tide data. To understand how to interpret these data, students will review and practice computing mean values. Along the way, they will learn how different factors such as storms affect tide levels and how to measure them. The goal is for students to become experienced with these kinds of data and the tools for accessing them, so that, by the end of the module, they can continue to explore data sets driven by their own inquiry. Modules are completely student-directed and can involve complex inquiry investigations which make use of historical and real-time NOAA data.

  • DCIs: MS: ESS2.C
  • Elementary: Grades 6-8, could be scaled down for upper elementary
  • Modeling: Students can use models to represent systems and their interactions—such as inputs, processes and outputs—and energy, matter, and information flows within systems.
  • Engineering: No
  • Students Use Scientific Data: Yes
  • Type: Collection

Data in the Classroom - Coral Bleaching

Students begin by examining temperature ranges needed for corals to survive and use maps to read sea surface temperature data collected from satellites. Next they learn how researchers monitor coral reef health over time and in situ in assigned reef locations, examine how stress on corals depends not only on temperature rise, but also on the duration of time the coral is subjected to temperature anomalies. Levels 4 and 5 ask students to identify data needed to support a simple hypothesis, and design an investigation and use real data to try to answer a research question of their choosing. The goal is for students to become experienced with these kinds of data and the tools for accessing them, so that, by the end of the module, they can continue to explore data sets driven by their own inquiry. Modules are completely student-directed and can involve complex inquiry investigations which make use of historical and real-time NOAA data.

  • DCIs: MS: LS2.A; LS2.C
  • Elementary: Grades 6-8, could be scaled down for upper elementary
  • Modeling: Students can use models to represent systems and their interactions—such as inputs, processes and outputs—and energy, matter, and information flows within systems.
  • Engineering: No
  • Students Use Scientific Data: Yes
  • Type: Collection

CLEAN Collectionoffsite link

The CLEAN Collection is a collection of high-quality digital educational resources, including learning activities, visualizations, videos, and short demonstrations/experiments, that addresses climate and energy literacy and NGSS. Each free digital resource undergoes a rigorous review by multiple practicing educators and climate and energy scientists. Resources are annotated with reviewers' comments and aligned with: a) the AAAS Project 2061 Benchmarks for Science Literacy; b) the Next Generation Science Standards; and c) the NAAEE Excellence in Environmental Education Guidelines for Learning. NOAA partnered with the Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness Network (CLEAN) to use the Climate and Energy Literacy guides to identify and integrate effective resources across different educational levels. The CLEAN framework for vetting, reviewing, and assuring scientific quality of climate and global change education materials on climate, energy and related topics will be very useful to teachers and educational systems across the nation.

  • DCIs: Supports 32 MS and 43 HS NGSS DCIs and all science disciplines.
  • Elementary: 34 reviewed climate and energy resources for grades 3-5.
  • Modeling: 61 resources that relate to measuring and modeling climate.
  • Engineering: 73 HS related resources, 22 MS related resources.
  • Students Use Scientific Data: 113 reviewed resources that are tagged with “Students Use Scientific Datasets.”
  • Type: Partner collection

The GLOBE Program

Since 1995, The Global Learning and Observation to Benefit the Environment (GLOBE) (http://www.globe.gov/) program has provided K-12 students opportunities to carry out inquiry-based science learning. GLOBE is currently working with educators and GLOBE Partners in the United States to develop and finalize documents that outline pathways for teachers to implement the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) Framework. The GLOBE Teacher’s Guide and website (www.globe.gov) provide access to protocols, learning activities, data sheets, field guides and associated data, for five scientific investigation areas: atmosphere, Earth as a system, hydrology, land cover/biology and soil. GLOBE is jointly sponsored by NASA and NSF, with support from NOAA and State Department.

  • DCIs: Supports 12 ES, 8 MS and 9 HS NGSS DCIs and all science disciplines.
  • Elementary: GLOBE science-based storybooks, classroom learning activities, and investigation protocols for grades K-5.
  • Modeling: GLOBE science investigations and associated learning activities for grades K-12 support the NGSS Practices integrated into the GLOBE Program Model for Student Scientific Research with a focus on the modeling concept.
  • Engineering: The GLOBE protocols, learning activities and investigations richly support engineering, technology, and applications of science for grades K-12.
  • Students Use Scientific Data: Classroom implementation of GLOBE engages students in the development of scientific investigations using GLOBE protocols to collect data and GLOBE activities to develop scientific concepts important to making sense of the data.
  • Type: Partner Collection

NOAA Sea Level Rise Learning Module

This online learning module is a cooperative effort between NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory and NOAA’s National Ocean Service. It informs about sea level rise, its causes, and impacts; and challenges students to think about what they can do in response. This module features an integrated educational package of grade level-appropriate (6-12) instruction and activities centered on a 23-minute video presentation.

  • DCIs: MS: ESS3.C; ESS3.D; HS: ESS3.D
  • Elementary: Grades 6-12 but many components could be used for upper elementary.
  • Modeling: MS-ESS3-3: Cause and Effect; MS-ESS3-5: Stability and Change.
  • Engineering: MS-ESS3-3 Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions; MS-ESS3-5 Asking Questions and Defining Problems.
  • Students Use Scientific Data: Incorporated into this module are NOS lesson plans with educational scaffolding that provide the learner direct access to real time data from the NOAA COOPS website, as well as the Data in the Classroom web site.
  • Type: Curriculum

Ocean Sciences Sequence for Grades 6-8: The Ocean-Atmosphere Connection and Climate Changeoffsite link

NOAA’s Office of Education invested in the development of two nationally field-tested curricula, the Ocean Science Sequences for Grades 3-5 and 6-8, which are part of the Lawrence Hall of Science’s Great Explorations in Math and Science series. Both curricula focus on the fundamental concepts of the Ocean Literacy Framework, including the ocean’s role in weather and climate. Both involved NOAA scientists and science educators in their development and incorporate NOAA data and visualizations. The Ocean Science Sequence for Grades 6-8 is particularly well positioned to respond to the changes recommended by the National Research Council (NRC)’s Framework for K-12 Science Education and the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). The NRC’s Framework was published during the development of the curriculum and informed its design.

  • DCIs: Supports over 30 MS NGSS DCIs across all science disciplines.
  • Elementary: No
  • Modeling: Throughout the curriculum, various models are introduced to bring certain features of a concept or object into focus. Students consider many models of the ocean and atmosphere systems, the carbon cycle and molecular theory. For example, to make sense of ocean currents, students explore models of mixed water of different densities, computer simulations, and graphic organizers. Students use models to explain and predict phenomena and generate data. The limits of the models are also purposefully explored with the students to determine which questions can and cannot be answered through the model. Students are frequently asked to create a model to explain their thinking and make revisions as evidence is presented. Specifically, Systems and System Models practice is supported in UNIT 2 (5-LS2-1) (3-LS4-4) and in UNIT 3 (3-LS4-4) (5-ESS2-1), (5-ESS2-2).
  • Engineering: ETS1.A: Defining and Delimiting Engineering Problems; ETS1.B: Developing Possible Solutions.
  • Students Use Scientific Data: Yes
  • Type: Partner curriculum. Note: Three curriculum units, each unit composed of 9-12, 45 minute long sessions. Cost $200 for the three units.

Ocean Sciences Sequence for Grades 3-5offsite link

The ocean plays an important role in our daily lives whether we live near the coast or far from it. However, few elementary and middle school curricula addressed concepts critical to understanding this role. To address this need, NOAA’s Office of Education invested in the development of two nationally field-tested curricula, the Ocean Science Sequences for Grades 3-5 and 6-8, which are part of the Lawrence Hall of Science’s Great Explorations in Math and Science series. Both curricula focus on the fundamental concepts of the Ocean Literacy Framework, including the ocean’s role in weather and climate.

  • DCIs: Supports 15 ESS NGSS DCIs across all science disciplines.
  • Elementary: Grades 3-5
  • Modeling: Throughout the curriculum various models are introduced to bring certain features of a concept or object into focus. Following each, the teacher either explains or asks the students to think about how the model isn’t exactly like the real thing. Students investigate ocean currents and ocean layers through physical models, a computer visualization, and specific scenarios. Specifically, Systems and System Models practice is supported in UNIT 2 (5-LS2-1) (3-LS4-4) and in UNIT 3 (3-LS4-4) (5-ESS2-1), (5-ESS2-2).
  • Engineering: Aligned to: ETS1.B: Developing Possible Solutions (3-5-ETS1-2 and 3-5-ETS-2).
  • Students Use Scientific Data: Yes
  • Type: Partner curriculum. Note: Three curriculum units, each unit composed of 9-12, 45 minute long sessions. Cost $200 for the three units.

Engineering Solutions for Sea Lion Research: A Marine Science and Engineering Curriculum (Grades 6-8)offsite link

Based on Oregon State University research on Steller sea lions, this curriculum for 6th-8th grades teaches about remote monitoring technology (telemetry), the biology and ecology of sea lions in Alaska, and how engineers develop solutions to science problems with hands-on engineering activities. It incorporates ocean literacy principles, science inquiry and engineering.

  • DCIs: MS: LS2.A; PS3.B; ETS1.A
  • Elementary: For advanced students in upper elementary.
  • Modeling: Students model the design of a prototype “transmitter” made out of a soda bottle to meet the following design constraints: size, shape (fixed by using a soda bottle), buoyancy, and transmitting abilities of the “antenna” and test their design.
  • Engineering: Yes, talks about engineering tags and using satellite telemetry to answer environmental and conservation questions.
  • Students Use Scientific Data: Yes
  • Type: Partner curriculum

Engineering Solutions for Sea Lion Research: A Marine Science and Engineering Curriculum (Grades 9-12)offsite link

Based on Oregon State University research on Steller sea lions, this curriculum for 9th-12th grades teaches about remote monitoring technology (telemetry), the biology and ecology of sea lions in Alaska, and how engineers develop solutions to science problems with hands-on engineering activities. It incorporates ocean literacy principles, science inquiry and engineering.

  • DCIs: HS: PS4.C; ETS1.C
  • Elementary: No
  • Modeling: Data is provided for students to investigate and model phenomena related to life history transmitters and the cooling rate after death of a tagged animal.
  • Engineering: Yes, talks about engineering tags and using satellite telemetry to answer environmental and conservation questions.
  • Students Use Scientific Data: Yes
  • Type: Partner curriculum

Ecology by Inquiry

A series of seven lessons, designed to teach fundamental ecological principles using an inquiry-based approach to middle-school students. These lessons were developed in cooperation with the Highline School District and the Wascowitz Outdoor School.

DCIs:
Elementary: Primarily MS resources, could be adapted for upper elementary.
Modeling:
Engineering:
Students Use Scientific Data:
Type: Curriculum

Estuaries 101

The Estuaries MS curriculum includes a series of online activities for middle school students built around real-world events, use scaffolding, visualization and analysis tools, promote problem solving interactions, and provide feedback and reflection opportunities.

  • DCIs: MS: LS2.A: Organisms and populations are dependent both with living and non-living factors. Students will view and interpret data about the causes of a jubilee, including the effects of tides, time of day, wind direction, and levels of dissolved oxygen in the water and they will determine the exact day and time when a jubilee event most likely occurred. Students describe and interpret the relationship between several abiotic and biotic conditions in the estuary, including salinity, rainfall, oyster abundance, and the abundance of parasites and predators that attack oysters. Students investigate why habitats can expand or contract due to outside changes in things that affect either the physical components of the habitat or the organisms that help define the habitat.
  • Elementary: MS school activities may be used in other elementary grades but this curriculum was designed for grades 6-8.
  • Modeling: Students will create and use models to investigate how human-made structures affect sand movement along shorelines, model differences in physical properties resulting in layering of water and building a watershed model and using it to explore surface runoff.
  • Engineering: No
  • Students Use Scientific Data: Students use real-time data to investigate questions about monitoring the responses of estuary organisms to changing environmental conditions, use real salinity and precipitation (rainfall) data to determine effects on organisms. They also used archived data to investigate describe and interpret the relationship between several abiotic and biotic conditions in the estuary, including salinity, rainfall, oyster abundance, and the abundance of parasites and predators that attack oysters, and why estuary habitats change over time.
  • Type: Curriculum

Marine Debris STEAMSSoffsite link

Engaging Students in Marine Debris Efforts Utilizing a Comprehensive, Integrated STEAMSS Curriculum has separate tracks for 4-5, 6-8, and 9-12.

  • DCIs: 5-ESS3.C; MS: ESS3.C; HS: ESS3.C
  • Elementary: Intended for grades 4-12
  • Modeling: Grades 4-5: Students collect and analyze debris at their school campus, then compare the quantify of plastic with a similar sample at the mouth of the river where it empties into the ocean. In addition, they use drifters to model how trash found in inland waterways can move through the watershed and end up as marine debris. Grades 6-8: Students use a sampling protocol to collect, sort and quantify marine debris and create a graphical representation, model how air movement affects water movement, and ocean surface currents and winds to explain the dispersal of debris after natural disasters. Grades 9-12: Students model how different types of debris break down over time and how they are their degradation is affected by environmental conditions. Students construct models of ocean surface currents and winds to explain the dispersal of Japanese Tsunami Marine Debris.
  • Engineering: Grades 4-5: Students to engineer their own drifter made from biodegradable materials and use it to determine how long it takes trash to the ocean.
  • Students Use Scientific Data: Grades 9-12: Students explore ocean circulation and how debris travels across the ocean by using NOAA’s Ocean Surface Current Simulator (OSCURS).
  • Type: Thematic collection

Marine Debris Educators Guide

Grades K-12 curriculum with 9 activities at different grade levels. Each grade level provides an opportunity to investigate different forms of marine debris, according to its prevalence, type, mode of travel, origin and degradability.

  • DCIs: MS: ESS3.C; ETS1.B
  • Elementary: Grades K-5: Analyze data to make inferences about sources, origins and most abundant types of debris.
  • Modeling: Grades 6-8, Students build a model showing how water flows through a system (watershed) and evaluate different management practices.
  • Engineering: ETS1, Engineering Design. Grades K-5 students design a solution to remove marine debris. MS-ETS1-1, ETS1.B: Students are asked to design a machine that collects debris in the ocean without impacting wildlife.
  • Students Use Scientific Data: Yes
  • Type: Thematic collection of activities

Engaging in the practices of science helps students understand how science knowledge is developed and tested. Using scientific data to ask questions, analyze, propose explanations and  communicate findings are critical parts of the scientific process.  


Data in the Classroom - El Nino

Students learn how to access and interpret sea surface temperature data, then how to identify and measure changes in temperature over time. Along the way, they will learn how these changes relate to other physical systems, specifically ocean circulation and the phenomenon of upwelling. Ultimately, students will examine these relationships with respect to biological systems, using data on chlorophyll as a measure of productivity. The goal is for students to become experienced with these kinds of data and the tools for accessing them, so that, by the end of the module, they can continue to explore data sets driven by their own inquiry. Modules are completely student-directed and can involve complex inquiry investigations which make use of historical and real-time NOAA data.

  • DCIs: MS: ESS2.A; ESS2.C; LS2.C
  • Elementary: Grades 6-8, could be scaled down for upper elementary
  • Modeling: Students can use models to represent systems and their interactions—such as inputs, processes and outputs—and energy, matter, and information flows within systems.
  • Engineering: No
  • Students Use Scientific Data: Yes
  • Type: Collection

Data in the Classroom - Sea Level Rise

The activities are organized as a pathway with five levels of increasing sophistication. Students first need to understand how to access and interpret sea surface height and tide data. To understand how to interpret these data, students will review and practice computing mean values. Along the way, they will learn how different factors such as storms affect tide levels and how to measure them. The goal is for students to become experienced with these kinds of data and the tools for accessing them, so that, by the end of the module, they can continue to explore data sets driven by their own inquiry. Modules are completely student-directed and can involve complex inquiry investigations which make use of historical and real-time NOAA data.

  • DCIs: MS: ESS2.C
  • Elementary: Grades 6-8, could be scaled down for upper elementary
  • Modeling: Students can use models to represent systems and their interactions—such as inputs, processes and outputs—and energy, matter, and information flows within systems.
  • Engineering: No
  • Students Use Scientific Data: Yes
  • Type: Collection

Data in the Classroom - Coral Bleaching

Students begin by examining temperature ranges needed for corals to survive and use maps to read sea surface temperature data collected from satellites. Next they learn how researchers monitor coral reef health over time and in situ in assigned reef locations, examine how stress on corals depends not only on temperature rise, but also on the duration of time the coral is subjected to temperature anomalies. Levels 4 and 5 ask students to identify data needed to support a simple hypothesis, and design an investigation and use real data to try to answer a research question of their choosing. The goal is for students to become experienced with these kinds of data and the tools for accessing them, so that, by the end of the module, they can continue to explore data sets driven by their own inquiry. Modules are completely student-directed and can involve complex inquiry investigations which make use of historical and real-time NOAA data.

  • DCIs: MS: LS2.A; LS2.C
  • Elementary: Grades 6-8, could be scaled down for upper elementary
  • Modeling: Students can use models to represent systems and their interactions—such as inputs, processes and outputs—and energy, matter, and information flows within systems.
  • Engineering: No
  • Students Use Scientific Data: Yes
  • Type: Collection

CLEAN Collectionoffsite link

The CLEAN Collection is a collection of high-quality digital educational resources, including learning activities, visualizations, videos, and short demonstrations/experiments, that addresses climate and energy literacy and NGSS. Each free digital resource undergoes a rigorous review by multiple practicing educators and climate and energy scientists. Resources are annotated with reviewers' comments and aligned with: a) the AAAS Project 2061 Benchmarks for Science Literacy; b) the Next Generation Science Standards; and c) the NAAEE Excellence in Environmental Education Guidelines for Learning. NOAA partnered with the Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness Network (CLEAN) to use the Climate and Energy Literacy guides to identify and integrate effective resources across different educational levels. The CLEAN framework for vetting, reviewing, and assuring scientific quality of climate and global change education materials on climate, energy and related topics will be very useful to teachers and educational systems across the nation.

  • DCIs: Supports 32 MS and 43 HS NGSS DCIs and all science disciplines.
  • Elementary: 34 reviewed climate and energy resources for grades 3-5.
  • Modeling: 61 resources that relate to measuring and modeling climate.
  • Engineering: 73 HS related resources, 22 MS related resources.
  • Students Use Scientific Data: 113 reviewed resources that are tagged with “Students Use Scientific Datasets.”
  • Type: Partner collection

The GLOBE Program

Since 1995, The Global Learning and Observation to Benefit the Environment (GLOBE) (http://www.globe.gov/) program has provided K-12 students opportunities to carry out inquiry-based science learning. GLOBE is currently working with educators and GLOBE Partners in the United States to develop and finalize documents that outline pathways for teachers to implement the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) Framework. The GLOBE Teacher’s Guide and website (www.globe.gov) provide access to protocols, learning activities, data sheets, field guides and associated data, for five scientific investigation areas: atmosphere, Earth as a system, hydrology, land cover/biology and soil. GLOBE is jointly sponsored by NASA and NSF, with support from NOAA and State Department.

  • DCIs: Supports 12 ES, 8 MS and 9 HS NGSS DCIs and all science disciplines.
  • Elementary: GLOBE science-based storybooks, classroom learning activities, and investigation protocols for grades K-5.
  • Modeling: GLOBE science investigations and associated learning activities for grades K-12 support the NGSS Practices integrated into the GLOBE Program Model for Student Scientific Research with a focus on the modeling concept.
  • Engineering: The GLOBE protocols, learning activities and investigations richly support engineering, technology, and applications of science for grades K-12.
  • Students Use Scientific Data: Classroom implementation of GLOBE engages students in the development of scientific investigations using GLOBE protocols to collect data and GLOBE activities to develop scientific concepts important to making sense of the data.
  • Type: Partner Collection

Winged Ambassador: Ocean Literacy through the Eyes of Albatrossoffsite link

The classroom activity package Winged Ambassadors – Ocean Literacy through the Eyes of Albatross is available free online courtesy of NOAA, Oikonos, and other partners. Albatrosses, charismatic and threatened seabirds, are ambassadors for a clean ocean because they traverse vast oceanic regions searching for floating food. Along their journeys, they ingest plastic trash and feed it to their chicks. These five lessons comprise new and modified activities, using inquiry-based science instruction, aligned to new standards for grades 6-8 with extensions for grades 9-12.

  • DCIs: MS: LS1.B; LS1.C; LS2.A; PS3.D
  • Elementary: Grades 6-8 but some aspects could be adapted for younger grades.
  • Modeling: No
  • Engineering: No
  • Students Use Scientific Data: Students will use real data from current research tracking albatross migrations and ocean plastic pollution.
  • Type: Curriculum

NOAA Sea Level Rise Learning Module

This online learning module is a cooperative effort between NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory and NOAA’s National Ocean Service. It informs about sea level rise, its causes, and impacts; and challenges students to think about what they can do in response. This module features an integrated educational package of grade level-appropriate (6-12) instruction and activities centered on a 23-minute video presentation.

  • DCIs: MS: ESS3.C; ESS3.D; HS: ESS3.D
  • Elementary: Grades 6-12 but many components could be used for upper elementary.
  • Modeling: MS-ESS3-3: Cause and Effect; MS-ESS3-5: Stability and Change.
  • Engineering: MS-ESS3-3 Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions; MS-ESS3-5 Asking Questions and Defining Problems.
  • Students Use Scientific Data: Incorporated into this module are NOS lesson plans with educational scaffolding that provide the learner direct access to real time data from the NOAA COOPS website, as well as the Data in the Classroom web site.
  • Type: Curriculum

Ocean Sciences Sequence for Grades 6-8: The Ocean-Atmosphere Connection and Climate Changeoffsite link

NOAA’s Office of Education invested in the development of two nationally field-tested curricula, the Ocean Science Sequences for Grades 3-5 and 6-8, which are part of the Lawrence Hall of Science’s Great Explorations in Math and Science series. Both curricula focus on the fundamental concepts of the Ocean Literacy Framework, including the ocean’s role in weather and climate. Both involved NOAA scientists and science educators in their development and incorporate NOAA data and visualizations. The Ocean Science Sequence for Grades 6-8 is particularly well positioned to respond to the changes recommended by the National Research Council (NRC)’s Framework for K-12 Science Education and the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). The NRC’s Framework was published during the development of the curriculum and informed its design.

  • DCIs: Supports over 30 MS NGSS DCIs across all science disciplines.
  • Elementary: No
  • Modeling: Throughout the curriculum, various models are introduced to bring certain features of a concept or object into focus. Students consider many models of the ocean and atmosphere systems, the carbon cycle and molecular theory. For example, to make sense of ocean currents, students explore models of mixed water of different densities, computer simulations, and graphic organizers. Students use models to explain and predict phenomena and generate data. The limits of the models are also purposefully explored with the students to determine which questions can and cannot be answered through the model. Students are frequently asked to create a model to explain their thinking and make revisions as evidence is presented. Specifically, Systems and System Models practice is supported in UNIT 2 (5-LS2-1) (3-LS4-4) and in UNIT 3 (3-LS4-4) (5-ESS2-1), (5-ESS2-2).
  • Engineering: ETS1.A: Defining and Delimiting Engineering Problems; ETS1.B: Developing Possible Solutions.
  • Students Use Scientific Data: Yes
  • Type: Partner curriculum. Note: Three curriculum units, each unit composed of 9-12, 45 minute long sessions. Cost $200 for the three units.

Ocean Sciences Sequence for Grades 3-5offsite link

The ocean plays an important role in our daily lives whether we live near the coast or far from it. However, few elementary and middle school curricula addressed concepts critical to understanding this role. To address this need, NOAA’s Office of Education invested in the development of two nationally field-tested curricula, the Ocean Science Sequences for Grades 3-5 and 6-8, which are part of the Lawrence Hall of Science’s Great Explorations in Math and Science series. Both curricula focus on the fundamental concepts of the Ocean Literacy Framework, including the ocean’s role in weather and climate.

  • DCIs: Supports 15 ESS NGSS DCIs across all science disciplines.
  • Elementary: Grades 3-5
  • Modeling: Throughout the curriculum various models are introduced to bring certain features of a concept or object into focus. Following each, the teacher either explains or asks the students to think about how the model isn’t exactly like the real thing. Students investigate ocean currents and ocean layers through physical models, a computer visualization, and specific scenarios. Specifically, Systems and System Models practice is supported in UNIT 2 (5-LS2-1) (3-LS4-4) and in UNIT 3 (3-LS4-4) (5-ESS2-1), (5-ESS2-2).
  • Engineering: Aligned to: ETS1.B: Developing Possible Solutions (3-5-ETS1-2 and 3-5-ETS-2).
  • Students Use Scientific Data: Yes
  • Type: Partner curriculum. Note: Three curriculum units, each unit composed of 9-12, 45 minute long sessions. Cost $200 for the three units.

Deep Coral Communities: Sentinels of a Changing Ocean

Deep-sea coral communities, like the ones found in the national marine sanctuaries of the West Coast, are home to many diverse species. This curriculum takes students into the deep sea to identify the soft corals, hard corals, invertebrates and fish found in these communities and to investigate the unique biology of deep-sea corals. Learn the threats these animals face and what we can do help protect them.

DCIs: HS: LS2.C

Elementary: No

Modeling: No

Engineering: No

Students Use Scientific Data: Access to real scientific transects taken with Remotely Operated Vehicles.

Type: Curriculum


Engineering Solutions for Sea Lion Research: A Marine Science and Engineering Curriculum (Grades 6-8)offsite link

Based on Oregon State University research on Steller sea lions, this curriculum for 6th-8th grades teaches about remote monitoring technology (telemetry), the biology and ecology of sea lions in Alaska, and how engineers develop solutions to science problems with hands-on engineering activities. It incorporates ocean literacy principles, science inquiry and engineering.

  • DCIs: MS: LS2.A; PS3.B; ETS1.A
  • Elementary: For advanced students in upper elementary.
  • Modeling: Students model the design of a prototype “transmitter” made out of a soda bottle to meet the following design constraints: size, shape (fixed by using a soda bottle), buoyancy, and transmitting abilities of the “antenna” and test their design.
  • Engineering: Yes, talks about engineering tags and using satellite telemetry to answer environmental and conservation questions.
  • Students Use Scientific Data: Yes
  • Type: Partner curriculum

Engineering Solutions for Sea Lion Research: A Marine Science and Engineering Curriculum (Grades 9-12)offsite link

Based on Oregon State University research on Steller sea lions, this curriculum for 9th-12th grades teaches about remote monitoring technology (telemetry), the biology and ecology of sea lions in Alaska, and how engineers develop solutions to science problems with hands-on engineering activities. It incorporates ocean literacy principles, science inquiry and engineering.

  • DCIs: HS: PS4.C; ETS1.C
  • Elementary: No
  • Modeling: Data is provided for students to investigate and model phenomena related to life history transmitters and the cooling rate after death of a tagged animal.
  • Engineering: Yes, talks about engineering tags and using satellite telemetry to answer environmental and conservation questions.
  • Students Use Scientific Data: Yes
  • Type: Partner curriculum

Ecology by Inquiry

A series of seven lessons, designed to teach fundamental ecological principles using an inquiry-based approach to middle-school students. These lessons were developed in cooperation with the Highline School District and the Wascowitz Outdoor School.

  • Website:
  • DCIs:
  • Elementary: Primarily MS resources, could be adapted for upper elementary.
  • Modeling:
  • Engineering:
  • Students Use Scientific Data:
  • Type: Curriculum

Estuaries 101

The Estuaries MS curriculum includes a series of online activities for middle school students built around real-world events, use scaffolding, visualization and analysis tools, promote problem solving interactions, and provide feedback and reflection opportunities.

  • DCIs: MS: LS2.A: Organisms and populations are dependent both with living and non-living factors. Students will view and interpret data about the causes of a jubilee, including the effects of tides, time of day, wind direction, and levels of dissolved oxygen in the water and they will determine the exact day and time when a jubilee event most likely occurred. Students describe and interpret the relationship between several abiotic and biotic conditions in the estuary, including salinity, rainfall, oyster abundance, and the abundance of parasites and predators that attack oysters. Students investigate why habitats can expand or contract due to outside changes in things that affect either the physical components of the habitat or the organisms that help define the habitat.
  • Elementary: MS school activities may be used in other elementary grades but this curriculum was designed for grades 6-8.
  • Modeling: Students will create and use models to investigate how human-made structures affect sand movement along shorelines, model differences in physical properties resulting in layering of water and building a watershed model and using it to explore surface runoff.
  • Engineering: No
  • Students Use Scientific Data: Students use real-time data to investigate questions about monitoring the responses of estuary organisms to changing environmental conditions, use real salinity and precipitation (rainfall) data to determine effects on organisms. They also used archived data to investigate describe and interpret the relationship between several abiotic and biotic conditions in the estuary, including salinity, rainfall, oyster abundance, and the abundance of parasites and predators that attack oysters, and why estuary habitats change over time.
  • Type: Curriculum

Marine Debris STEAMSSoffsite link

Engaging Students in Marine Debris Efforts Utilizing a Comprehensive, Integrated STEAMSS Curriculum has separate tracks for 4-5, 6-8, and 9-12.

  • DCIs: 5-ESS3.C; MS: ESS3.C; HS: ESS3.C
  • Elementary: Intended for grades 4-12
  • Modeling: Grades 4-5: Students collect and analyze debris at their school campus, then compare the quantify of plastic with a similar sample at the mouth of the river where it empties into the ocean. In addition, they use drifters to model how trash found in inland waterways can move through the watershed and end up as marine debris. Grades 6-8: Students use a sampling protocol to collect, sort and quantify marine debris and create a graphical representation, model how air movement affects water movement, and ocean surface currents and winds to explain the dispersal of debris after natural disasters. Grades 9-12: Students model how different types of debris break down over time and how they are their degradation is affected by environmental conditions. Students construct models of ocean surface currents and winds to explain the dispersal of Japanese Tsunami Marine Debris.
  • Engineering: Grades 4-5: Students to engineer their own drifter made from biodegradable materials and use it to determine how long it takes trash to the ocean.
  • Students Use Scientific Data: Grades 9-12: Students explore ocean circulation and how debris travels across the ocean by using NOAA’s Ocean Surface Current Simulator (OSCURS).
  • Type: Thematic collection

Marine Debris Educators Guide

Grades K-12 curriculum with 9 activities at different grade levels. Each grade level provides an opportunity to investigate different forms of marine debris, according to its prevalence, type, mode of travel, origin and degradability.

  • DCIs: MS: ESS3.C; ETS1.B
  • Elementary: Grades K-5: Analyze data to make inferences about sources, origins and most abundant types of debris.
  • Modeling: Grades 6-8, Students build a model showing how water flows through a system (watershed) and evaluate different management practices.
  • Engineering: ETS1, Engineering Design. Grades K-5 students design a solution to remove marine debris. MS-ETS1-1, ETS1.B: Students are asked to design a machine that collects debris in the ocean without impacting wildlife.
  • Students Use Scientific Data: Yes
  • Type: Thematic collection of activities

Using engineering practices helps students to acquire and apply science knowledge by understanding how engineering problems are defined, how possible solutions are created and the methods that are used to optimize a design solution. 


CLEAN Collectionoffsite link

The CLEAN Collection is a collection of high-quality digital educational resources, including learning activities, visualizations, videos, and short demonstrations/experiments, that addresses climate and energy literacy and NGSS. Each free digital resource undergoes a rigorous review by multiple practicing educators and climate and energy scientists. Resources are annotated with reviewers' comments and aligned with: a) the AAAS Project 2061 Benchmarks for Science Literacy; b) the Next Generation Science Standards; and c) the NAAEE Excellence in Environmental Education Guidelines for Learning. NOAA partnered with the Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness Network (CLEAN) to use the Climate and Energy Literacy guides to identify and integrate effective resources across different educational levels. The CLEAN framework for vetting, reviewing, and assuring scientific quality of climate and global change education materials on climate, energy and related topics will be very useful to teachers and educational systems across the nation.

  • DCIs: Supports 32 MS and 43 HS NGSS DCIs and all science disciplines.
  • Elementary: 34 reviewed climate and energy resources for grades 3-5.
  • Modeling: 61 resources that relate to measuring and modeling climate.
  • Engineering: 73 HS related resources, 22 MS related resources.
  • Students Use Scientific Data: 113 reviewed resources that are tagged with “Students Use Scientific Datasets.”
  • Type: Partner collection

The GLOBE Program

Since 1995, The Global Learning and Observation to Benefit the Environment (GLOBE) (http://www.globe.gov/) program has provided K-12 students opportunities to carry out inquiry-based science learning. GLOBE is currently working with educators and GLOBE Partners in the United States to develop and finalize documents that outline pathways for teachers to implement the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) Framework. The GLOBE Teacher’s Guide and website (www.globe.gov) provide access to protocols, learning activities, data sheets, field guides and associated data, for five scientific investigation areas: atmosphere, Earth as a system, hydrology, land cover/biology and soil. GLOBE is jointly sponsored by NASA and NSF, with support from NOAA and State Department.

  • DCIs: Supports 12 ES, 8 MS and 9 HS NGSS DCIs and all science disciplines.
  • Elementary: GLOBE science-based storybooks, classroom learning activities, and investigation protocols for grades K-5.
  • Modeling: GLOBE science investigations and associated learning activities for grades K-12 support the NGSS Practices integrated into the GLOBE Program Model for Student Scientific Research with a focus on the modeling concept.
  • Engineering: The GLOBE protocols, learning activities and investigations richly support engineering, technology, and applications of science for grades K-12.
  • Students Use Scientific Data: Classroom implementation of GLOBE engages students in the development of scientific investigations using GLOBE protocols to collect data and GLOBE activities to develop scientific concepts important to making sense of the data.
  • Type: Partner Collection

Winged Ambassador: Ocean Literacy through the Eyes of Albatrossoffsite link

The classroom activity package Winged Ambassadors – Ocean Literacy through the Eyes of Albatross is available free online courtesy of NOAA, Oikonos, and other partners. Albatrosses, charismatic and threatened seabirds, are ambassadors for a clean ocean because they traverse vast oceanic regions searching for floating food. Along their journeys, they ingest plastic trash and feed it to their chicks. These five lessons comprise new and modified activities, using inquiry-based science instruction, aligned to new standards for grades 6-8 with extensions for grades 9-12.

  • DCIs: MS: LS1.B; LS1.C; LS2.A; PS3.D
  • Elementary: Grades 6-8 but some aspects could be adapted for younger grades.
  • Modeling: No
  • Engineering: No
  • Students Use Scientific Data: Students will use real data from current research tracking albatross migrations and ocean plastic pollution.
  • Type: Curriculum

NOAA Sea Level Rise Learning Module

This online learning module is a cooperative effort between NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory and NOAA’s National Ocean Service. It informs about sea level rise, its causes, and impacts; and challenges students to think about what they can do in response. This module features an integrated educational package of grade level-appropriate (6-12) instruction and activities centered on a 23-minute video presentation.

  • DCIs: MS: ESS3.C; ESS3.D; HS: ESS3.D
  • Elementary: Grades 6-12 but many components could be used for upper elementary.
  • Modeling: MS-ESS3-3: Cause and Effect; MS-ESS3-5: Stability and Change.
  • Engineering: MS-ESS3-3 Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions; MS-ESS3-5 Asking Questions and Defining Problems.
  • Students Use Scientific Data: Incorporated into this module are NOS lesson plans with educational scaffolding that provide the learner direct access to real time data from the NOAA COOPS website, as well as the Data in the Classroom web site.
  • Type: Curriculum

Ocean Sciences Sequence for Grades 6-8: The Ocean-Atmosphere Connection and Climate Changeoffsite link

NOAA’s Office of Education invested in the development of two nationally field-tested curricula, the Ocean Science Sequences for Grades 3-5 and 6-8, which are part of the Lawrence Hall of Science’s Great Explorations in Math and Science series. Both curricula focus on the fundamental concepts of the Ocean Literacy Framework, including the ocean’s role in weather and climate. Both involved NOAA scientists and science educators in their development and incorporate NOAA data and visualizations. The Ocean Science Sequence for Grades 6-8 is particularly well positioned to respond to the changes recommended by the National Research Council (NRC)’s Framework for K-12 Science Education and the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). The NRC’s Framework was published during the development of the curriculum and informed its design.

  • DCIs: Supports over 30 MS NGSS DCIs across all science disciplines.
  • Elementary: No
  • Modeling: Throughout the curriculum, various models are introduced to bring certain features of a concept or object into focus. Students consider many models of the ocean and atmosphere systems, the carbon cycle and molecular theory. For example, to make sense of ocean currents, students explore models of mixed water of different densities, computer simulations, and graphic organizers. Students use models to explain and predict phenomena and generate data. The limits of the models are also purposefully explored with the students to determine which questions can and cannot be answered through the model. Students are frequently asked to create a model to explain their thinking and make revisions as evidence is presented. Specifically, Systems and System Models practice is supported in UNIT 2 (5-LS2-1) (3-LS4-4) and in UNIT 3 (3-LS4-4) (5-ESS2-1), (5-ESS2-2).
  • Engineering: ETS1.A: Defining and Delimiting Engineering Problems; ETS1.B: Developing Possible Solutions.
  • Students Use Scientific Data: Yes
  • Type: Partner curriculum. Note: Three curriculum units, each unit composed of 9-12, 45 minute long sessions. Cost $200 for the three units.

Ocean Sciences Sequence for Grades 3-5offsite link

The ocean plays an important role in our daily lives whether we live near the coast or far from it. However, few elementary and middle school curricula addressed concepts critical to understanding this role. To address this need, NOAA’s Office of Education invested in the development of two nationally field-tested curricula, the Ocean Science Sequences for Grades 3-5 and 6-8, which are part of the Lawrence Hall of Science’s Great Explorations in Math and Science series. Both curricula focus on the fundamental concepts of the Ocean Literacy Framework, including the ocean’s role in weather and climate.

  • DCIs: Supports 15 ESS NGSS DCIs across all science disciplines.
  • Elementary: Grades 3-5
  • Modeling: Throughout the curriculum various models are introduced to bring certain features of a concept or object into focus. Following each, the teacher either explains or asks the students to think about how the model isn’t exactly like the real thing. Students investigate ocean currents and ocean layers through physical models, a computer visualization, and specific scenarios. Specifically, Systems and System Models practice is supported in UNIT 2 (5-LS2-1) (3-LS4-4) and in UNIT 3 (3-LS4-4) (5-ESS2-1), (5-ESS2-2).
  • Engineering: Aligned to: ETS1.B: Developing Possible Solutions (3-5-ETS1-2 and 3-5-ETS-2).
  • Students Use Scientific Data: Yes
  • Type: Partner curriculum. Note: Three curriculum units, each unit composed of 9-12, 45 minute long sessions. Cost $200 for the three units.

Engineering Solutions for Sea Lion Research: A Marine Science and Engineering Curriculum (Grades 6-8)offsite link

Based on Oregon State University research on Steller sea lions, this curriculum for 6th-8th grades teaches about remote monitoring technology (telemetry), the biology and ecology of sea lions in Alaska, and how engineers develop solutions to science problems with hands-on engineering activities. It incorporates ocean literacy principles, science inquiry and engineering.

  • DCIs: MS: LS2.A; PS3.B; ETS1.A
  • Elementary: For advanced students in upper elementary.
  • Modeling: Students model the design of a prototype “transmitter” made out of a soda bottle to meet the following design constraints: size, shape (fixed by using a soda bottle), buoyancy, and transmitting abilities of the “antenna” and test their design.
  • Engineering: Yes, talks about engineering tags and using satellite telemetry to answer environmental and conservation questions.
  • Students Use Scientific Data: Yes
  • Type: Partner curriculum

Engineering Solutions for Sea Lion Research: A Marine Science and Engineering Curriculum (Grades 9-12)offsite link

Based on Oregon State University research on Steller sea lions, this curriculum for 9th-12th grades teaches about remote monitoring technology (telemetry), the biology and ecology of sea lions in Alaska, and how engineers develop solutions to science problems with hands-on engineering activities. It incorporates ocean literacy principles, science inquiry and engineering.

  • DCIs: HS: PS4.C; ETS1.C
  • Elementary: No
  • Modeling: Data is provided for students to investigate and model phenomena related to life history transmitters and the cooling rate after death of a tagged animal.
  • Engineering: Yes, talks about engineering tags and using satellite telemetry to answer environmental and conservation questions.
  • Students Use Scientific Data: Yes
  • Type: Partner curriculum

Ecology by Inquiry

A series of seven lessons, designed to teach fundamental ecological principles using an inquiry-based approach to middle-school students. These lessons were developed in cooperation with the Highline School District and the Wascowitz Outdoor School.

  • DCIs:
  • Elementary: Primarily MS resources, could be adapted for upper elementary.
  • Modeling:
  • Engineering:
  • Students Use Scientific Data:
  • Type: Curriculum

Marine Debris STEAMSSoffsite link

Engaging Students in Marine Debris Efforts Utilizing a Comprehensive, Integrated STEAMSS Curriculum has separate tracks for 4-5, 6-8, and 9-12.

  • DCIs: 5-ESS3.C; MS: ESS3.C; HS: ESS3.C
  • Elementary: Intended for grades 4-12
  • Modeling: Grades 4-5: Students collect and analyze debris at their school campus, then compare the quantify of plastic with a similar sample at the mouth of the river where it empties into the ocean. In addition, they use drifters to model how trash found in inland waterways can move through the watershed and end up as marine debris. Grades 6-8: Students use a sampling protocol to collect, sort and quantify marine debris and create a graphical representation, model how air movement affects water movement, and ocean surface currents and winds to explain the dispersal of debris after natural disasters. Grades 9-12: Students model how different types of debris break down over time and how they are their degradation is affected by environmental conditions. Students construct models of ocean surface currents and winds to explain the dispersal of Japanese Tsunami Marine Debris.
  • Engineering: Grades 4-5: Students to engineer their own drifter made from biodegradable materials and use it to determine how long it takes trash to the ocean.
  • Students Use Scientific Data: Grades 9-12: Students explore ocean circulation and how debris travels across the ocean by using NOAA’s Ocean Surface Current Simulator (OSCURS).
  • Type: Thematic collection

Marine Debris Educators Guide

Grades K-12 curriculum with 9 activities at different grade levels. Each grade level provides an opportunity to investigate different forms of marine debris, according to its prevalence, type, mode of travel, origin and degradability.

  • DCIs: MS: ESS3.C; ETS1.B
  • Elementary: Grades K-5: Analyze data to make inferences about sources, origins and most abundant types of debris.
  • Modeling: Grades 6-8, Students build a model showing how water flows through a system (watershed) and evaluate different management practices.
  • Engineering: ETS1, Engineering Design. Grades K-5 students design a solution to remove marine debris. MS-ETS1-1, ETS1.B: Students are asked to design a machine that collects debris in the ocean without impacting wildlife.
  • Students Use Scientific Data: Yes
  • Type: Thematic collection of activities
Published on
March 30, 2016