Phenomena-Based Student Investigations with NASA Earth Observations

This article was published in the March 2019 issue of The Earth Scientist and uses the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) aligned phenomenon of hurricanes and shows how Earth observations can be used in middle school classrooms. The extremely active 2017 Atlantic hurricane season provided constant reminders of the powerful forces, repeated patterns and devastating impacts of these natural hazards. From overhead, NASA Earth-observing satellites monitored each hurricane, collecting a continuous stream of related data. The visually-compelling images and abundance of data gathered by those satellites are available for download and use at no cost. Investigating hurricanes through NASA images and data not only engages students in the practices of science but leads to a better understanding of Earth as an integrated system.

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