Student Climate Data project is focused on introducing students
to important concepts in Earth Systems Science and providing
resources for inquiry-based climate change education. Students
will become familiar with Earth observation data and the science
of climate change by conducting their own research
investigations using NASA Earth observation data and based on
their own questions and/or self-designed procedures. This
program design will allow students to explore research questions
from local to global scales with both present and future
environmental conditions. Because climate change is a long-term
process, and is subject to a myriad of misconceptions, this
effort will help develop the knowledge and skills of future
generations in an area that is becoming increasingly important
Why should we be interested in
past 200 years, human activities including CO2
emissions, deforestation and other forms of land cover change,
have caused concentrations of greenhouses gasses to build up in
the atmosphere. This build up has caused many abrupt changes in
the Earth's climate, including (but not limited to) increases in
the Earth's average temperature, sea level rise, shrinking
glaciers, changes in the range and distribution of plants and
animals, lengthening of growing seasons, and thawing of
permafrost. Changes in climate that have already begun will
likely unfold over decades to centuries and will be shaped by
the decisions of future generations. The impacts of climate
change will likely be very broad, and it is uncertain how
societies and the Earth's environment will adapt to, or cope
with, climate change. Therefore, there is a need for both better
public understanding and for an educated workforce that can
apply knowledge of the climate system to formulation of sound
energy and land management policies.
Who can participate?
The goal of
this project is to allow participation by the whole
international education community. Activities will be developed
and tested locally in the U.S. In the end, we hope the
activities are interesting and compatible with the science
curricula of all schools that wish to participate.
What data will be used?
Climate Data project uses data from General Circulation Climate
Models, NASA satellites (primarily MODIS/TERRA instruments), and
publicly available field data from our own research and other
studies. Specific sources for each data resource or activity are
documented on this site.
What do the students do?
will have access to data collected by scientists in the field,
with satellites, or with climate models. Students will
then have the opportunity use these data resources to look at
questions that scientists ask in their daily work, as well as to
ask their own questions. Students will be encouraged to explore
and answer these questions through individual and/or group
What grade levels can participate?
are geared toward high school (ages 14-18) and middle school
(student ages 12-14) students.
What is the duration?
duration of the whole unit will depend on which activities you
select based on teaching goals and prior student skills and
What technology is needed
to participate (computer, internet access, software,
this project will be available online at this website, and
through links to other data resources. Teacher
guides/instructions and student worksheets will be
downloadable from this website. All student activities are
being developed for use without the need for additional
software purchases. Modeling activities require the use of the
free isee player (to run STELLA models),
and a spreadsheet program, such as Excel or OpenOffice, can be
used to explore data in more detail.
Can I copy and share these
work is licensed under the Creative Commons
Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
For more information, please see the Creative Commons License page. Educators
may copy and adapt these materials for educational purposes. If
citing in professional journals or incorporating into new
educational materials, please cite this work in the following
Martin et al. (2014). University of New Hampshire Student
Climate Data Project. http://studentclimatedata.unh.edu