Missy Holzer, My NASA Data
Activity takes two 50 minute class periods. Access to a computer lab is necessary.Discuss this Resource»
Learn more about Teaching Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness»
Educator notes include suggestions for modifying the activity for grades 6-8.
About Teaching Climate Literacy
Other materials addressing 4c
Other materials addressing 5b
Excellence in Environmental Education Guidelines
Other materials addressing:
C) Collecting information.
Other materials addressing:
A) Processes that shape the Earth.
Benchmarks for Science Literacy
Learn more about the Benchmarks
Notes From Our Reviewers
The CLEAN collection is hand-picked and rigorously reviewed for scientific accuracy and classroom effectiveness.
Read what our review team had to say about this resource below or learn more about
how CLEAN reviews teaching materials
Teaching Tips | Science | Pedagogy |
- Some terminology has changed in the My NASA Data Live Access Server web interface, but it should be easy for educators to adapt their instructions to the student users of this website.
- There are no obvious instructions on how to save the images produced by the Live Access Server: Educators will need to make sure to instruct their students.
- Activity has students getting data by hand, which is a lot of work. Potentially download data ahead of time for students.
- Extensions to this lesson offer additional inquiry activities that address this topic.
- Other El Niño activities that include more recent data can be found at: http://sealevel.jpl.nasa.gov/, animation to support this activity can be found at: http://sealevel.jpl.nasa.gov/gallery/videos.html.
About the Science
- Students analyze data from 1997 and 1998, when there was a strong El Niño event.
- The Live Data Server does contain more recent data that could be used if educators wanted to consider a more recent El Niño event.
- TOPEX-Poseidon has been decommissioned: data on sea level is now collected by Jason 1 and 2.
- Student teams study single variables - sea surface height, sea surface temperature, or wind vectors using NASA data. Each team examines all variables for several dates to identify characteristic features of the static images and the changes in these features over time. Teams then describe the temporal variations they observe, look for relationships among the three variables, and discuss the causes and effects of these relationships.
- Comment from scientist: The connections between wind, sea surface temperature and thermocline etc. are accurate but rushed. Educators should provide more explanation of the connections or the figures. Detailed information can be found on the PMEL webpage http://www.pmel.noaa.gov/tao/elnino/nino-home.html.
About the Pedagogy
- Different learning styles are addressed through the team approach. The use of animations in this activity supplies an alternate tool to improve student understanding. Both visual observations and written answers are required to the posed questions.
- This resource engages students in using scientific data.
See other data-rich activities
Have you used these materials with your students? Do you have insights to share with other educators about their use? Please share with the community by adding a comment below.
Please use this space only for discussion about teaching with these particular materials.
For more general discussion about teaching climate literacy please use our general discussion boards.
To report a problem or direct a comment to the CLEAN project team please use our feedback form (or the feedback link at the bottom of every page).
Off-topic posts will be deleted.