“Earth Right Now”- Your Planet is Changing

This session will focus on how we can engage students in learning real Earth Science, using image-based lessons, hands-on lessons, role-playing, technology, and plenty of real data to meet the needs of most all of the multiple intelligences in our classroom. With these resources, we can help students build a greater understanding of our impacts, both good and bad on our environment. The activities will include:

Think Scientifically: The Sun and the Water Cycle Booklet Activity

Learners will read or listen to a story about two sisters, Marisol and Sofia, as they explore the Sun's role in the water cycle. Additionally, numerous extension resources are included in the accompanying educator guide, such as suggestions for no-cost language arts activities, links to further science activities, a book walk cue chart to guide classroom discussion before, during and after the story a graphic organizer. (https://sdo.gsfc.nasa.gov/assets/docs/ThinkScientifically_3.pdf)

Making a Paper Sun

We see it every day in the sky. Our sun is a burning ball of superheated gas. Even though it’s 93 million miles (149.6 million kilometers) away, we can feel its heat and light on Earth. Participants learn to make a marbled paper that looks just like our sun. (https://spaceplace.nasa.gov/sun-paper/en/)

The Case of the Wacky Water Cycle

Water covers about 75 percent of the Earth and is constantly moving. Energy from the Sun, which allows evaporation, and gravity are the driving forces that power the water cycle. The participants will experience a few of the lessons from this guide including, “Around and Around it Goes” & “Water, Water, Everywhere”, which engage students in the water cycle as molecules and teaches them about the scarcity of usable freshwater for human consumption. (https://www.knowitall.org/sites/default/files/Water_Cycle.pdf)

Earth System in a Bottle

Students will create experimental conditions in terrariums in order to study what plants need to live. Variables to study include the presence or absence of soil, water, and sunlight. Students will record the growth of radish plans as well as observations of the “water cycle” in their terrariums. At the conclusion of their experiments, students will share their results with the class and discuss how water, Earth Materials and air are all necessary to support living things. (https://www.globe.gov/documents/348830/350113/ElementaryGLOBE_EarthSystemsActivity1_en.pdf)


Veronica Leija

TEC contractor, NASA

Veronica is a Paragon TEC contractor and provides support at NASA Johnson Space Center (JSC) as a Learning Expert with expertise in professional development workshops for educators. Veronica holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Biology.

Joshua Martinez

Science department coordinator, Jack C. Jordan Middle School

Joshua Martinez attended The University of Texas at San Antonio to receive a Bachelors of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies degree with a concentration in mathematics and science. He also attended graduate school at UTSA and holds a Masters in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies. He has four years of experience in teaching and is currently the Science department coordinator at Jack C. Jordan Middle School for Northside Independent School District in San Antonio, Texas.