Lesson Plans & Activities

A Changing Climate: Understanding Drought in Colorado

This lesson is best taught at the beginning of a HEART Force unit, but it can also act as a stand-alone lesson to introduce students to drought in Colorado.

Students build an understanding of drought in Colorado using multiple data sources in a jigsaw activity. 
Lesson
Colorado-Based
Middle School
HEART Force Flood Response Game

This lesson is best used after the Colorado Flood lessons in the HEART Force curricular unit, for students to apply their learning and respond to a hypothetical flood in their own community.

This interactive game has students work in three “zone response teams” to solve community challenges that arise during the course of an extreme flooding event by using available individual and community resources.
Game
Colorado-Based
Middle School
High School
The Vocabulary of Hazards

We suggest teaching this lesson to introduce the unit as it will benefit students in their understanding of natural hazards throughout the entire HEART Force Unit.

This lesson uses a matching game to build students' understanding and familiarity with different terms used in the world of resiliency planning.

Lesson
Colorado-Based
Middle School
High School
Envisioning a Resilient Future

We suggest teaching this lesson to introduce the HEART Force Unit.

In this lesson, students create a vision for the future of their community and identify what resources are most important to them as a starting point for resilience planning.

Lesson
Colorado-Based
Middle School
High School
A Changing Climate: Understanding Floods in Colorado

This lesson is best taught at the beginning of a HEART Force unit, but it can also act as a stand-alone lesson to introduce students to floods in Colorado.

Students build an understanding of flooding in Colorado using multiple data sources in a jigsaw format. 
Lesson
Colorado-Based
Middle School
A Changing Climate: Understanding Wildfire in Colorado

This lesson is best used as part of the HEART Force curricular unit, but it can also act as a stand-alone lesson to introduce students to wildfire in Colorado.

Students build an understanding of wildfire in Colorado using multiple data sources in a jigsaw format. 
Lesson
Colorado-Based
Middle School
HEART Force Wildfire Response Game

This lesson is best used after the wildfire hazard lesson in the HEART Force curricular unit, for students to apply their learning and respond to a hypothetical wildfire in their own community. 

In this interactive game, students work in three “zone response teams” to solve community challenges that arise during the course of a wildfire event by using available individual and community resources.
Game
Colorado-Based
Middle School
High School
HEART Force Drought Game

This lesson is best used after the Colorado Drought lessons in the HEART Force curricular unit, for students to apply their learning and respond to a hypothetical drought in their own community. 

In this interactive game, students work in three "resilience teams" to solve community challenges that arise during the course of an extreme drought event by using available individual and community resources. 
Game
Colorado-Based
Middle School
High School
Flood Resilience in Colorado StoryMap

This is a lesson that can be used to get ideas and prepare for the Community Resilience Expo. 

Students interact with a flood StoryMap to explore the Colorado Resiliency Framework.
Lesson
Colorado-Based
Middle School
High School
Wildfire Resilience in Colorado StoryMap

This is a lesson that can be used to get ideas and prepare for the Community Resilience Expo. 

Students interact with a wildfire StoryMap to explore the Colorado Resiliency Framework.
Lesson
Colorado-Based
Middle School
High School
Exploring Local Hazard Mitigation Plans

This lesson is part of the Community Resilience Expo, a culminating event for the HEART Force curriculum unit, where students will share what they’ve learned during the hazard lesson and the role-playing game.

In this lesson, students will explore their county Hazard Mitigation Plan to gain understanding about the hazard in their area (flooding, wildfire, or drought), including historic hazards, probability of future occurrences of the hazard, and vulnerability of the area to the hazard.
Lesson
Colorado-Based
Middle School
High School
Design a Resilient Future

This is a lesson that can be used to get ideas and prepare for the Community Resilience Expo. 

In this lesson, students will work in small groups to develop an idea to increase community resilience, utilizing Design Thinking. 
Design Challenge
Colorado-Based
Middle School
High School
Geomagnetism in the MESA Classroom: An Essential Science for Modern Society

This is a four-part after-school module designed to suit the interest and abilities of your students and can be modified to fit the time you have available.

Students explore geomagnetism with compasses, navigation exercises, and a geo-caching activity and explore aurora and space weather, with an optional field trip to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Lesson
Middle School
Animal Tracks Can Illuminate Many Things: A Detective Exercise

Project EXTREMES lessons were written to be stand alone lessons but can be incorporated into a larger unit.

Having students follow animal tracks (even just people, dogs, or squirrels) and investigating how tracks are made is a fun and exciting way to develop critical thinking, measurement, and graphing skills.
Lesson
Middle School
Northwest Passage: Then and Now

Project EXTREMES lessons were written to be stand alone lessons but can be incorporated into a larger unit.

In this lesson, students learn about some of the early explorations of the Northwest Passage, and how the changing sea ice extent has prompted new explorations of this region to transport goods from one region of the Northern Hemisphere to another.

Lesson
Middle School
Ice Core Demonstration: The Past is the Key to the Future

Project EXTREMES lessons were written to be stand alone lessons but can be incorporated into a larger unit.

This lesson has students explore how the gases trapped in ice cores over the last quarter of a century can be used to understand how Earth's atmosphere has changed in the past. 

Lesson
Polar Science
Middle School
Filmmaking: Pre-Production

This is the first part of a 3-part unit on the filmmaking process for both formal and informal education settings.

This lesson has students explore science content, decide on the topic for their film, and do all the preparatory work before filming begins.
Lesson
Filmmaking
Middle School
High School
Informal Audience
Sharing Science with Film: A Guide to Student Productions

The examples and lesson plans provided in the educator guide emphasize scientific film topics; however, the methods shared throughout Sharing Science With Film: A Guide to Student Productions are applicable to films around all topics and genres.

Sharing Science With Film: A Guide to Student Productions is a guide for educators, and provides a how-to manual for instructing youth on how to produce short films.

Unit
Filmmaking
Middle School
High School
Informal Audience
Filmmaking: Production

This is the second part of a 3-part unit on the filmmaking process for both formal and informal education settings.

In this lesson, students film interviews with content experts as well as additional B-roll footage, and film mentors help students find existing footage and media to supplement their films. 
Lesson
Filmmaking
Middle School
High School
Informal Audience
Filmmaking: Post-production

This is the third part of a 3-part unit on the filmmaking process for both formal and informal education settings.

This lesson teaches students about editing films and respecting licensed materials, while also ensuring they receive the support they need to ensure completion of their films. 
Lesson
Filmmaking
Middle School
High School
Informal Audience
Community Resilience Expo Overview

The Expo is best taught at the end of HEART Force unit, after students are familiar with the hazard. 

The Community Resilience Expo is a culminating event for the HEART Force curriculum, where students will develop and present original ideas to increase resilience in their community. 

Unit
Colorado-Based
Middle School
High School
Exploring the Arctic

This is the first activity of a three-part curriculum about Arctic climate; the activities may be used independently or in sequence.

This activity introduces students to the Arctic and Arctic climate. Through a virtual exploration of the geography of the Arctic students become familiar with the region. They are then introduced to meteorological parameters that Arctic research teams use.
Lesson
Polar Science
High School
University/College
Do you really want to visit the Arctic?

This is the second activity of a three-part curriculum about Arctic climate; the activities may be used independently or in sequence.

This jigsaw activity introduces students with Arctic weather data using a role-playing activity that has students read and interpret graphs while considering the optimal time to plan a research mission to the Arctic.
Lesson
Polar Science
High School
University/College
Exploring Arctic Climate Data

This is the third activity of a three-part curriculum about Arctic climate; the activities may be used independently or in sequence.

In this final activity, students use authentic Arctic climate data to explore albedo and its relationship to seasonal snowmelt as a self-reinforcing feedback mechanism, which is then applied to large scale global climate change.
Lesson
Polar Science
High School
University/College
What’s Up With The Rising Temperatures in Colorado Cities?

This is the first lesson in the Climate Resiliency Education Middle School Climate Unit.

This lesson introduces why certain cities in Colorado are getting hotter using a video by the Denver Post that describes the pattern.

Lesson
Colorado-Based
Middle School
What Makes Cities Hotter?

This is the second lesson in the Climate Resiliency Education Middle School Climate Unit.

In this lesson, students explore reasons why temperatures in particular Colorado cities are rising.
Lesson
Colorado-Based
Middle School
Why Are Growing Cities Hotter?

This is the third lesson in the Climate Resiliency Education Middle School Climate Unit.

This lesson has students explore what land use changes are happening and how changes in surface color affects temperatures in cities.

Lesson
Middle School
Are Other Parts of the World Getting Hotter?

This is the fourth lesson in the Climate Resiliency Education Middle School Climate Unit.

In this lesson, students investigate whether other parts of the world are changing and getting hotter just like Colorado.

Lesson
Middle School
What Was Earth’s Temperature Like in the Past?

This is the fifth lesson in the Climate Resiliency Education Middle School Climate Unit.

Students examine what the world’s temperature trend was in the past and whether temperatures have changed recently.

Lesson
Middle School
How Does Human Activity Affect the Warming Temperatures on Earth?

This is the sixth lesson in the Climate Resiliency Education Middle School Climate Unit.

This lesson explores whether human activities release greenhouse gases, like CO2, and whether these activities can cause temperatures on Earth to increase.

Lesson
Middle School
How Do Cars Impact CO2 in the Atmosphere?

This is the seventh lesson in the Climate Resiliency Education Middle School Climate Unit.

During this lesson, students explore how fossil fuel burning in cars contributes CO2 to the atmosphere.

Lesson
Middle School
How Does an Increase in CO2 Cause an Increase in Temperature?

This is the eighth and final lesson in the Climate Resiliency Education Middle School Climate Unit.

In this lesson, students learn how more CO2 in the atmosphere causes global warming.
Lesson
Middle School
Why Are Cities Getting Hotter?

This is the first lesson in the Climate Resiliency Education High School Climate Unit.

During this lesson, students explore the increase in summer temperatures and describe the pattern as it relates to Colorado using a video by the Denver Post.

 

Lesson
Colorado-Based
High School
What is Special About Cities Compared to Rural Places?

This is the second lesson in the Climate Resiliency Education High School Climate Unit.

This lesson explores climate data at local, national, and global levels to determine that temperatures are changing all over the world, and that there are certain locations where temperatures are warming faster than the global average.

Lesson
High School
Why Are Cities and Other Regions of the World Getting Hotter?

This is the third lesson in the Climate Resiliency Education High School Climate Unit.

This lesson has students investigate how albedo is contributing to temperature increasing in some places, like cities, are increasing at faster rates than elsewhere.

Lesson
High School
How Do Humans Contribute to the Increase in Global Temperatures?

This is the fourth lesson in the Climate Resiliency Education High School Climate Unit.

Students explore the greenhouse effect in this lesson using a computer simulation and develop a model for how it works.

Lesson
High School
Is it Normal That World Temperatures Are Rising This Fast?

This is the fifth lesson in the Climate Resiliency Education High School Climate Unit.

This lesson explores if it is normal that world temperatures are rising at the currently observed fast pace.

Lesson
High School
What Impact do Increasing Greenhouse Gases Have?

This is the sixth and final lesson in the Climate Resiliency Education High School Climate Unit.

In this lesson, students utilize case studies to learn about the ways climate change is currently impacting people and other living things around the world.

Lesson
High School
How Can We Decrease Our Impact on the Earth’s Climate at our School?

This is the first lesson in the Climate Resiliency Education Design Challenge Unit which was designed to follow the middle or high school Climate Resiliency Education units.

In this design challenge lesson students explore the Denver Public School District’s solid waste plan and discuss how their school can save or decrease emissions by reducing solid waste at our school.

Design Challenge
Colorado-Based
Middle School
High School
How Does Our School Food System Create Greenhouse Gas Emissions?

This is the second lesson in the Climate Resiliency Education Design Challenge Unit which is meant to follow the middle or high school Climate Resiliency Education units.

In this design challenge lesson, students examine their school food system and develop an investigation about food waste in order to know what should change.

 

Design Challenge
Colorado-Based
Middle School
High School
How Can We Understand Waste and Emissions in Our School's Food System?

This is the third lesson in the Climate Resiliency Education Design Challenge Unit which is meant to follow the middle or high school Climate Resiliency Education units.

This lesson outlines for students how to design and carry out an investigation to audit their school’s food waste system.

Design Challenge
Middle School
High School
How Can We Reduce Emissions Associated with Food Waste in Our School?

This is the fourth lesson in the Climate Resiliency Education Design Challenge Unit which is meant to follow the middle or high school Climate Resiliency Education units.

In this activity students utilize the data that is collected and propose solutions to mitigate food waste in their school.

Design Challenge
Middle School
High School
How Can We Present Solutions for Food Waste and Emissions at School?

This is the fifth lesson in the Climate Resiliency Education Design Challenge Unit which is meant to follow the middle or high school Climate Resiliency Education units.

This lesson provides guidance for students to create and practice a presentation about their design challenge results that they developed in the previous lessons and how to present it to the school administration.

Design Challenge
Middle School
High School
What Are The Features of The Sun?

This is the first of four modules/lessons in the SDO curriculum that leads students through an interactive exploration of Solar Science.

In this lesson, students develop a fundamental understanding of NASA’s Solar Dynamic Observatory (SDO) and the Sun’s structure and function.
Lesson
Middle School
Why Do We Study the Sun?

This is the second of four lessons in the SDO curriculum that leads students through an interactive exploration of Solar Science. 

Students develop a basic understanding of how and why scientists study the electromagnetic spectrum and magnetic fields of the Sun to gain a greater understanding of solar activity and space weather.
Lesson
Middle School
How Does The Sun Affect the Earth?

This is the third of four lessons in the SDO curriculum that leads students through an interactive exploration of Solar Science.

This lesson has students create a hands-on model that accurately explains seasonal changes on Earth and develop knowledge of the Sun-Earth system.
Lesson
Middle School
SDO Exploration Museum

This is the fourth and final lesson in the SDO curriculum that leads students through an interactive exploration of Solar Science. 

In the final lesson of the SDO curriculum, student teams collaborate to design and present their three Solar Module activities as part of their 3-D Solar Exhibit summative assessment.
Lesson
Middle School
Adapting to Extremes: Exploring the Science of Floods in Colorado

This lesson is best taught at the beginning of a HEART Force unit, but it can also act as a stand-alone lesson to introduce students to floods in Colorado.

The way we choose to design our communities has impacted community risk and vulnerability to flooding; in this lesson, students will explore this concept by analyzing environmental data to classify patterns and practice communicating their findings. 
Lesson
Colorado-Based
High School
Adapting to Extremes: Exploring the Science of Wildfire in Colorado

This lesson is best used as part of the HEART Force curricular unit, but it can also act as a stand-alone lesson to introduce students to wildfire in Colorado.

Students build an understanding of wildfire in Colorado using multiple data sources in a jigsaw format.
Lesson
Colorado-Based
High School
Wildfire Virtual Expo

This lesson provides a virtual alternative to the HEART Force Expo curriculum.

This is a streamlined lesson for students to prepare for a Community Resilience Expo, focusing on wildfire.

 

Design Challenge
Colorado-Based
Middle School
High School
Flood Virtual Expo

This lesson provides a virtual alternative to the HEART Force Expo curriculum.

This is a streamlined lesson for students to prepare for a Community Resilience Expo, focusing on flood.

Design Challenge
Colorado-Based
Middle School
High School
Drought Virtual Expo

This lesson provides a virtual alternative to the HEART Force Expo curriculum. 

This is a streamlined lesson for students to prepare for a Community Resilience Expo, focusing on drought.
Design Challenge
Colorado-Based
Middle School
High School
Creating a Compass from a Magnet

Project EXTREMES lessons were intended to stand alone, but this lesson can be included in a unit on the Earth’s interior.

In this lesson, students create a compass and apply their reasoning about magnetism to how compasses work to help us navigate around the globe while utilizing the Earth’s magnetic field. 

Lesson
Nature of science
Elementary School
Middle School
Communicate Existing Plans

This is a guide that can be used for a pathway for the Community Resilience Expo. 

In this sub-unit, students will learn more about their community’s resilience plans, choose a specific topic to focus on, and develop a product to communicate the plan to their peers and/or their community.
Lesson
Colorado-Based
Middle School
High School
HEART Force Curriculum Overview

This unit consists of several lessons and can take anywhere from 1 to 6 weeks to teach, depending on which lesson teacher choose to incorporate.

The HEART Force curriculum builds understanding of wildfire, flood, or drought in the context of place-based community resilience.

Unit
Colorado-Based
Middle School
High School
Adapting to Extremes: Exploring the Science of Drought in Colorado

This lesson is best taught at the beginning of a HEART Force unit, but it can also act as a stand-alone lesson to introduce students to drought in Colorado.

Humans have been affected by severe drought throughout history; in this lesson students explore this concept by analyzing environmental data to classify patterns and practice communicating their findings.
Lesson
Colorado-Based
High School
Exploring the New and Old Arctic

This unit consists of 6 lessons, each tied to NGSS nature of science understandings

In this MS/HS unit, students compare and contrast Arctic expeditions of the past (1893-1896 Fram expedition) and the present (2019-2020 MOSAiC expedition) to prepare for the Arctic of the future.
Unit
Nature of science, Polar Science
Middle School
High School
Arctic Feedbacks: Not All Warming Is Equal

This storyline unit consists of 10 lessons, each tied to NGSS Earth's systems standards

In this MS/HS unit, students engage with 360° virtual field trips, authentic Arctic datasets, and app-based labs to construct models and explanations for the unit driving question, "Why might the Arctic be warming four times as fast as the rest of the world?"
Unit
Polar Science
Middle School
High School
Photosynthesis, Respiration, and the Short-Term Carbon Cycle

Project EXTREMES lessons were written to be stand alone lessons but can be incorporated into a larger unit.

This lesson is focused on the short-term cycling of carbon and is designed to put the processes of photosynthesis and respiration within a global perspective.

Lesson
Middle School
Habitat for Stream Insects

Project EXTREMES lessons were written to be stand alone lessons but can be incorporated into a larger unit.

This activity encourages students to collect data to answer questions, explore the roles of individual macroinvertebrates in aquatic ecosystems, and think about the health of aquatic ecosystems relative to the macroinvertebrates found.
Lesson
Middle School
In Support of Basic Science

Project EXTREMES lessons were intended to stand alone, and this lesson can be implemented at any time when deemed appropriate, such as the onset of a scientific investigation.

This activity will challenge students thinking about the nature of science and highlight the importance of both basic and applied scientific research.

 

Lesson
Nature of science
Middle School
Energy Pyramids and Food Webs

Project EXTREMES lessons were written to be stand alone lessons but can be incorporated into a larger unit.

In this lesson, students identify the sun as the source of energy and understand how energy flows through an ecosystem. 

Lesson
Middle School
What do we already know, or think we know, about climate & Antarctica?

This is the first lesson of a five-part curriculum about Antarctic physical environments and ecosystems.

In this lesson, students will elicit initial ideas about climate, explore images of Antarctica, learn important vocabulary, and synthesize how satellite imagery can help us understand climate change in Antarctica.
Lesson
Polar Science
High School
How does the changing climate impact the penguins around Antarctica?

This is the second lesson of a five-part curriculum about Antarctic physical environments and ecosystems. 

In this lesson, students investigate the life history characteristics of different Antarctic penguin species and identify the changes that their populations have experienced.
Lesson
Polar Science
High School
Antarctic Life & Albedo

This is the third lesson of a five-part curriculum about Antarctic physical environments and ecosystems. 

In this lesson, students explore the importance of albedo (or reflectivity) to penguins and the surfaces they inhabit and learn how penguin colonies may be mapped using satellites.

Lesson
Polar Science
High School
Why does the ice melt on the “Frozen Continent”?

This is the fourth lesson of a five-part curriculum about Antarctic physical environments and ecosystems. 

After exploring albedo in the previous lesson, this lesson expands on more factors that lead to surface ice melt in Antarctica.
Lesson
Polar Science
High School
Human Impacts on Climate Change: What will happen and what can we do about it?

This is the fifth lesson of a five-part curriculum about Antarctic physical environments and ecosystems. 

In this lesson, students explore how human activities will continue to impact Antarctic ice, discuss human contributions to climate change, and investigate what we can do to stop/reverse these negative effects.

 

Lesson
Polar Science
High School
Data Analysis: Introduction to Measurement, Error, and Outliers

Project EXTREMES lessons were written to be stand alone lessons but can be incorporated into a larger unit; this lesson can be used to support learners who are new to data collection and analysis.

In this lesson, students measure and compare the rate of a falling object (a penny) at different heights to learn about statistical error.

Lesson
Nature of science
Middle School
DISCOVER-AQ Curriculum Overview

The four DISCOVER-AQ modules can be completed independently, sequentially, or extended into a larger unit of study.

The DISCOVER-AQ curriculum integrates real-word research with real-life learning to answer the question: What are the causes and effects of air quality issues and how do they affect human health and the environment?

Unit
Middle School
Air Quality: More than Meets the Eye

The four DISCOVER-AQ modules can be completed independently, sequentially, or extended into a larger unit of study.

In this module, students engage in a visual demonstration on the causes & effects of air pollutants on air quality and kinesthetic activities on particulate matter & visibility.

Lesson
Middle School
Oh No, O3zone: “Good Up High, Bad Nearby!”

The four DISCOVER-AQ modules can be completed independently, sequentially, or extended into a larger unit of study.

This module teaches students about ozone’s role in the atmosphere and explores authentic data to compare and contrast conditions that affect ground-level ozone values.

Lesson
Middle School
Sherlock NOx: The Mystery of Unnatural Pollution in Natural Places

The four DISCOVER-AQ modules can be completed independently, sequentially, or extended into a larger unit of study.

Students take virtual field trips to explore air quality research sites and investigate the causes, effects, and solutions to nitrogen deposition in Rocky Mountain National Park during this module.

Lesson
Middle School
Carbon Gases CSI: Mobile Lab, Methane & More

The four DISCOVER-AQ modules can be completed independently, sequentially, or extended into a larger unit of study.

During this module, students take a virtual mobile lab drive with scientists to investigate and learn about atmospheric carbon gases, their sources, and impacts on air quality.

Lesson
Middle School
Precipitation Patterns Around the Globe

Project EXTREMES lessons were written to be stand alone lessons but can be incorporated into a larger unit.

Students apply their knowledge of the water cycle to investigate how annual precipitation patterns are related to geography and biology. 

Lesson
Elementary School
Middle School
Soil Percolation: Where Does the Rain Go?

Project EXTREMES lessons were written to be stand alone lessons but can be incorporated into a larger unit.

This lesson activity has students conduct an experiment that reinforces one component of the water cycle.

Lesson
Elementary School
Waste, Water, and Wastewater

Project EXTREMES lessons were written to be stand alone lessons but can be incorporated into a larger unit.

In this lesson, students will apply what they know about how to separate a mixture by designing a wastewater treatment facility that effectively removes contaminants.

Lesson
Middle School
Population Estimates: Bringing Math and Science Together

Project EXTREMES lessons were written to be stand alone lessons, but this activity may be used prior to a field study to provide students with practice in estimating or used in a unit on ecosystems.

During this activity students will learn how to estimate population size using two techniques, density extrapolation and the mark-recapture method.

Lesson
Middle School
Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) Curriculum Overview

The SDO curriculum consists of four lessons/modules and takes 4-6 weeks to teach.

The SDO curriculum teaches students through self-directed solar explorations and encourages them to be engaged learners in order to understand the science of our Sun and to apply the knowledge they gain to solve tomorrow’s solar situations.

Unit
Middle School
What Color is the Sun?

The comic book can be used in informal education settings or as introductions to the topics covered the Solar Dynamics Observatory curriculum.

This comic book was developed with the Stanford Solar Center as part of their comic series Tales from Stanford Solar and explores questions like: What color is the Sun? and How do we study the stars? 

Lesson
Elementary School
Middle School
The Future of Forests

This storyline unit consists of 9 lessons, each tied to NGSS life science standards

In this middle school unit supported by NASA, students engage with online interactives, authentic datasets, and citizen science protocols to construct models and explanations for the unit driving question, "How do landscapes recover after a wildfire?"
Unit
Middle School
High School
A Changing Arctic Ecosystem

This storyline unit consists of 8 lessons, each tied to NGSS life science standards

The Arctic is warming more rapidly than anywhere else on Earth. One consequence of a warming Arctic is a dramatic decline in sea ice, an important habitat for many Arctic plants and animals. In this unit students will engage with 360° virtual reality tours, hands-on labs, and authentic Arctic datasets as they gather evidence to construct explanatory models for the unit driving question, "How might the decline in sea ice affect Arctic organisms large and small?"
Unit
Polar Science
Middle School
High School
Data Puzzle: On a Budget

This data puzzle is a stand-alone lesson that is part of a larger collection of data puzzles.

The Arctic is currently warming at a rate faster than the global average, a phenomenon known as Arctic amplification. In this Data Puzzle, students analyze authentic Arctic datasets to construct explanatory models for the following question, "Why might the Arctic be warming faster than other places on Earth?"
Data Puzzle, Lesson
Polar Science
Middle School
High School
Data Puzzle: Balancing Act

This data puzzle is a stand-alone lesson that is part of a larger collection of data puzzles.

Since the early 2000s, the Greenland Ice Sheet’s mass balance has been consistently negative, meaning more mass is being lost than gained. But this change in mass balance hasn’t always happened at the same rate. What could account for observed changes to the amount of ice in the Greenland Ice Sheet in recent decades?
Data Puzzle, Lesson
Polar Science
Middle School
High School
Data Puzzle: To Reflect or Not to Reflect

This data puzzle is a stand-alone lesson that is part of a larger collection of data puzzles.

The color of Earth's surface determines how much of the Sun's energy is reflected or absorbed, where lighter-colored surfaces are more reflective (higher albedo). In this Data Puzzle, students analyze authentic Arctic data to construct explanatory models for the following question, "How might the Arctic’s albedo be affected by the observed decline in sea ice?"
Data Puzzle, Lesson
Polar Science
Middle School
High School
Data Puzzle: It's All Connected

This data puzzle is a stand-alone lesson that is part of a larger collection of data puzzles.

What makes the Arctic climate system so unique is the sea ice, which influences the Arctic climate in many ways. In this Data Puzzle, students analyze authentic Arctic data to construct explanatory models for the following question, "What effect, if any, do leads (cracks in the sea ice) have on the transfer of moisture between the Arctic Ocean and atmosphere?"
Data Puzzle, Lesson
Polar Science
Middle School
High School
Data Puzzle: Megafire - Rare Occurrences or the New Normal?

This data puzzle is a stand-alone lesson that is part of a larger collection of data puzzles.

Megafires have been a hot topic in the news over the past few years, but are they a new phenomenon? In this Data Puzzle, students analyze authentic wildfire data to construct explanatory models for the follow question, "How and why has the number of megafires have changed over time?"
Data Puzzle, Lesson
Middle School
High School
VR Expedition: Explore the Arctic Aboard The Fram

This is part of a collection of VR experiences. 

Take a virtual stroll through the Fram and learn all about Nansen and his crew's adventures in the Arctic with this virtual expedition. This is a stand-alone resource that is part of a MOSAiC VR collection.
VR Experience
Polar Science
Middle School
High School
University/College
Informal Audience
Data Puzzle: Megadrought in the Colorado River Basin

This data puzzle is a stand-alone lesson that is part of a larger collection of data puzzles.

Much of the western United States is experiencing drought conditions. In this Data Puzzle, students analyze authentic climate data to construct explanatory models for the following question, "What is causing the megadrought in the Colorado River Basin?"
Data Puzzle, Lesson
Middle School
High School
Data Puzzle: What's the Limit?

This data puzzle is a stand-alone lesson that is part of a larger collection of data puzzles.

Moss campion is a hearty flowering plant that thrives in harsh arctic and alpine tundra ecosystems over a wide range of latitudes in North America. In this Data Puzzle, students analyze authentic moss campion growth and survival data to construct explanatory models for the following question, "How is the growth and survival of moss campion affected by latitude?"
Data Puzzle
Polar Science
Middle School
High School
VR Expedition: MOSAiC Ice Camp
Take a virtual tour of the MOSAiC Ice Camp in this virtual experience. This is a stand-alone resource that is part of a MOSAiC VR collection.
VR Experience
Polar Science
Elementary School
Middle School
High School
University/College
VR Expedition: MOSAiC Distributed Network
Take a virtual tour of the MOSAiC Distributed Network, Fedorov, in this virtual experience. This is a stand-alone resource that is part of a MOSAiC VR collection
VR Experience
Polar Science
Elementary School
Middle School
High School
University/College
Informal Audience
Data Puzzle: Tracing Carbon Through the Arctic Food Web

This data puzzle is a stand-alone lesson that is part of a larger collection of data puzzles.

The Arctic is home to a huge variety of living things (humans included) that have adapted to harsh conditions. However, these conditions are changing as Arctic temperatures rise and sea ice declines. In this Data Puzzle, students trace the flow of carbon through the Arctic food web to construct explanatory models for the following question, "How might the decline in sea ice affect Arctic organisms large and small?"

Data Puzzle
Polar Science
Middle School
High School
Data Puzzle: The Tipping Point

This data puzzle is a stand-alone lesson that is part of a larger collection of data puzzles.

Plants like moss campion are uniquely adapted to the cold, dry climate characteristic of the tundra biome...but temperatures are on the rise. In this Data Puzzle, students analyze temperature and reproduction data to construct explanatory models for the following question "How is moss campion reproduction affected by temperature?"
Data Puzzle
Middle School
High School
PolarPASS Interactive Environments

Using real data, diverse material types, and a range of activities, PolarPASS modules are designed to bring polar science and exploration to the classroom. PolarPASS modules link to Climate Literacy Principles and Polar Literacy Principles and are being tested in teaching models that include semester, quarter, and block teaching models.

Polar Space and Places, or PolarPASS, is connecting polar-focused material with innovative teaching methods to advance STEM undergraduate education and increase polar knowledge.
VR Experience
Polar Science
University/College
Data Puzzle: Wind Farms of the Future

This data puzzle is a stand-alone lesson that is part of a larger collection of data puzzles.

Transitioning from fossil fuels to clean, renewable energy sources like wind is essential if the US is to reduce its carbon emissions. But where should new wind farms be constructed? In this Data Puzzle, students analyze surface roughness and wind speed data to construct an evidence-based explanation for the following question, "Where in the United States (lands and waters) should new wind turbines be constructed to generate the most energy?"
Data Puzzle
Middle School
High School
Geomagnetism Challenge

This lesson is centered around a data challenge using the CrowdMag application. The challenge includes live webinars, asynchronous videos, lesson plans, and the chance to win a raffle! The lessons and asynchronous videos can be used as stand-alone resources. 

Individuals and classrooms are invited to join the GeoMag Data Challenge! Explore the power of community/citizen science, Earth's magnetic field, and data collection with us.
Unit
Middle School
High School
Informal Audience
Middle School Wildfire Unit

This HEART Force curricular unit includes all lessons for the Middle School Wildfire curriculum. 

The HEART Force curriculum builds an understanding of wildfire, flood, or drought in the context of place-based community resilience.
Unit
Middle School
Middle School Flood Unit

This HEART Force curricular unit includes all lessons for the Middle School Flood curriculum. 

The HEART Force curriculum builds an understanding of wildfire, flood, or drought in the context of place-based community resilience.
Unit
Middle School
Middle School Drought Unit

This HEART Force curricular unit includes all lessons for the Middle School Drought curriculum. 

The HEART Force curriculum builds an understanding of wildfire, flood, or drought in the context of place-based community resilience.
Unit
Middle School
High School Wildfire Unit

This HEART Force curricular unit includes all lessons for the High School Wildfire curriculum. 

The HEART Force Curriculum builds an understanding of wildfire, flood, or drought in the context of place-based community resilience.
Unit
High School
High School Flood Unit

This HEART Force curricular unit includes all lessons for the High School Flood curriculum. 

The HEART Force curriculum builds an understanding of wildfire, flood, or drought in the context of place-based community resilience.
Unit
High School
High School Drought Unit

This HEART Force curricular unit includes all lessons for the High School Drought curriculum. 

The HEART Force curriculum builds an understanding of fire, flood, or drought in the context of place-based community resilience.
Unit
High School
From Greenland to our Coasts: Exploring Sea Level Change with QGreenland

This unit consists of 3 lessons, each tied to NGSS life science standards

In this unit, students will explore how the Greenland Ice Sheet is changing and why that affects coastal communities worldwide. Students will view authentic Greenland geospatial data and learn how to create flood maps to assess local risk in QGIS.
Unit
High School
Informal Audience
Ecosystems of Rocky Mountain National Park

This virtual reality tour is part of a larger lesson focused on ecosystems.

Students explore biotic and abiotic interactions in Rocky Mountain National Park ecosystems in this virtual reality tour.
VR Experience
Middle School
Geomagnetism: Earth's Magnetic Field
In two lessons, designed for grades 6-12, students will explore how Earth’s magnetic field protects us from harmful space weather that can damage communications systems, disrupt navigation systems, and overwhelm the electric grid.
Lesson
Middle School
Analyzing Geomagnetism using the CrowdMag App
This lesson is a stand-alone lesson for undergraduate students. Measure the background geomagnetic field of your campus, Identify anomalies created by local magnetic sources, and compare geomagnetic data collected by different devices.
Lesson
University/College
HEART Force Wildfire Resilience Game

This lesson is best used after the wildfire hazard lesson in the HEART Force curricular unit, for students to apply their learning and recover from a hypothetical wildfire in their own community. 

In this scenario-based role-play game, students play the role of community members planning for wildfire resilience in their community. After a wildfire occurs, they see how resilience and recovery efforts pan out in their hometown based on their planning efforts.
Game
Colorado-Based
Shifting Winds
In this short unit, students investigate the question "Are wind patterns at the foot of the Rocky Mountains changing?" Students explore what causes wind and look at recent wind data. Students create a public-facing infographic to explain to the public if and how wind patterns are changing.
Lesson
Colorado-Based
Middle School
Data Puzzle: Not All Warming is Equal

This data puzzle is a stand-alone lesson that is part of a larger collection of data puzzles.

The dramatic increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide has caused global temperatures to rise by more than 1.1°C (~2°F), but not all warming is equal. In this Data Puzzle, students analyze temperature and atmospheric carbon dioxide datasets to construct explanatory models for the following question, "Do the places on Earth where temperatures are increasing the most also have the greatest increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide?"
Data Puzzle
Drifting North Polar Planetarium
In this MS/HS lesson, students will be transported to the Arctic with the MOSAiC expedition, The Multidisciplinary drifting Observatory for the Arctic Climate, in an immersive classroom and field trip experience.
Lesson
Nature of science, Polar Science
Middle School
High School
ReVisioning Hazards

This is the first lesson in the Lake County Cascading Hazards unit, but can be used for any introduction to natural hazards curriculum. 

In the first lesson of the Lake County Cascading Hazards Unit, students read a poem written by a local fire survivor, and utilize a visualization practice to build personal resilience.
Lesson
Middle School
High School
Cascading Hazards

This is the second of four lessons in the Lake County Cascading Hazards unit. 

In the second lesson of the Lake County Cascading Hazards unit, students dig into local stories and datasets, and learn about the connections between natural hazards.
Lesson
Middle School
High School
Take Action

This is the last of four lessons in the Lake County Cascading Hazards unit. 

In the last lesson of the Lake County unit, students develop idea to increase resilience to hazards in their own community.
Lesson
Middle School
High School
Lake County Cascading Hazards Unit

The unit has four lessons in total. 

This unit builds an understanding of five natural hazards and their connections in the context of place-based community resilience.
Unit
Middle School
High School
Social Vulnerability to Natural Hazards

This is the third of four lessons in the Lake County Cascading Hazards unit. This lesson can also be used in the HEART Force Curriculum. 

In the third lesson of the Lake County Cascading Hazards unit, students learn about social factors that might make one group more vulnerable to a hazard than another.
Lesson
Middle School
High School
Data Puzzle: Wildfire, Drought, and the Future of Forests

This data puzzle is a stand-alone lesson that is part of a larger collection of data puzzles.

Wildfires are burning more and more of the forests across the western United States. In this Data Puzzle, Data Puzzle, students analyze post-fire forest recovery datasets as they gather evidence to construct explanatory models for the following question, "How do climate conditions impact the recovery of forests after a wildfire?"
Data Puzzle
Middle School
High School
The Emotions Wheel

This activity is a stand-alone exercise part of seven activities from the Climate Mental Health Support Activities. 

Emotion wheels have been a visual tool used by psychologists for decades to help people better understand and interpret their feelings. This activity is for people of all ages and can be done with family members, in a classroom, with friends, work colleagues, etc.
Lesson
Elementary School
Middle School
High School
University/College
Informal Audience
Active Listening Skills

This activity is one of seven activities in the Climate Mental Health Support Activities.

In this lesson, students will identify emotions they experience as they learn about the impacts of climate change. In pairs, students will practice active listening skills as one student describes their emotions to the partner who applies active listening skills. They then flip roles and the other student describes their emotions while the partner listens.
Lesson
Middle School
High School
University/College
Facilitating Discussions and Creating Solidarity

This activity is one of seven activities in the Climate Mental Health Support Activities.

Talking about emotions related to climate change can help youth to process emotions, move on, and develop trust and connection with others through shared solidarity. In this lesson, students will discuss their thoughts and feelings about climate change with others. Consider teaching the Emotions Wheel and Active Listening activities before this in order to help students develop language and discussion skills.
Lesson
Middle School
High School
University/College
Nature Appreciation

This activity is one of seven activities in the Climate Mental Health Support Activities.

In this lesson, students will play, explore, appreciate, and practice perspective-taking in nature. All of these actions help positively connect youth to nature, and instill an ethic of care for the environment.
Lesson
Elementary School
Middle School
High School
University/College
Informal Audience
Data Puzzle: Snow in the Rockies
Water from snowmelt high in the Rocky Mountains feeds into the Colorado River, a river system that more than 40 million people rely on for water. In this Data Puzzle, students analyze snowfall and snowmelt datasets to investigate the question, "How have snow conditions in the East River Watershed changed over time?"
Data Puzzle
Connecting with Special Places in Nature

This activity is one of seven activities in the Climate Mental Health Support Activities.

In this lesson, students will take time to connect to a place that is special to them.
Lesson
Elementary School
Middle School
High School
University/College
Informal Audience
Visioning Possibility

This activity is a standalone exercise that is part of one of seven activities from the Climate Mental Health Support Activities. 

In this lesson, students will find inspiration from innovative solutions, envisioning a hopeful future and their role in it.
Lesson
Elementary School
Middle School
High School
University/College
Informal Audience
Climate Solutions

This activity is a standalone exercise that is part of one of seven activities from the Climate Mental Health Support Activities. 

In this lesson, students will participate in a short scavenger hunt to familiarize themselves with climate change mitigation strategies and solutions for decreasing heat-trapping emissions.
Lesson
Elementary School
Middle School
High School
University/College
Informal Audience
You are a Climate Leader

This activity is a stand-alone exercise part of seven activities from the Climate Mental Health Support Activities. 

In this lesson, students will read brief biographies of youth climate activists and then reflect on how they can take climate action in their own lives. This lesson is best suited as the end of a unit or lesson on climate change as it requires some background knowledge on the causes of current climate change and potential mitigations or solutions.
Lesson
Middle School
High School
University/College
Informal Audience
Data Puzzle: Windstorms on the Front Range
Although strong windstorms are a common weather event at the foot of the Rocky Mountains, a record-breaking windy spring soon after the Marshall Fire disaster had the public feeling on-edge. In this Data Puzzle, students analyze data on the number of windstorms and the number of red flag warnings to investigate the question, “Is it getting windier on the Front Range as the climate warms?”
Data Puzzle
Colorado-Based
Module 1: Exploring the Glacier Basin System

This Module consists of five Units, walking students through an overview of the glacier basin system, exploring glacier mass balance, albedo, and surface melt, and looking inside and underneath the glacier. The Units also cover the transition from the glacier margin to land and system responses to climate change.

Earth's polar environments have undergone rapid change during the 21st century and scientists have generated important new data and made groundbreaking insights. Despite growing interest to bring polar-focused material into the undergraduate classroom, curriculum development has lagged. Polar Space and Places, or PolarPASS, is connecting polar-focused material with innovative teaching methods to advance STEM undergraduate education and increase polar knowledge.
Lesson
Polar Science
High School
University/College
Module 2: Long-term Spatial Transformations of the Glacier Basin System

Module 2 is designed to follow after Module 1. Instructors may choose to use Module 2 independently, but may want to consider some additional introductory materials if they are not beginning with Module 1. Module 2 consists of four Units. The Units begin by exploring past ice margin retreat and processes of ice margin retreat and elevation change. The material then explores natural climate variability and anthropogenic forcings, and then examines potential future ice margin response to climate change.

Earth's polar environments have undergone rapid change during the 21st century and scientists have generated important new data and made groundbreaking insights. Despite growing interest to bring polar-focused material into the undergraduate classroom, curriculum development has lagged. Polar Space and Places, or PolarPASS, is connecting polar-focused material with innovative teaching methods to advance STEM undergraduate education and increase polar knowledge.
Lesson
Polar Science
High School
University/College
Be a Water Detective Take & Make Kit

This Take & Make Kit will help you become a water detective so that you can tell the story of water in your community!

Student's use tools to make observations about how water shapes the surface of our planet and how water supports and is impacted by the life that calls Earth home. Through these observations, water detectives are able tell meaningful stories about water.
Lesson
Elementary School
Middle School
Sé un detective del agua | Be a Water Detective Take & Make Kit

This Take & Make Kit will help you become a water detective so that you can tell the story of water in your community!

Ser un detective del agua significa ser un buen observador. Los y las detectives del agua se fijan no solo en cómo el agua cambia la superficie de nuestro planeta, pero también en cómo el agua soporta la vida terrestre y es en turno afectada a su por los seres vivos que llaman a la Tierra su hogar.
Lesson
Elementary School
Middle School
Be a Water Ecosystem Hero Take & Make Kit

This Take & Make Kit will help you become a water ecosystem hero that can battle water pollution, protect our rivers, and recognize pollinators in your local environment! 

Student's work together to protect a river from water pollution in a collaborative board game, search for evidence of pollinators in their backyard, and learn about the connections between water, pollution and pollinators.
Lesson
Elementary School
Middle School
Sé un héroe del ecosistema del agua | Be a Water Ecosystem Hero Take & Make Kit

This Take & Make Kit will help you become a water ecosystem hero that can battle water pollution, protect our rivers, and recognize pollinators in your local environment! 

Combate la contaminación del agua jugando en equipo y sal de casa para buscar un polinizador.
Lesson
Elementary School
Middle School
Be a Water Historian Take & Make Kit

This Take & Make Kit will help you become a water historian so you can share recorded stories with people in your community and elsewhere in the Four Corners region through the We are Water project!

Everyone has a story to tell. Recording stories from your family, friends, and people in your community is an important part of understanding history in your town. In this activity, students learn how to be a good interviewer so that they can help preserve amazing stories from their community!
Lesson
Middle School
High School
University/College
Informal Audience
Sé un/a Historiador/a del Agua | Be a Water Historian Take & Make Kit

This Take & Make Kit will help you become a water historian so you can share recorded stories with people in your community and elsewhere in the Four Corners region through the We are Water project!

Toda persona tiene una historia que contar. Registrar las historias de tus familiares y amigos y las personas de tu comunidad es fundamental para conocer la historia de tu pueblo. Esta actividad le enseña a ser un/a buen/a entrevistador/a.
Lesson
Middle School
High School
University/College
Informal Audience
Tó daniidlį' nilį' | Be a Water Historian Take & Make Kit

This Take & Make Kit will help you become a water historian so you can share recorded stories with people in your community and elsewhere in the Four Corners region through the We are Water project!

Everyone has a story to tell. Recording stories from your family, friends, and people in your community is an important part of understanding history in your town. In this activity, students learn how to be a good interviewer so that they can help preserve amazing stories from their community!
Lesson
Middle School
High School
University/College
Informal Audience
Waffle Garden Take & Make Kit

This Take & Make Kit will help you understand ancient Indigenous agricultural techniques, including science and math skills that are still effective in modern times!

Indigenous peoples of the American Southwest, including the Diné (Navajo), A:shiwi (Zuni), Zia Pueblo, and Laguna Pueblo, have been using a time-tested agricultural method known as a waffle garden to successfully grow crops in the semi-arid environment for generations. In this activity student's will reflect upon and learn about Indigenous relationships with water and the land to help them understand diverse methods of using water in dry climates.
Lesson
Elementary School
Middle School
High School
Un jardín de forma de wafle | Waffle Garden Take & Make Kit

This Take & Make Kit will help you understand ancient Indigenous agricultural techniques, including science and math skills that are still effective in modern times!

La gente indígena del suroeste de los Estados Unidos, incluyendo los Diné (Navajo), A:shiwi (Zuni), Zia Pueblo y Laguna Pueblo, han utilizado durante generaciones un método agrícola de probada eficacia conocido como Un jardín de forma de wafle para cultivar con éxito en el entorno semiárido. En esta actividad, los estudiantes reflexionarán y aprenderán sobre las relaciones indígenas con el agua y la tierra para ayudarlos a comprender diversos métodos de uso del agua en climas secos.
Lesson
Elementary School
Middle School
High School
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Phone: 303-492-5670
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CEEE Mail

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