NASA Selects Earth System Science for Grant Funding

May 15, 2009



CAMBRIDGE, MA– NASA recently awarded TERC $280,000 to develop Earth System Science: A Key to Climate Literacy. The project is developing an Earth Systems Climate EarthLabs module that will join four existing EarthLabs modules (focused on Hurricanes, Fisheries, Corals, and Drought). This module will become part of a high school capstone Earth and Space science curriculum that uses the latest NASA data and visualization tools. The project will also develop a mechanism for teacher professional development to facilitate effective use of the module.

“In the coming years, society will have to make important decisions as to how to best to respond to our changing environment and climate,” says Dr. Tamara Shapiro Ledley, Principal Investigator for Earth System Science. “In order to make informed decisions, it is essential that citizens and students have an understanding of the Earth as a holistic system of dynamic, interacting components. This Earth Systems Climate EarthLabs module will directly help students develop a deeper understanding of Earth system science. As a result, students will increase their climate literacy, and thus their ability to make well-informed decisions for themselves and society.”

The Earth Systems Climate EarthLabs module will be comprised of nine sequential, lab-based activities to introduce students to the topic of climate change. The activities will include a combination of fieldwork and in-classroom assignments and will integrate NASA data access and analysis tools such as NASA Earth Observations (NEO), NASA Image Composite Editor (ICE), and the Goddard Interactive Online Visualization and Analysis Infrastructure (Giovanni). The module will be available on the web and integrate professional development support.

NASA’s press release announcing the Global Education Grant awards can be viewed here.