NSTA continues to explore the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) by presenting a web seminar series focusing on the disciplinary core ideas. The fall series features four informative and interactive web seminars on physical science core ideas and three on Earth and space science. The series will continue in 2014 with web seminars on life science and engineering design.

The web seminar on the disciplinary core idea of Earth’s Systems addresses questions such as “What regulates weather and climate?” and “What causes earthquakes and volcanoes?”

This web seminar will provide guidance on:

  • why it's important for students to understand Earth's systems
  • how students' understanding of Earth's systems might progress over their K-12 education
  • how ideas that students have about Earth's systems can be leveraged during instruction; and
  • how to incorporate the scientific and engineering practices into instruction so students can deepen their understanding of Earth's systems

This course explores the science of climate change. Students will learn how the climate system works; what factors cause climate to change across different time scales and how those factors interact; how climate has changed in the past; how scientists use models, observations and theory to make predictions about future climate; and the possible consequences of climate change for our planet. The course explores evidence for changes in ocean temperature, sea level and acidity due to global warming. Students will learn how climate change today is different from past climate cycles and how satellites and other technologies are revealing the global signals of a changing climate. Finally, the course looks at the connection between human activity and the current warming trend and considers some of the potential social, economic and environmental consequences of climate change.


Authoring Scientists

Ed Mathez, Geologist

Gavin Schmidt, Climatologist
Drew Shindell, Climatologist


Key Science Concepts

The Sun is the primary source of energy for Earth's climate system. The Earth's energy is in balance, or equilibrium, when Earth emits the same amount of energy as it absorbs.

The climate system is dynamic and has many interrelated components. A change in any one component can influence the equilibrium of the system and result in climate changes.

Climate varies over space and time through both natural and human sources. These forces operate over time periods ranging from years to hundreds of millions or even billions of years and vary widely with location on Earth.

Human activities – particularly the increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide since the Industrial Revolution – are affecting the climate system today, leading to warming temperatures globally.

Evidence for variations in past climates is held in ocean and lake sediments, ice cores, corals, tree rings, and other geologic records. Understanding past climate informs us about how the present climate system works and how it might change in the future.

Climate change will have consequences for the Earth system including human society. Climate change research involves extensive observations, theory and modeling. Future climate change scenarios are essential to informing efforts to mitigate and to adapt to the consequences of climate change.

Graduate Credit

This course is approved for graduate credit and continuing education units from leading institutions at an additional cost.



November 5, 2015 3:00 PM - 4:30 PM EDT

As part of the climate change goal, DOE is planning to host eight Regional Climate Change Impact Webinars as part of the MIE initiative. We are looking to host speakers who will discuss regional efforts to mitigate and adapt to climate change impacts as they relate to the President's Climate Action Plan with a particular focus on engaging minority communities. 

Experts will provide findings from the Quadrennial Energy Review (QER), energy job strategies, and the National Climate Impact Assessment. As part of the QER discussion, we plan to share climate-based findings related to national security, resilience, the grid of the future, environment, grid siting, and shared transport. This discussion will outline federal energy policy objectives, proposals, and actions, particularly as they relate to climate change and resilience for underserved communities. For more information on the QER, please visithttp://energy.gov/epsa/quadrennial-energy-review-qer. 

An expert on energy and climate change job strategies will discuss job opportunities by region as well as regional options for renewables and energy efficiency. We will share region-specific information about the energy workforce across a variety of energy sectors and experience levels. 

The final section of the webinar will focus on findings from the National Climate Assessment and their regional applicability to those communities who are disproportionally impacted by the effects of climate change. We hope to host regional experts who can share Assessment findings and provide potential tools for resilience among minority and tribal communities.

NSTA continues to explore the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) by presenting a web seminar series focusing on the disciplinary core ideas. The fall series features four informative and interactive web seminars on physical science core ideas and three on Earth and space science. The series will continue in 2014 with web seminars on life science and engineering design.

The web seminar on the disciplinary core idea of Earth and Human Activity addresses questions such as “How do humans depend on Earth’s resources?” and “How do humans change the planet?”

This web seminar will provide guidance on:

  • which concepts are central to an understanding of Earth and human activity
  • how students' understanding of Earth and human activity might progress over their K-12 education; and
  • what students engaging in scientific and engineering practices to understand Earth and human activity looks like in the classroom

6-7:00pm ET/3-4:00pm PT

The GLOBE Program  originally developed posters and activities for teachers to help students explore the concepts of Earth as a system, find patterns and connections between and among maps containing different environmental data, and to understand the relationship between time and space in regard to global environmental data.

In 2014, a digital GLOBE Earth system ePoster is now provided by the MY NASA DATA project to extend the opportunities for learning. This digital poster provides data for 2005 through 2013 and enables interactive exploration of the data in more detail through the use of animations. The animations can be used with students to find patterns among different environmental data, understand the relationship among different environmental parameters, and understand how the data changes seasonally and over longer time scales.

In this interactive educator webinar, Tina Harte, education specialist at NASA Langley Research Center and former middle school science teacher, will explore the ePoster and activities will be discussed for K-12 students, with a focus on those meeting NGSS performance expectations, science practices and cross-cutting concepts related to Earth System Science.


Education and communication are among the most powerful tools the nation has to bring hidden hazards to public attention, understanding, and action.

Informing an Effective Response to Climate Change, NRC (2010)

Bumble bees, extreme weather events, sea ice loss, and drought. The impacts of climate change are being felt by communities and creatures across our nation—and world. The Forum on Digital Media for STEM Learning: Climate Education will explore how the stories and science behind these impacts are increasingly being integrated into classroom instruction and STEM education contexts, with a focus on digital media. Held at WGBH’s Brighton studio on Monday, November 9, 2015, this highly-interactive and fast-paced event will examine emerging narratives in climate education, digital media tools and products that show unique potential for educational settings, and promising modes of engagement for students, teachers and schools.


Please explore the program and line-up of presenters. Click here to find out how to watch the Forum live.

LIVE STREAM timing for each strand:
9:15  - 11 AM ET Strand 1: Standards and Storylines 
11:30 AM – 1:15 PM ET Strand 2: Emerging Platforms and Products 
2 – 3 PM ET Strand 3: New Modes of Engagement

A note about the Program Design of the Forum event:

This Forum event is designed for both live, in-person audiences, as well as viewers who wish to watch and interact via online streaming and social media. The three topic strands have been developed around the content, technology and pedagogy of Climate Education, and reference the TPCK model for professional learning. Strands provide a blend of theory and practice, with anchoring keynote presentations that are followed by shorter “case study” presentations that offer early findings and emergent research. Each strand concludes with a hosted panel discussion with in-studio and online audiences.

These strands are followed by an attendee-driven “unconference,” where participants discuss and develop ways to implement some of the ideas from the panels that had resonated with them. Attendees of the 2014 Forum event reported that the “unconference” session, and additional networking opportunities, provide a real “value-add” for in-person attendance. A dedicated online community space containing tools and resources will continue to be accessible along with the work products from the Forum events, laying the foundation for a larger community of practice for sharing best practices and lessons learned.

The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) brings considerably more attention to climate and climate change than earlier curriculum standards. The session will explore what and how to teach climate in ways connected to NGSS's three dimensions: (science and engineering practices, cross-cutting themes, and disciplinary core ideas (DCIs)), especially the most connected DCI: Human Impacts. We welcome abstracts addressing innovative roles for scientists assisting educators, student engagement with real data, materials and approaches that attend to the climate-energy connection; exemplary curricular materials, successful out-of-school programs, and strategies for dealing with anti-science sentiments.

The live streams will begin 15 minutes before the session times. View the full program. Note: All times are in PST.

4:00pm-5:00pm ET

Investigate the National Climate Assessment (or NCA) report during Earth Science Week with Research Scientist Alison Delgado on Wednesday, October 15, 2014 from 4-5pm ET. Get an in-depth view on how our climate is changing and what observations are telling us all in Spanish. Discover how to integrate the National Climate Assessment into your STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) classroom through NASA hands-on activities in Spanish. Engage students with NASA unique projects including how to use clouds, climate and weather through NASA’s Students’ Cloud Observations On-Line or S’COOL project. The entire session and lessons will be presented in Spanish.

For more information about this session please contact NASA Education Specialist Marilé Colón Robles at Marile.ColonRobles@nasa.gov


Alison Delgado, Research Scientist at the Joint Global Change Research Institute
Marilé Colón Robles, NASA Educator Professional Development Specialist at NASA Langley Research Center

About the Presenters:

Alison Delgado is a Research Scientist at the Joint Global Change Research Institute, a collaboration between the U.S. Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) and the University of Maryland at College Park. She is currently assigned to USGCRP for U.S. DOE where she is serving as Sector Coordinator for the National Climate Assessment. In that capacity, she is coordinating with government agencies, scientists, NGOs, academia and industry to develop the Third National Climate Assessment, particularly to assess impacts of climate change on sectors that include energy, agriculture and rural communities, forests, transportation and public health. She also supports the working group on Scenarios and Interpretive Science.

Marilé Colón Robles is a NASA Education Specialist at NASA Langley Research Center. She creates and teaches professional development workshops for pre-service and in-service teachers as well as informal educators all over the country, delivering these opportunities in both English and Spanish.

NASA STEM inmersa en español para el desarrollo profesional de educadores: la Evaluación Climática Nacional
Investigue los resultados de la Evaluación Climática Nacional (o NCA por sus siglas en inglés) durante la semana de la ciencias terrestres con científica de investigación Alison Delgado el miércoles, 15 de octubre, 2014 de 4-5pm ET. Obtenga un análisis detallado de cómo nuestro clima está cambiando y qué nos dicen las observaciones científicas. Descubre cómo integrar el reporte en tu salón de clase STEM a través de actividades interactivas de la NASA en español. Aprenda sobre proyectos de la NASA perfecto para estudiantes incluyendo cómo utilizar nubes, clima y el tiempo con el proyecto de observaciones de nubes estudiantiles de la NASA en línea, o S’COOL. Esta sesión será completamente en español.

Para obtener más información acerca de esta sesión contacte la especialista de educación de la NASA Marilé Colón Robles a Marile.ColonRobles@nasa.gov.


Alison Delgado, científica de investigaciones en el Joint Global Change Research Institute

Marilé Colón Robles, especialista de desarrollo profesional para educadores de la NASA en el Centro de Investigaciones Langley de la NASA

Monday, December 7th at 7:30 pm Eastern Time

This webinar takes a deep dive into the use of simple models in climate education. Dr. Russell will explore some fundamental concepts of climate science that allow students to use simple models to actively investigate the scientific concepts. He'll start with a basic calculation of the "theoretical" global average temperature of our home planet - first walking through the science and math behind the calculations, then using a simple computer-based model that allows students to explore multiple "what if" scenarios. Next, he'll look at the Greenhouse Effect's impact on global temperatures and present a physical model that illustrates the Greenhouse Effect and the layered structure of Earth's atmosphere. After that, Dr. Russell will present how some straightforward math connects anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions with future global temperatures - and then explore another computer-based simulation that allows students to test the impact of various emission scenarios on future global temperatures. 

Finally, Dr. Russell will take a look at an extensive online list of simulations, games, and virtual labs for climate education. Time permitting, he'll show some Greenhouse Effect simulations and a paleoclimate (tree rings) simulation. 


Please share this opportunity will ALL interested colleagues and networks.

Important Information for participating in this Webinar. Seriously, read this and save it for your reference: 

  • Log into the webinar at least 5 minutes before the scheduled start time. GoToWebinar continually upgrades their software. We want to be sure you can access the meeting when it begins.
  • Plan to use the VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) option for this presentation. All participants will be muted during the duration of the webinar.
  • If you have difficulty connecting listening to the webinar using VOIP, you may dial +1 (415) 930-5321 for audio. The access code is: 551-581-773. You will be charged for this call. No Audio Pin is needed to listen to the webinar.
  • If you have difficulty logging in to the webinar go to: http://support.citrixonline.com/en_US/Webinar/contact?question=l The ID Number for this Webinar is:  116-878-155

For more information on NOAA's Climate Stewards Education Project come to their Web page

To receive information on upcoming webinars, book/discussion club meetings, professional development workshops and opportunities, sign up to their Listserv


During this web seminar for educators of students in grades 7-12 participants will learn how to incorporate weather data from NASA’s Earth Observing Satellites into meteorology lessons while addressing national science and technology standards, including the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). Educators will explore the benefits of monitoring the climate system with satellites and review how satellites observe key atmospheric elements and features that are important for studying long-term climate trends. Participants will explore the contributions that satellites make to improve our understanding, monitoring, and prediction of climate. The web seminar will also cover the challenges involved in monitoring climate with satellites. Register today!

In the featured activity students use data from Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites (GOES) and Polar Operational Environmental Satellites (POES). GOES provides real-time weather data for use in short-term weather forecasting, space environment monitoring, and research and development. POES primarily provides data for long-range weather forecasting, ensuring that non-visible data, for any region of Earth, are no more than six hours old.

Next Generation Science Standards addressed in this web seminar:

  • MS-ESS2 Earth's Systems

    • Science and Engineering Practices

      • Planning and Carrying Out Investigations
    • Disciplinary Core Ideas
    • The Roles of Water in Earth's Surface Processes
    • Weather and Climate
    • Crosscutting Concepts

      • Cause and Effect

Common Core Mathematics Standards addressed in this web seminar:

  • Grade 8

    • Statistics and Probability