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K-12 Mapping Activities

Browse this collection of over 100 activities for use in K-12 classrooms that focus on creating and using maps. Have a map activity of your own? Submit it here to add it to the collection. Learn more about using maps in your class.


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Mapping Local Data in a GIS part of Earth Exploration Toolbook:MyMap
DATA: Student-collected GPS data and site characterizations TOOLS: MyWorld GIS, spreadsheet program - Follow a study of Urban Heat Islands as an example of map-based science research projects.

CLEAN Selected This activity has been selected for inclusion in the CLEAN collection.
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Using NASA NEO and ImageJ to Explore the Role of Snow Cover in Shaping Climate part of Earth Exploration Toolbook:Exploring Albedo with NASA NEO
DATA: NASA Satellite Images. TOOLS: ImageJ and Image Composite Explorer (ICE) of NASA Earth Observations (NEO). SUMMARY: Explore and animate satellite images of reflected short wave radiation, snow cover, and land surface temperature downloaded. Then observe, graph, and analyze the relationship between these three variables.

CLEAN Selected This activity has been selected for inclusion in the CLEAN collection.
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The 2004 Sumatra Earthquake and Tsunami part of Cutting Edge:Visualization:Examples
In this multi-part activity, students study seismograms from different seismic stations recording the Sumatra earthquake of December 26th, 2004 and then determine the epicenter of the quake and track the tsunami it ...

Lab 3: Normal Climate Patterns part of EarthLabs for Educators:Drought
The lab activity described here was created by Betsy Youngman of Phoenix Country Day School and LuAnn Dahlman of TERC for the EarthLabs project. Activity Summary and Learning Objectives Students generate and ...

CLEAN Selected This activity has been selected for inclusion in the CLEAN collection.
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Student-centered Experiments on Earthquake Occurrence Using the Seismic/Eruption Program part of NAGT:Teaching Resources:Teaching Materials Collection
Students select their own region of interest and interrogate the earthquake catalog to obtain quantitative data on the rate of occurrence of earthquakes of various magnitudes within their chosen region.

Exploring Air Quality in Aura NO2 Data part of Earth Exploration Toolbook:Aura
DATA: NASA Aura nitrogen dioxide data. TOOL: Google Earth. SUMMARY: Learn about photochemical smog. Explore the relationships among human population density, nitrogen dioxide concentrations, and geography.

Investigating Earthquakes with ArcVoyager GIS part of Earth Exploration Toolbook:Investigating Earthquakes
DATA: Recent and Historical Earthquake Data TOOL: ArcVoyager Special Edition GIS - Explore earthquake data and import them into a Geographic Information System (GIS). Analyze the data to predict where the next big earthquake will occur.

Plotting Earthquakes with Near Real-Time Data part of Cutting Edge:Visualization:Examples
Students access the United States Geological Survey National Earthquake Information Center at http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/map/ and plot the longitude latitude and depth of earthquakes on a physiographic ...

Hurricanes: Unit Overview part of EarthLabs:Hurricanes
In this EarthLabs module, students will do hands-on experiments and study hurricanes in satellite imagery and visualizations. They'll also explore over 150 years of storm data to find out when and where these storms occur. If students are studying hurricanes during hurricane season, they can monitor the position and status of storms in real time. Hurricanes can serve as an exciting entry point into understanding everyday weather, or a culminating topic for an Earth system or environmental science unit.

Lab 4: Finding Coral's Ideal Environment part of EarthLabs for Educators:Corals
The lab activity described here was created by Erin Bardar of TERC for the EarthLabs project. Activity Summary and Learning Objectives Corals, like other living animals, require a particular range of environmental ...

Lab 5: Exploring Factors that Impact Coral Health part of EarthLabs for Educators:Corals
The lab activity described here was created by Erin Bardar of TERC for the EarthLabs project. Activity Summary and Learning Objectives In the previous lab, students explored the characteristics of the ocean ...

Lab 1: Where's the Water? part of EarthLabs for Educators:Drought
The lab activity described here was created by Betsy Youngman of Phoenix Country Day School and LuAnn Dahlman of TERC for the EarthLabs project. Activity Summary and Learning Objectives Using data on the ...

Lab 2: What's a Watershed? part of EarthLabs for Educators:Drought
The lab activity described here was created by Betsy Youngman of Phoenix Country Day School and LuAnn Dahlman of TERC for the EarthLabs project. The hands-on activity in Part A is adapted from similar lessons by ...

Lab 4: When Precipitation Patterns Change part of EarthLabs for Educators:Drought
The lab activity described here was created by Betsy Youngman of Phoenix Country Day School and LuAnn Dahlman of TERC for the EarthLabs project. Activity Summary and Learning Objectives In this activity students ...

Lab 5: Droughts of the Past part of EarthLabs for Educators:Drought
The lab activity described here was created by Betsy Youngman of Phoenix Country Day School and LuAnn Dahlman of TERC for the EarthLabs project. Activity Summary and Learning Objectives America's most famous ...

Lab 4: Putting Hurricanes on the Map part of EarthLabs for Educators:Hurricanes
The lab activity described here was created by LuAnn Dahlman of TERC for the EarthLabs project. Activity Summary and Learning Objectives Students select a storm from the HURDAT database and create its track in the ...

Lessons on River Ecosystems part of Cutting Edge:Complex Systems:Teaching Activities
These lessons immerse students in thinking about the big idea of an environmental system as a network of interrelationships and evaluating the goodness of policy options for the environment in the future.

How Cities Affect Their Local Climate part of Earth Exploration Toolbook:Are Our Cities Warming the Earth?
DATA: GLOBE Program Surface Temperature. TOOL: My World GIS. SUMMARY: Explore the urban heat island effect using student collected surface temperature data. Subset large datasets, buffer others, examine spatial relationships, and gather statistics to investigate temperature differences in urban and rural school sites.

Water Availability part of Earth Exploration Toolbook:Water Availability
DATA: North American Regional Reanalysis (NARR). TOOL: FieldScope GIS. SUMMARY: Use an online GIS from the National Geographic Society, to investigate the relationship between precipitation, evaporation, and surface runoff.

Exploring NCAR Climate Change Data Using GIS part of Earth Exploration Toolbook:NCAR Climate Change Data with GIS
DATA: NCAR Climate Change Scenarios. TOOL: ArcGIS. SUMMARY: Calculate summer average temperatures during the growing season (June, July, and August) using simulated, present-day, climate-modeled output and compare these to temperatures calculated using projected, future, climate-modeled output. Create a temperature anomaly map to summarize the analysis.

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