Week 1: From the Outside Looking In
Changing Our Perspective of Earth

Famous image of Earth rising above Moon's limb, captured by the Apollo 8 crew in December of 1968. Image source: Astronomy Picture of the Day. Image credit: NASA and Apollo 8 Crew.

"We came all this way to explore the Moon, and the most important thing is that we discovered the Earth."

astronaut Bill Anders recalling the Apollo 8 Mission

More than forty years have passed since the Apollo 8 astronauts took this famous photograph of the Earth, yet we continue to be awed and amazed by what we can see and learn about our planet from an "eyes in the sky" perspective. This first week of the course is an introduction to remote sensing and its value for understanding Earth and how it changes over time.

Weekly Goals

  • Understand the basics of remote sensing
  • Learn how remote sensing helps us understand Earth and how it changes over time
  • Become familiar with a variety of sources for getting satellite imagery
  • Become comfortable downloading images from NASA NEO
  • Share your ideas about how the use of NASA satellite data fits into your classroom teaching
  • Provide feedback on what you are learning and the process of learning it

This Week's Tasks

  1. Read background information about remote sensing and explore galleries of images and animations created from remote sensed data.
  2. Find out Dr. Sally Ride's thoughts about remote sensing.
  3. Explore Earth from the perspective of a NASA satellite using Eyes on the Earth 3-D.
  4. Use NASA NEO to download a satellite image that you can use in your teaching.
  5. Contribute to an online discussion centered on using satellite data in your teaching.
  6. Answer the Week 1 Feedback questions.

A Look at the Week Page by Page

Intro to Remote Sensing

This page introduces you to the art and science of remote sensing. Learn the basics of how remote sensing works, browse satellite images, and consider how remote sensing fits into your own classroom teaching.

Eyes on Dr. Sally Ride

Meet Dr. Sally Ride, first American woman in space, physics professor, and promoter of science education and outreach.

Eyes on the Earth

Use the Eyes on the Earth 2.0 3-D simulation to explore Earth from the eyes-in-the-sky perspective of more than a dozen NASA satellites currently orbiting the Earth. Choose one satellite to explore more closely, thinking about how you might use data from this satellite to teach your students about an environmental issue.

Getting to Know NEO

Familiarize yourself with the NASA Earth Observations (NEO) sitea great place to find imagery of NASA Earth science datasets. Select a dataset of interest to you. Download the image of your map in JPG format and save it to your computer. This is the image that you'll post to your discussion section.

This weekly activity is required and is due on Thursday, May 3, 2012.

Share and Discuss Assignment

Create a new discussion thread and post the image you downloaded from NASA NEO along with a brief description of it. Then share one or more ideas about how you might incorporate this image into your teaching. Use the reply function to "talk" to others in your section about their ideas.

This weekly activity is required and occurs from Thursday, May 3, through Sunday, May 6, 2012.

Week 1 Feedback

This page gives you the opportunity to provide us feedback about the week's activities.

Feedback is optional and anonymous. However, if you have time to provide feedback, you can help us better meet your needs.

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