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Workshops and Presentations by the Windows to the Universe Team

Teachers at a Windows to the Universe workshop in RenoOur staff conducts workshops and presentations at conferences and other venues for the professional development of geoscience educators.

We've gathered up web links and other resources related to our presentations and listed them here. Upcoming events and our most recent workshops appear at the top of this list.  The list of workshops offered prior to 2005 is not complete.

Windows to the Universe Educator Members should login to get full access to free formatted pdfs of activity descriptions, worksheets, data sheets, assessmements, and powerpoints on our Teacher Activities page.  Non-members can access html versions of these resources and ppt slide shows, purchase individual pdfs and downloadable ppts from our online store, or join today for access to everything, and lots of other services and benefits, too.  Thank you for helping to support Windows to the Universe!

We are now offering on-site professional development workshops for teachers.

 

2013

NSTA Fall Area Conferences

The NESTA Windows to the Universe Team is presenting the same four workshops (on natural hazards, NGSS in the Earth and space science classroom, climate change science and energy consumption, and high-impact Earth science in a STEM world) at each of the following NSTA Area conferences. 

  • Portland, Oregon (October 25, 2013; Presenters: Richard Jones, Wendy Van Norden, Pam Whiffen, and Parker Pennington IV)
  • Charlotte, North Carolina (November 8, 2013; Presenters: Missy Holzer, Roberta Johnson, Peter Dorofy, and Pam Whiffen)
  • Denver, Colorado (December 13, 2013; Presenters: Roberta Johnson, Lisa Alter, and Pam Whiffen)

NSTA National Conference in San Antonio, Texas, April 12-13, 2013

The NESTA/Windows to the Universe Team was really busy in San Antonio!  We presented five workshops at the NSTA conference in Indianapolis, in addition to hosting four Share-a-Thons, a Rock and Mineral Raffle, the Friends of Earth Science Reception, the NESTA Earth and Space Science Educator Luncheon, and two field trips, as well as facilitating the AGU Lecture, and holding our Board Meeting and Annual Membership Meeting.  The table below provides access to materials from those sessions and events where we provided presentations or activities for teachers.

Workshops

Climate Change Classroom Toolkit Workshop

Resource/Title of activityBrief descriptionPDF/PPT (Educator Members Only)Purchase PDF/PPT (Non Educator Members)
Climate Change Classroom Toolkit Powerpoint Presentation Powerpoint presentation used in the workshop. Powerpoint  
Thermal Expansion and Sea Level Rise Discover how thermal expansion of water might affect sea level! Activity Description Purchase
Carbon Dioxide: Sources and Sinks Find out about sources and sinks of carbon in the environment. Activity Description Purchase
Looking Into Surface Albedo Students investigate how color affects heat absorption.

Activity Description
Student Worksheet
Bhutan Land and Glaciers Image
Antarctica Sea Ice and Ocean Image
Greenland Land and Glaciers

Purchase
Glaciers: Then and Now Students compare photographs of glaciers to observe how Alaskan glaciers have changed over the last century. Classroom Activity Kit available! Activity Description
Student Worksheet
Image Pairs
Purchase

 

Let's Get Well Grounded!

Resource/Title of activityBrief descriptionPDF/PPT (Educator Members Only)Purchase PDF/PPT (Non Educator Members)
Let's Get Well Grounded Powerpoint Presentation Powerpoint presentation used in the workshop. Powerpoint  
Let's Take A Rock Apart Students investigate the climate effects of increasing amounts of black carbon on the absorption of solar radiation on the Earth's surface.    
Cookie Mining Students will explore coal mining by attempting to remove chunks of coal (chocolate chips) from the ground (cookie) with minimum damage to the environment. Coming soon! Coming soon!
The Magnetometer Students will build an instrument capable of detecting a magnetic field and magnetic polarity. Activity description Purchase
Terrabagga Students will build a simulated planet with a magnetic field. They will use a simple magnetometer to determine the orientation of the "planet's" magnetic field. Activity Description
Student Worksheet
Student Instructions
Purchase

Exploring Planetary Science and Astronomy - What Would Galileo Do?

Activities Across the Earth System Workshop

Resource/Title of activityBrief descriptionPDF/PPT (Educator Members Only)Purchase PDF/PPT (Non Educator Members)
Activities Across the Earth System Powerpoint Presentation Powerpoint presentation used in the workshop. Powerpoint  
The Traveling Nitrogen Game Become a nitrogen atom and travel through the cycle!
Classroom Activity Kit available!
Activity Description
Signs and Codes
Stamps
Student Passport
Teacher Stamp Key
Purchase
Changing Planet: Black Carbon - a Dusty Situation Students investigate the climate effects of increasing amounts of black carbon on the absorption of solar radiation on the Earth's surface. PDF
Worksheet 1
10% Paper
50% Paper
80% Paper
Purchase

Our Changing Planet

Resource/Title of activityBrief descriptionPDF/PPT (Educator Members Only)Purchase PDF/PPT (Non Educator Members)
Our Changing Planet Powerpoint Presentation Powerpoint presentation used in the workshop. Powerpoint  
Disappearing Lizards Activity Students review the nature of ecosystems and food webs and investigate the role of global warming on the extinction of lizards.

Activity Description

Student Worksheet

Powerpoint Presentation

Purchase
Glaciers: Then and Now Students compare photographs of glaciers to observe how Alaskan glaciers have changed over the last century. Classroom Activity Kit available! Activity Description
Student Worksheet
Image Pairs
Purchase
Bark Beetles Outbreak Students learn about the role of the mountain bark beetle in a forest ecosystem along with how and why beetle infestation has grown to be an epidemic. They use research, play a game, and analyze maps in this multi-step lesson.

Activity Description
Student Worksheet
Game Description
Bark Beetle Spread Maps

Bark Beetle Powerpoint

Purchase
Mosquito Genes Students investigate the topics of evolutionary adaptation and phenotypic plasticity to understand how species respond to the impacts of global climate change Activity Description
Student Worksheet
Purchase

 

2012

NSTA Fall Area Conferences

The NESTA Windows to the Universe Team is presenting the same four workshops (Activities Across the Earth System, Climate Change Classroom Toolkit, Our Changing Planet and Let's Get Well Grounded!) at each of the following NSTA Area conferences. 

  • Louisville, Kentucky (October 19, 2012; Presenters: Roberta Johnson, Mike Passow, and Ardis Herrold)
  • Atlanta, Georgia (November 2, 2012; Presenters: Roberta Johnson, Ardis Herrold, Parker Pennington, and Michelle Harris)
  • Phoenix, Arizona (December 7, 2012; Presenters: Richard Jones, Ardis Herrold, and Roberta Johnson)

We will also be offering a short course on Saturday, October 20 and Saturday, November 3 entitled "Exploring Planetary Science and Astronomy: What Would Galileo Do?".  This NESTA short course will explore key concepts in planetary science and astronomy, emphasizing inquiry-based strategies and the nature and practice of science. Using Galileo as a guide, we will explore classroom-tested standards-based activities with a focus on development of student reasoning and helping students to think like scientists. The short course will draw on extensive astronomy and planetary science educational resources, including The Universe at Your Fingertips 2.0 DVD, Windows to the Universe, and other exemplary resources. Subsequent free web seminars in spring 2013 will provide additional opportunities to extend your knowledge of astronomy and planetary science.  The short courses are ticketed events, and you can purchase your tickets online with your NSTA conference registration or on-site (a limited number of tickets are still available). 

Presenter(s): Roberta M. Johnson (National Earth Science Teachers Association: Boulder, CO); Ardis Herrold (National Earth Science Teachers Association: Plymouth, MI)

Activities Across the Earth System Workshop

Resource/Title of activityBrief descriptionPDF/PPT (Educator Members Only)Purchase PDF/PPT (Non Educator Members)
Activities Across the Earth System Powerpoint Presentation Powerpoint presentation used in the workshop. Powerpoint  
The Traveling Nitrogen Game Become a nitrogen atom and travel through the cycle!
Classroom Activity Kit available!
Activity Description
Signs and Codes
Stamps
Student Passport
Teacher Stamp Key
Purchase
Changing Planet: Black Carbon - a Dusty Situation Students investigate the climate effects of increasing amounts of black carbon on the absorption of solar radiation on the Earth's surface. PDF
Worksheet 1
10% Paper
50% Paper
80% Paper
Purchase

 

Climate Change Classroom Toolkit Workshop

Resource/Title of activityBrief descriptionPDF/PPT (Educator Members Only)Purchase PDF/PPT (Non Educator Members)
Climate Change Classroom Toolkit Powerpoint Presentation Powerpoint presentation used in the workshop. Powerpoint  
Thermal Expansion and Sea Level Rise Discover how thermal expansion of water might affect sea level! Activity Description Purchase
Carbon Dioxide: Sources and Sinks Find out about sources and sinks of carbon in the environment. Activity Description Purchase
Looking Into Surface Albedo Students investigate how color affects heat absorption.

Activity Description
Student Worksheet
Bhutan Land and Glaciers Image
Antarctica Sea Ice and Ocean Image
Greenland Land and Glaciers

Purchase
Glaciers: Then and Now Students compare photographs of glaciers to observe how Alaskan glaciers have changed over the last century. Classroom Activity Kit available! Activity Description
Student Worksheet
Image Pairs
Purchase
CO2: How Much Do You Spew Students analyze the energy consumption of a hypothetical household to determine the amount of carbon dioxide they are adding to the atmosphere each year. Classroom Activity Kit available!

Activity Description
Student Worksheet

Purchase

 

Let's Get Well Grounded!

Resource/Title of activityBrief descriptionPDF/PPT (Educator Members Only)Purchase PDF/PPT (Non Educator Members)
Let's Get Well Grounded Powerpoint Presentation Powerpoint presentation used in the workshop. Powerpoint  
Silica Tetrahedron Students build a tetrahedron model using simple materials. Activity focuses on silica tetrahedron. Activity Description Purchase
Let's Take A Rock Apart Students investigate the climate effects of increasing amounts of black carbon on the absorption of solar radiation on the Earth's surface.    
Cookie Mining Students will explore coal mining by attempting to remove chunks of coal (chocolate chips) from the ground (cookie) with minimum damage to the environment. Coming soon! Coming soon!
Terrabagga Students will build a simulated planet with a magnetic field. They will use a simple magnetometer to determine the orientation of the "planet's" magnetic field. Activity Description
Student Worksheet
Student Instructions
Purchase

 

Our Changing Planet

Resource/Title of activityBrief descriptionPDF/PPT (Educator Members Only)Purchase PDF/PPT (Non Educator Members)
Climate Change Classroom Toolkit Powerpoint Presentation Powerpoint presentation used in the workshop. Powerpoint  
Thermal Expansion and Sea Level Rise Discover how thermal expansion of water might affect sea level! Activity Description Purchase
Carbon Dioxide: Sources and Sinks Find out about sources and sinks of carbon in the environment. Activity Description Purchase
Looking Into Surface Albedo Students investigate how color affects heat absorption.

Activity Description
Student Worksheet
Bhutan Land and Glaciers Image
Antarctica Sea Ice and Ocean Image
Greenland Land and Glaciers

Purchase
Glaciers: Then and Now Students compare photographs of glaciers to observe how Alaskan glaciers have changed over the last century. Classroom Activity Kit available! Activity Description
Student Worksheet
Image Pairs
Purchase
CO2: How Much Do You Spew Students analyze the energy consumption of a hypothetical household to determine the amount of carbon dioxide they are adding to the atmosphere each year. Classroom Activity Kit available!

Activity Description
Student Worksheet

Purchase

 

 

NSTA National Conference in Indianapolis, Indiana, March 28 - 31, 2012

The NESTA/Windows to the Universe Team was really busy in Indianapolis!  We presented five workshops at the NSTA conference in Indianapolis, in addition to hosting four Share-a-Thons, a Rock and Mineral Raffle, the Friends of Earth Science Reception, the NESTA Earth and Space Science Educator Luncheon, and two field trips, as well as facilitating the AGU Lecture, and holding our Board Meeting and Annual Membership Meeting.  The table below provides access to materials from those sessions and events where we provided presentations or activities for teachers.

NESTA Field Trip Field Guide

A single 26 page supplement to our two field trips "From Glacial Till to Minerals that Thrill!" and "Sampling Midwest Geology" (on Wednesday, March 28th and Thursday March 29th, respectively), prepared by Casy Reid and Steven Smith of the Purdue University Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences.  The guide includes itineraries for both trips as well as an introduction and background information on Indiana geology, information about aggregate, and the bedrock geology of Marion County, Indiana.

Workshops

Drama in Near Earth Space: - The Sun, Space Weather, and Earth's Magnetic Field As We Approach Solar Maximum! Workshop

Resource/Title of activityBrief descriptionPDF/PPT (Educator Members Only)Purchase PDF/PPT (Non Educator Members)
Drama in Near Earth Space Powerpoint Presentation Powerpoint presentation used in the workshop. Powerpoint Purchase
The Magnetometer Students will build an instrument capable of detecting a magnetic field and magnetic polarity. Activity description
Purchase
Magnetometer Extensions This activity models real-world uses of a magnetometer instrument. Students will see how sea floor spreading at mid-ocean ridges deposits a record of the history of the reversals of Earth's magnetic field. They will also learn how some ore deposits are found. Activity description
Student worksheet for seafloor spreading model
Student worksheet for ore deposit model
Purchase
Terrabagga Students will build a simulated planet with a magnetic field. They will use a simple magnetometer to determine the orientation of the "planet's" magnetic field. Activity description
Terrabagga student worksheet
Student instructions for building Terrabagga
Purchase

 

Earth and Space Science Today in the K-12 Classroom: Status and Trends at the State and National Levels

Activities Across the Earth System Workshop

Resource/Title of activityBrief descriptionPDF/PPT (Educator Members Only)Purchase PDF/PPT (Non Educator Members)
Activities Across the Earth System Powerpoint Presentation Powerpoint presentation used in the workshop. Powerpoint  
The Traveling Nitrogen Game Become a nitrogen atom and travel through the cycle!
Classroom Activity Kit available!
Activity Description
Signs and Codes
Stamps
Student Passport
Teacher Stamp Key
Purchase
Changing Planet: Black Carbon - a Dusty Situation Students investigate the climate effects of increasing amounts of black carbon on the absorption of solar radiation on the Earth's surface. PDF
Worksheet 1
10% Paper
50% Paper
80% Paper
Purchase

 

Strategies for Teaching Charged Topics in the Earth Science Classroom

Our Changing Planet

Resource/Title of activityBrief descriptionPDF/PPT (Educator Members Only)Purchase PDF/PPT (Non Educator Members)
Climate Change Classroom Toolkit Powerpoint Presentation Powerpoint presentation used in the workshop. Powerpoint  
Thermal Expansion and Sea Level Rise Discover how thermal expansion of water might affect sea level! Activity Description Purchase
Carbon Dioxide: Sources and Sinks Find out about sources and sinks of carbon in the environment. Activity Description Purchase
Looking Into Surface Albedo Students investigate how color affects heat absorption.

Activity Description
Student Worksheet
Bhutan Land and Glaciers Image
Antarctica Sea Ice and Ocean Image
Greenland Land and Glaciers

Purchase
Glaciers: Then and Now Students compare photographs of glaciers to observe how Alaskan glaciers have changed over the last century. Classroom Activity Kit available! Activity Description
Student Worksheet
Image Pairs
Purchase
CO2: How Much Do You Spew Students analyze the energy consumption of a hypothetical household to determine the amount of carbon dioxide they are adding to the atmosphere each year. Classroom Activity Kit available!

Activity Description
Student Worksheet

Purchase

 

 

2011

AGU NESTA Geophysical Information for Teachers (GIFT) Workshop, December 5-6, 2011, San Francisco

NESTA and AGU teamed up to organize the AGU NESTA GIFT Workshop for teachers at the Fall American Geophysical Union Meeting in San Francisco.  The five workshop presentation teams, composed of scientists and education specialists, were selected based on the quality of their workshop proposals from among the 24 proposals submitted.  The materials presented in the workshop will be freely available here by the end of January 2012.

NSTA Area Conferences

The NESTA Windows to the Universe Team presented the same three workshops (Activities Across the Earth System, Climate Change Classroom Toolkit, and Let's Get Well Grounded!) at each of the following NSTA Area conferences. 

  • Hartford Connecticut (October 28, 2011; Presenters: Missy Holzer, Lisa Alter, and Roberta Johnson)
  • New Orleans, Louisiana (November 11, 2011; Presenters: Roberta Johnson, David Mastie, and Parker Pennington)
  • Seattle, Washington (December 9, 2011; Presenters: Richard Jones, David Mastie, Parker Pennington, and Roberta Johnson)

Activities Across the Earth System Workshop

Resource/Title of activityBrief descriptionPDF/PPT (Educator Members Only)Purchase PDF/PPT (Non Educator Members)
Activities Across the Earth System Powerpoint Presentation Powerpoint presentation used in the workshop. Powerpoint  
The Traveling Nitrogen Game Become a nitrogen atom and travel through the cycle!
Classroom Activity Kit available!
Activity Description
Signs and Codes
Stamps
Student Passport
Teacher Stamp Key
Purchase
Changing Planet: Black Carbon - a Dusty Situation Students investigate the climate effects of increasing amounts of black carbon on the absorption of solar radiation on the Earth's surface. PDF
Worksheet 1
10% Paper
50% Paper
80% Paper
Purchase

 

Climate Change Classroom Toolkit Workshop

Resource/Title of activityBrief descriptionPDF/PPT (Educator Members Only)Purchase PDF/PPT (Non Educator Members)
Climate Change Classroom Toolkit Powerpoint Presentation Powerpoint presentation used in the workshop. Powerpoint  
Thermal Expansion and Sea Level Rise Discover how thermal expansion of water might affect sea level! Activity Description Purchase
Carbon Dioxide: Sources and Sinks Find out about sources and sinks of carbon in the environment. Activity Description Purchase
Looking Into Surface Albedo Students investigate how color affects heat absorption.

Activity Description
Student Worksheet
Bhutan Land and Glaciers Image
Antarctica Sea Ice and Ocean Image
Greenland Land and Glaciers

Purchase
Glaciers: Then and Now Students compare photographs of glaciers to observe how Alaskan glaciers have changed over the last century. Classroom Activity Kit available! Activity Description
Student Worksheet
Image Pairs
Purchase
CO2: How Much Do You Spew Students analyze the energy consumption of a hypothetical household to determine the amount of carbon dioxide they are adding to the atmosphere each year.
Last modified September 9, 2014 by Roberta Johnson.

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Learn about Earth and space science, and have fun while doing it! The games section of our online store includes a climate change card game and the Traveling Nitrogen game!

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Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part is sponsored in part through grants from federal agencies (NASA and NOAA), and partnerships with affiliated organizations, including the American Geophysical Union, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Earth System Information Partnership, the American Meteorological Society, the National Center for Science Education, and TERC. The American Geophysical Union and the American Geosciences Institute are Windows to the Universe Founding Partners. NESTA welcomes new Institutional Affiliates in support of our ongoing programs, as well as collaborations on new projects. Contact NESTA for more information. NASA ESIP NCSE HHMI AGU AGI AMS NOAA