Reach for the Stars: Earth Science Resources

From dissecting flowers to making drums out of tin cans, we at TCI have had a lot of fun dipping our hands (sometimes quite literally) into science. We’ve been testing labs and developing science activities that incorporate the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), and we cannot wait for students to delve into them.

Exploring science has made me even more excited about NGSS and the curriculum that it’s supporting. So, to get you excited, too, I’ve decided to share some of my favorite science resources. But, these are meant for outside of the classroom. Explore these resources with friends, family, colleagues, or even a date.  So, put on your goggles and lab coats because it’s time to experiment with science!

Earth Science:

By far, one of my favorite earth science topics is astronomy, and it’s a topic that is accessible for anyone to explore. One way to get familiar with astronomy, even if you do not have a science background, is to visit a local observatory.

Often, observatories are open to the public a few nights a month. This means that you can look through a telescope that astronomers use to study objects in space. You might get to look at planets, such as Saturn, or at the surface of the moon. There are also astronomers at these events that teach you about the objects that you are looking at. Visiting an observatory will make you a science expert in no time!

You can see if there are any observatories near you by looking at this map. It lists observatories by state:

observatory

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 

 

 

 

Since observatories are not in every area, there are other ways to explore our solar system that don’t require anything but a computer.

The Virtual Observatory Collections, located here, uses data from multiple telescopes and observatories to create a virtual tour of the solar system.

You can either move your mouse around the screen or search for a specific object. For instance, I searched “eagle” for the Eagle Nebula, and it took me to this spectacular image:

eagle nebula

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These are just a couple of the many science resources available.  I’ll post more on physical science and life science over the coming weeks. If anyone has any other great resources, please share by commenting on this post. 

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