Committed to the advancement, extension, improvement and coordination of Earth Science education across all levels

August 2016 Elementary News and Notes

We've had some severe storms roll through the state this summer. PAESTA member Dan Leppold snapped this photo on August 13th during a thunderstorm in Berks County. You can view additional Earth & space science images at:

SURVEY - The Future of Elementary News and Notes

In August 2013, at the request of our members, we began a quarterly newsletter focusing on Earth and space science teaching resources for the elementary grades. We are pleased to offer this service to our members, but we are at a critical time when we need to decide how to utilize the time of our PAESTA volunteers. Unfortunately, we have not had any PAESTA members contribute to Elementary News and Notes with announcements or volunteer time beyond the newsletter editor, and authoring both the monthly News and Notes and the quarterly Elementary issue is no longer feasible for our editor. We need your input to decide the future of Elementary News and Notes. And, if this resource is important to you, we need your contributions!

Please complete the following quick survey - and thank you for your feedback. If you are interested in helping with Elementary News and Notes, please contact us.

VIDEO: Science: A Work in Progress shows how science isn’t produced through one linear method

For teachers, from the Smithsonian Science Education Center... Science: A Work in Progress - shows how science isn’t produced through one linear method, but through an interconnected set of practices, and examines ways that teachers can make learning science in the classroom more authentic. There is a supporting Professional Development Discussion Guide for teachers to use if viewing the video as a group. The video is available on PBS Learning Media and Vimeo

ARKive educational resources

ARKive ( works with wildlife filmmakers and photographers, conservationists and scientists, to create an awe-inspiring record of life on Earth. Their free teaching resources contain wildlife photos and videos, bringing educational lessons to life whatever the subject. ARKive’s teaching resources for 5-7 year olds cover key science topics such as nocturnal animals, penguins and adaptation. Key science topics for 7-11 year olds are covered including food chains, adaptation, animal classification and plants. ARKive’s teaching resources for 11-14 year olds explore key science topics including endangered species, human impacts on the environment, animal classification and adaptation.

Latest press releases for students

We have been updating our collection of Planet Press articles on the PAESTA website! Planet Press is a service provided by the European Geophysical Union where current scientific publications have a press release written that is targeted for 7-11 year old children. Many of these press releases have also been translated into several languages (Spanish, French, etc.). You can always search our announcements online by searching for "Planet Press" on the PAESTA website, visiting, or visiting the Planet Press website directly.

Environmental Literacy Teacher Guides  

The National Geographic Environmental Literacy Teacher Guides prepare upper elementary and middle school teachers to cover critical environmental topics in their classrooms. The guides provide content background for teachers, focusing especially on concepts that are challenging for students to learn. Each guide is focused on a single topic: climate, ocean, energy, or freshwater.

NASA Climate Kids See '10 Interesting Things'

Perfect for inspiring children young and old with a sense of wonder about Earth science, NASA's Climate Kids website offers a new feature: "10 Interesting Things About Earth." Ever wonder why days are getting longer, why gravity isn't the same everywhere on Earth, or why our planet might be said to have more than one "moon"? Learn about all "10 interesting things" at

NASA offers many learning resources for students and teachers interested in the geosciences. The agency provides the Climate Kids website. Targeting students in the upper-elementary grades, the site features interactive games, hands-on activities, and engaging articles. With a special section for educators, Climate Kids offers much for parents and teachers as well (

NASA VIDEO: One Year on Earth – Seen From 1 Million Miles

On July 20, 2015, NASA released to the world the first image of the sunlit side of Earth captured by the space agency's EPIC camera on NOAA's DSCOVR satellite. The camera has now recorded a full year of life on Earth from its orbit at Lagrange point 1, approximately 1 million miles from Earth, where it is balanced between the gravity of our home planet and the sun. EPIC takes a new picture every two hours, revealing how the planet would look to human eyes, capturing the ever-changing motion of clouds and weather systems and the fixed features of Earth such as deserts, forests and the distinct blues of different seas. EPIC will allow scientists to monitor ozone and aerosol levels in Earth’s atmosphere, cloud height, vegetation properties and the ultraviolet reflectivity of Earth

View the video at: This video and other supporting visualizations can be downloaded from the Scientific Visualization Studio at:

VIDEO: Teaching Scientific Models Tip: Reading Texts Aloud

Designed for use in grades K-2, this five-minute video demonstrates the use of nonfiction texts for students to learn about scientific models. A full transcript of the video is available online. View the video at:
Do you have any items or announcements to share in Elementary News and Notes? Contact us!
News and Notes Editor  --  Laura Guertin
News and Notes Assistant Editor  --  Greg Collins
Copyright © 2016 PAESTA (Pennsylvania Earth Science Teachers Association), All rights reserved.

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