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

November 2016 Elementary News and Notes

We had some severe storms roll through the state this past 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:

FINAL ISSUE - Elementary News and Notes

Based upon member survey results, we are publishing this as our final issue of Elementary News and Notes. All of our survey respondents said that as long as elementary-themed resources continue in the monthly issues of News and Notes, then our organization is still accomplishing its mission and serving its audiences.

If you currently do not receive our monthly issue of News and Notes, please update your PAESTA member profile to select to receive these free issues.

Thank you again for your feedback. Please continue to contact us with any ideas on how we can add value to your PAESTA membership.

Introducing "EO Kids" premiere issue

We introduce a new publication from NASA’s Earth Observatory—EO Kids—bringing engaging science stories from the Earth Observatory to a younger audience (ages 9 - 14). The premier issue of EO Kids explores how NASA observes and measures fresh water from space. Find out why Lake Mead appears to have a bathtub ring around its shoreline and how less snow in the mountains means less drinking water for California. Explore satellite images of where fresh water is stored in and on the Earth. Discover what NASA does in the field with an update from scientists on the Olympic Mountain Experiment (OLYMPEX) campaign. EO Kids offers hands-on activities, experiments and more. The Maker Corner provides instructions for making a model aquifer and a self-watering planter. Explore the science behind fresh water with a snowmelt experiment and be a data detective by analyzing satellite data like a scientist. Kids can even create their own data visualization by coloring in a map showing ice thickness on Greenland.

Access PDFs for online viewing and printing at: (copy/paste link if there is an error in opening the page)

Want to help kids 4-12 send something to space? NASA needs their help.

NASA’s Commercial Crew Program is holding an artwork contest through November 30 for children 4 to 12 years old. The artwork will be used to create a 2017 calendar, which has a different space-related theme for each month. The themes educate students about the International Space Station, astronauts, growing food in space and more! Unique and original artwork will be selected for each month. Once the calendar is complete, it will be transmitted to astronauts aboard the space station. The calendar also will include supplemental education materials for kids here on Earth to learn more about the space-related themes. Go to for more information about the competition’s themes, rules and deadlines plus the entry form.

You can also learn more from this YouTube video:

Activity: Non-Renewable Energy Resources  

Have your 4th and 5th graders spend ~2 hours taking on the roles of consumers, utility companies, and fuel companies to simulate the effect of a finite supply of non-renewable energy resources on our supply of electricity. Students will:
  • explain that there is a limited supply of non-renewable energy resources such as coal and natural gas
  • identify potential problems related to limited supplies of non-renewable energy resources that are used to generate electricity
  • identify actions that could be taken to meet the energy challenges of the future
This lesson focuses on building the skills of communication/collaboration, critical thinking/problem solving, analyzing geographic information, and developing and using models.

Visit the activity page for instructions and all necessary materials:

NOAA/NASA SciJinks Glossary

SciJinks focuses on providing educational materials for kids relating to weather, satellite meteorology, and Earth science. The NOAA/NASA SciJinks glossary lists important weather terms. Check it out and share with your students:

NASA: Question... What is Earth?

Science always starts with a question. So NASA is asking the question... What is Earth? Fortunately, NASA also has the answer! Check out these articles written for students that explain why Earth is just right for us!

VIDEO FROM NOAA: The Global Temperature Anomaly

Basically everything that we think of as “modern human civilization”—permanent agriculture, continuously occupied cities, free WiFi—has emerged since the last ice age ended roughly 11,000 years ago. In this animation, the Earth rides the "Global Temperature Anomaly," a rollercoaster that shows the difference from historic average temperature since the last ice age. Not only is the current “hill” on the roller coaster as high or higher than anything our species has experienced since we first settled down from a hunter-gatherer lifestyle, but it’s also the steepest climb. Compared to the past 11,000 years, the current track is nearly vertical.

View the video on YouTube:

CONTEST: PA Emergency Management Agency (PEMA) Poster Contest

The Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency in partnership with Keystone Emergency Management Association, PA Department of Conservation & Natural Resources, PA Department of Education, American Red Cross, United Way of Pennsylvania, and the PA National Weather Service Offices are excited to announce the inaugural 2017 Weather Safety Awareness Poster contest!

The contest is open for school aged children in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.  Grades 1-6 are invited to participate in a poster contest with the lightning safety theme: “When Thunder Roars, Go Indoors”.  The winning poster will be reproduced and distributed across state parks in April 2017.

Visit the PAESTA website for full contest details.
We have enjoyed providing you issues of Elementary News and Notes!
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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