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NOAA’s Planet Arcade

NOAA sea turtle cartoomCloud classification, coastal environments, and sea turtles and their quest to nest are among the interactive online games highlighting environmental science and stewardship on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Planet Arcade portal.

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Gimme Shell-ter

student in Project PORTS oyster restoration projectLike many New Jersey shore communities, Gandy’s Beach was devastated by Hurricane Sandy. The solution? Engage school communities in a real-world restoration project: Building a living breakwater from bags of old shells to protect both oyster beds and shoreline from future storm damage.

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“Adopt” a Piece of the Planet

NASA Adopt a PlanetIt’s hard to top NASA for an out-of-this-world way to celebrate Earth Day 2017. The space agency is inviting people from around the globe to virtually “adopt” one of 64,000 individual pieces of Earth as seen from space by one of its 18 Earth science instruments.

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Measuring Light Pollution

Measuring light intensity at Ft. Meade Earth DayStudents in grades 6-7 build light meters and investigate the nature, sources, and levels of light in their classroom. learning about the adverse effects of artificial light on humans, animals, and plants as well as the engineering concepts of sensors and lumen and lux (lx) illuminance units. They also learn how to better use light and save energy as well as some of the technologies designed by engineers to reduce light pollution and energy waste.

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Earth Day Resources

Earth in Our HandsKids love exploring the world around them, and Earth Day offers a great way to introduce them to environmental science and engineering. The following sampler includes activities, lessons, and resources that promote green engineering and science learning.

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Flipside Science: Environmental Literacy

Flipside ScienceFlipside Science is a youth-produced educational video series developed by teachers and the California Academy of Science that tackles complex environmental engineering topics and empowers middle school students to make a difference.

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Snowflake Chronicler

William Bentley snowflake imageNo two snowflakes are alike, right? We know this thanks to a Jericho, Vermont, farm boy and citizen engineer named Wilson A. Bentley, who adapted a microscope to a camera and spent 40 years capturing thousands of unique images.

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Citizen Engineers

Haitians walks past earthquake damageWhen Haiti suffered a devastating earthquake in 2010, Notre Dame engineering researchers created an online system that let students review hundreds of photos and reliably classify the structural damage. The effort is just one example of how “citizen engineers” and “citizen scientists” are advancing research in areas from astronomy to air pollution to penguins. Even snowflakes!

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Lesson: Map the Green Space

A City Garden in ChicagoStudents in grades 5-9 learn about urban planning as they assess the environmental health of their community, taking a walk around their neighborhood. They construct a map that identifies both positive and negative features and then recommend improvements.

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