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Disaster Engineering

Hurricane Maria strands PR familiesHurricanes, earthquakes, and other destructive events offer timely “teachable moments” about the role of engineers in improving weather forecasts and reducing the toll from natural disasters. eGFI Teachers’s collection of activities, feature articles, and other resources can help you integrate engineering into your classes – and inspire the next generation of “crisis” engineers.

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Backyard Weather Station

homemade rain gaugeWorking in groups of 8, middle school students use their senses to describe and predict the weather, then act as state park engineers and design/build “backyard weather stations” to gather data to make actual weather forecasts.

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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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Earth Science Week Contests

AGI Earth Science Week 2013 winning photoTo celebrate Earth Science Week, the American Geosciences Institute is hosting a photography contest for people of all ages, a visual arts contest for elementary students, and an essay contest for students in grades 6 to 9. Deadline for submission is Friday, October 16, 2015.

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SciJinks for Kids: Wild Weather

SciJinks volcanoFrom tidal curiosities and solar flares to bad weather jokes, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s SciJinks website offers a wealth of resources for learning and teaching about Earth’s climate and geography.

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Drought Parches Over Half of U.S.

drought cornAs one of the worst droughts in decades continues to shrivel reservoirs and sear fields, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has designated more than half of all counties – 1,584 in 32 states – primary disaster areas this growing season. While the dry, hot spell has decimated agriculture, it also has strained the steel, asphalt, and other engineered parts of the nation’s infrastructure.

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The New Weather Channel: School

ThunderstormA number of schools around the country are helping to provide local broadcasters with up-to-date weather reports in conjunction with WeatherBug, a weather information company. In the process, they’re finding a new way to teach science, technology, and math.

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Website: Oceanic and Atmospheric Research

dart_brownThe Website of the Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research, or NOAA Research, has helpful information for teachers on oceans, Great Lakes, and coasts, climate, and weather and air quality, including a page of education resources, and an 18-minute video, “Dynamic Science,” that explains the work of the National Office. Bring students to the site to read about ocean mapping, the tsunamic research program, and NOAA’s work with hydroculture and fisheries.

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Website: NOAA Photo Library

The NOAA Photo Library captures the work, observations, and studies carried on by the scientists, engineers, and personnel of this diverse agency — the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency. The 32,000 digitized images demonstrate NOAA’s scientific heritage, spanning the World’s oceans and atmosphere, and transporting viewers “from the surface of the sun to the bottom of the sea, and [from] travels through centuries of scientific thought and observations.” Teachers may find these images helpful to illustrate engineering and scientific principles.

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