Earth Observation

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Background Information: 

Brief Description: How do we use space to look at ourselves? What do climate and weather measurements tell us about our Earth and environment? In this activity students explore Solar Radiation patterns on the Earth, using C3S Education demonstrator. This online tool will be used to determine the effect of latitude within Europe on solar radiation patterns.

How does the lesson relate to STEAM education: This activity focuses on the Science part of STEAM.
Students use real scientific data and perform a scientific inquiry. The Technology-wise, the focus is on satellites and how they are used to monitor Earth’s climate. Through the activity students learn about the Copernicus mission.

Age Range: 12-14, 14-16
Didactical Hours: 2 didactical hours of 45-min each
Learning objectives: Students should be able to:

- Carry out an investigation to determine how solar radiation is affected by latitude.
- Use a Choropleth map to interpret data.

Relation to the Big Ideas of Science:
Energy > Energy and forces > Electromagnetic radiation and radiant energy:
The energy that reaches the Earth from the Sun is in the form of ultraviolet, visible and infra-red; the Earth radiates energy as infra-red.

Earth > Earth’s climate > Earth and the Sun:
The Sun is the source of life for our planet as it is its only source of energy. The average temperature on the planet is determined by the energy our planet takes in from the Sun.

The Polar Star consortium is grateful for the input of the Star Advisors, who helped to choose the star topics. We would like to warmly thank Star Advisors, who provided valuable ideas and materials for this particular activity:  Emilio Zuniga and Maria Eleftheriou.

Access the downloadable version >  Access the online version >

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POLAR STAR aims to bring together state-of-the-art learning pedagogies and combine them with exciting activities that focus on contemporary science, thus helping teachers to introduce STEAM successfully in their class. At the same time the project will focus on the development of students’ key skills and competences as well as deepening their knowledge of fundamental science principles, increasing their appreciation of science and technology and their role in todays’ societies. POLAR STAR aims to offer an open and innovative training framework to teachers of primary and secondary education which will focus on:

  • Promoting the 'Science as a Whole' concept;
  • Promoting a holistic STEM educational approach;
  • Promote the introduction of contemporary science activities in schools;



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