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NOAA Provides Back-to-School Resources

Bring data-driven resources to the classroom

Collage of educational websites and posters.
Courtesy of NOAA

Going back to school? Educators of all grades can go back to the classroom with a plethora of free resources created by NCEI and NOAA. These resources include lesson plans, educational videos, games, and activities for elementary to high school-aged students. 

NCEI benefits from its partnership with NOAA in having an abundance of vetted educational science resources available across a broad spectrum of topics. 

Lesson Plans

NOAA’s curriculum support resources allow educators to jump straight into scientifically vetted lessons. Some curriculum is digital while other materials are printable, but all bring the expertise of NOAA and NCEI scientists into the classroom: 

NCEI Educator Toolkit: Bathymetry in Action

The process of determining the landscape of the ocean floor is a pertinent endeavor as the scientific community strives to map the topography of the entire seafloor by 2030. Engage youth as they use their own creativity to determine ways to simulate early methods of modeling the ocean floor and then connect the demonstration to the current process.  
Relevant grades: 4th to 5th 

NCEI Educator Toolkit: Historic Tsunamis

The goal of this toolkit is to build understanding about the geological processes that can create a tsunami and the history of their impacts on humanity. With a combination of a simple demonstration using sandwich cookies and online visualization tools, students will gain a fuller picture of tsunamis and earthquakes. 
Relevant grades: 4th to 10th

NEMO Curriculum

The NOAA Enrichment in Marine Sciences and Oceanography (NEMO) curriculum features twenty-three consecutive lesson plans accompanied by PowerPoint slides to support teaching marine science and oceanographic principles to high school students.
Relevant grades: 9th to 12th


JetStream is an online school with progressive lessons and activities for educators to teach about weather and extreme storm safety. This collection of lesson plans gives educators background information, quizzes, posters, and activities to demonstrate the major concepts of meteorology and extreme weather.
Relevant grades: 6th to 12th

NOAA Data in the Classroom 

These interactive online modules on marine and ocean science can be explored independently by older students, but guidance is provided for educators about how to supplement the activities with PowerPoint presentations and teacher guides. Topics include ocean acidification, El Niño, coral bleaching, water quality, and sea level changes. Each lesson is aligned with the Next Generation Science Standards.
Relevant grades: 6th to 12th is focused on providing authoritative curriculum support to educators on climate science. Along with vetted lesson plans, there are videos, animations, experiments, hands-on activity directions, and interactive tools to guide middle school and high school students in an independent exploration of topics relating to climate science. 
Relevant grades: 6th to 12th

Educational Posters

Reference posters are a staple of a prepared science classroom and bring topics alive for students. Bring visual summaries to the classroom with these printable posters:

Tsunami Sources 1610 B.C. to A.D. 2020 Poster

This information-packed poster has a global map of tsunamis labelled with the causing event. The resource is based on data from the NCEI Global Historical Tsunami Database. Of the 2,600 events in the database, over 1,300 confirmed tsunami source events are displayed.
Relevant grades: 9th to 12th

Significant Earthquakes 2150 B.C. to A.D. 2020 Poster

This information-packed poster has a map and visualization for the scale of global earthquakes from the NCEI Significant Earthquake Database. Alongside the map is a detailed table of the location, date, magnitude, damage costs, and deaths for each included earthquake.
Relevant grades: 9th to 12th

Significant Volcanic Eruptions 4360 B.C. to A.D. 2020 Poster

This information-packed poster has a visualization of significant volcanic eruptions and the tectonic plate boundaries of Earth. The information comes from the NCEI Significant Volcanic Eruptions Database, which includes volcanic eruptions from 4360 B.C. to A.D. 2020.
Relevant grades: 9th to 12th

NOAA Cloud Chart 

This poster and learning guide helps children identify cloud types as well as understand weather patterns and atmospheric circulation. 
Relevant grades: 3rd to 8th 

Printable Activities

Engage students in science with these fun, hands-on, and printable activities filled with information that the student can keep: 

Earth Facts Fortune Teller

This foldable activity is a great introduction to simple facts about Earth, with QR codes to connect users to NCEI full articles on each subject. A fun activity filled with useful information.
Relevant grades: 8th to 12th

Tsunami Sources Icosahedron Globe

This foldable globe challenges students to follow the directions to make a triangle-based 3D replica of Earth, while providing a visual demonstration of the global distribution of tsunamis and earthquakes. A great introduction activity for exploring plate tectonics and earth science.
Relevant grades: 6th to 10th

Videos and Games

Bring digital tools, videos, and games into the classroom that entertain and educate students simultaneously: 

Tiny Tutorials

Learn how to quickly use the CrowdMag phone application for collecting magnetic data and the Climate-at-a-Glance web tool for accessing local climate records  through these brief tutorials. 
Relevant grades: 6th to 12th


This kid-friendly website explores meteorology, space weather, and climate science through interactive games, lesson plans, posters, videos, and career profiles. The website also provides a guide on how to match the materials with Next Generation Science Standards.
Relevant grades: 3rd to 8th

Ocean Today 

This collection of short videos produced by NOAA features topics related to the current state of the ocean, marine life, and the impact of these systems on our lives.
Relevant grades: 6th to 12th

For more educational resources, check out NCEI’s Education Page and browse NOAA Education’s Resource Collections.

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