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K-12 Teaching Resources

This strand is developed as a component of a NASA Cooperative Project – The Central Idaho Dark Sky Reserve STEM Network. Forging a partnership with the Central Idaho Dark Sky Reserve, the program aims to:

About i-STEM

i-STEM is a summer professional development opportunity for educators (PK-12) working in both classroom and informal settings. During the Institute, participants attend a strand on project-based, hands-on learning as well as general sessions tied to the Institute. Each participant receives a kit of instructional materials unique to their strand, so that they can implement what they have learned in their own teaching environments.

i-STEM 2022 Resources:

Agenda & Presentation

i-STEM 2023 Resources:

Agenda & Presentation

i-STEM 2024 Resources:

Agenda & Presentation

Lesson Plans

Idaho Content StandardsGrade Level Key IdeasNASA ResourcesLesson Plan
HS-ESS2-2, HS-ESS3-59-12Examining Climate Change DataVital SignsEarth's Vital Signs
HS-ESS-1.19-12What's the Sun's Corona?My NASA DataWhat is the Sun’s Corona?
HS-ESS-1.49-12Evidence for Earth's RotationFoucault PendulumFoucault’s Pendulum
HS-ESS-3.49-12Measuring Light Pollution Over TimeNASA Earth DataDark as Night
MS-ESS-1.3MSPlanets Orbital PeriodNASA Spaceplace - years on other planetHow Long is a Year on Another Planet?
MS-ESS-1.1MSEarth, Moon, Sun MotionsTime Zones and Universal TimeNoontime Around The World
MS-ESS-1.1MSModeling Phases of the Moon JPL Guide

Oreo Moon Phases
Why do we see Phases of the Moon?
MS-ESS-1.1MSModeling Lunar EclipsesWhen Do Lunar Eclipses Happen?When Do Lunar Eclipses Happen?
MS-ESS-1.18-12Seasons Lesson Series Investigations MY NASA DATA: SeasonsExploration of Seasonal Change
MS-ESS 3-5
HS-ESS 3-5
8-12Climate Change: Let's take Earth's TemperatureGraphing Global Temperature TrendsEarth's Temperature
HS-ESS-2.69 - 12Analyzing Carbon in Earth's SystemsSystems and System Models: Observing Carbon Dioxide in the AtmosphereCarbon Flux of North America
HS-ESS-1.29 - 12Detecting Movement in GalaxiesExploring the Doppler Effect with NASAExploring the Doppler Effect
HS-ESS-1.29 - 12Modeling an Expanding UniverseJPL Model the Expanding UniverseThe Expanding Universe
HS-ESS-1.39 - 12Star light and related termsInteractive LessonStar Light
HS-ESS-1.49 - 12Modeling planetary orbital rates Kinesthetic Radial Model of the Solar System Heliocentric Modeling & Predictions Student Handout
HS-ESS-3.59 - 12Heat map geoscience data visualizationEarth Science Data Visualizations – How to Read a Heat MapEyes on the Earth
HS-ESS-2.39 - 12Cystallization of minerals in rock formationJPL Modeling Silicates and the Chemistry of Earth's CrustModeling Magma with Chemistry
6-8Scaling Objects: Size and DistanceModeling the Earth-Moon SystemModeling the Earth-Moon System
MS-ESS-1.16-8Modeling Earth-Moon-Sun for Solar EclipsesMy NASA Data: What is a Solar Eclipse?What is a Solar Eclipse?
MS-ESS-2.16-8Energy and the Rock Cycle, as Observed from SpaceGeology Rocks Handout: Satellite KnowledgeGeology Rocks!
MS-ESS-3.46-8Analyzing Human Consumption/WasteOcean Circulation PatternsGarbage Patches
MS-ESS-3.36-8Data Literacy Through Risk Maps & GraphsData Literacy Cube GuideNASA Data Cubes
MS-ESS-3.36-8Impacts of Population on TemperatureHuman Impact and the Creation of Urban Heat IslandsUrban Heat Islands
MS-ESS-3.26-8Interpreting Temperature and Soil Moisture DataSystems and System Models: Megadroughts in our future?Predicting Idaho's Droughts
MS-ESS-3.16-8Modeling Porosity and PermeabilityNASA Joint Polar Satellite SystemExploring Groundwater
MS-PS4-25-8The James Webb TelescopeJames Webb Space TelescopeJames Webb Telescope
5-ESS1-1.MS - HSBrightness of Light and DistanceNASA Lesson: Inverse Square Law of LightInverse Square Law
5-ESS1-1K-5Relative Size of Sun and EarthThe Size of the SunHow Big is the Sun?
5-ESS-1.1K-8Light Pollution ImpactsPoints of LightLight Pollution Engineering Challenge
5-ESS-1.15thBrightness of Sun and Stars in relation to distancesSun As A StarLight and Distance Investigation
MS-ESS-1.2MSGravity in Galaxies and Solar SystemsNASA JPL Night Sky Network - Black Holes: No EscapeBlack Holes: No Escape
8-12Analyzing Volcanic Features to Measure Plate MotionsNASA Earth Observatory - Idaho's Potato BeltIdaho's Potato Belt
MS-ESS2-46-8Sea Level Rise Caused by Ice MeltingWhat's Causing Sea-Level Rise? Land Ice Vs. Sea IceWhat’s Causing Sea Level Rise?
MS-ESS-1.16-8Using One Model for Both Lunar and Solar EclipsesJPL: When do Lunar Eclipses Happen? NASA Future Eclipse WebsiteModeling Lunar and Solar Eclipses
MS-LS1-1; MS-LS1-56-8Criteria for Determining if Something is LivingLooking for LifeIs it Alive?
MS-ESS-1.36-8Identifying Objects in the Night SkyNight Sky NetworkNavigating Idaho's Night Sky
MS-ESS-2.46-8Cycling Water on the International Space StationWater Filtration ChallengeCycling Water
MS-ESS-2.26-8Modeling Folds and FaultsModeling Crustal FoldsBad Rock Mountain
MS-ESS-2.66 - 8 Influences on Climate variance across regionsGeographical Influences on Climate Teacher GuideSame Latitude, Different Temperature?
MS-ESS-1.46-8Analyzing Geologic Time with Rock StrataGrand Canyon Geology Lessons on ViewMissing Time?
MS-ESS1-36thDistance of Space from EarthHow Far Away Is Space?How Far Away is Space
MS-ESS1-35-8Scale of the Solar SystemSolar System ScrollSolar System Scale
5-ESS-1.25thPatterns of Daily ChangesChanging ShadowsHow Fast Does the Earth Spin?
5-ESS-1.25thPatterns of Daily ChangesChanging ShadowsMe and My Shadow
5-ESS-1.25thPatterns of Sun, Moon, and StarsNight Sky PlannerStar Finder
5-ESS-1.25thSeasonal Change of ConstellationsSeasonal Stars
5-ESS1-25thLength of Day and Night During Different SeasonsSunrise and Sunset CalculatorLength of Day and Night
5-ESS-2.15thEarth's SpheresConnect the Spheres: Earth Systems Interactions
5thAnalyzing Water Saturation on Earth over TimeTracking Water Using NASA Satellite DataTracking Earth's Water
5-ESS2-25thEarth's Water DistributionNASA's Water WorldEarth's Water
5-PS2-15thGravity's affect on objects What is Gravity?Gravity on Earth
5-PS2-15thGravity's Affect on ObjectsNASA - Measure Your Reaction TimeMeasure Your Reaction Time
5-ESS2-15thSea Ice MeltWhen Floating Ice MeltsWhat Happens When Sea Ice Melts?
5-ESS2-15thHow an Island FormsAn Island Forms and Changes: Student ActivityAn Island Forms
5-PS2-15thInvestigating Exploration BalloonsJPL Make a Planetary Exploration BalloonMake a Planetary Exploration Balloon
5-PS1-3; 5-PS2-15thAsteroids, Meteors, and MeteoritesModeling an AsteroidWhat are Asteroids
4-PS3-2; 4-ESS3-1.4thSolar EnergyMake S'mores with a Solar Oven!Making a Solar Oven
4-ESS2-2.4thTopographic MapsSpace PlaceTopographic Map Lesson Plan
4-ESS2-24thObserving Differences in Sky Color and CausesSky Viewer: Student ActivityWhy is the Sky Blue?
4-ESS2-24thHow Glaciers change over timeGlacial RetreatHow Do Glaciers Change Over Time?
4-ESS2-24thIdentifying Earth locations using Earth's featuresInteractive VideoWhere in the World?
4-PS3-24thUrban Heat Island EffectWhat makes cities hot? An urban heat island activityWhat Makes Cities Hot?
4-ESS2-14thWater's Effect on the LandErosion and LandslidesLandslides
4-PS3-1; 4-PS3-34thMoon Crater FormationWhip Up a Moon-Like CraterHow Did the Moon Get Craters?
4-PS3-34thExperimenting with different kinds of collisionsCollisions in SpaceCollisions in Space
4-LS1-14thUsing Nature to inspire designs to solve problemsDesign a Robotic InsectRobotic Insect Design
4-LS1-14thLife in Other WorldsJPL Design an Alien
MS-ESS1-33-8Planets in our Solar SystemWhat Color are the Planets?Planet Bracelets
3-PS2-2, 3-5-ETS1-23-5Engineering Challenge Shock AbsorptionJPL TouchdownTouchdown Engineering Challenge
3-PS2-2; 3-5-ETS1-13 - 5Engineering a Mars HelicopterMake a Paper Mars HelicopterMake a Paper Mars Helicopter
3-5-ETS1-1; 3-5-ETS1-23 - 5 Engineering Pasta RoversPlanetary Pasta RoversPlanetary Pasta Rovers
4-ESS2-2; 3-ESS2-2.3-4Analyzing Hurricane Data from Different SourcesTropical Cyclone Counts Model

Tropical Cyclone Counts Bar/Column Chart
Analyzing Hurricane Data
1-ESS1-1.1st - 3rdMaking Models of 3 Types of Solar EclipsesModel a Solar EclipseModeling a Solar Eclipse
3-ESS2-13rdCloud Types and WeatherJPL GuideTypes of Clouds
3-ESS2-13rdPatterns of Precipitation in Different CitiesJet Propulsion Laboratory LessonPrecipitation Towers
3-ESS2-13rdSeasonal Changes Using Satellite MapsMy NASA DataObserving Seasonal Changes
3-PS2-1; 3-PS2-23rdPatterns of Movement; Balanced and Unbalanced forcesSimple Rocket Science ContinuedBalloon Rockets
3-LS4-43rdLight Pollution Impacts on AnimalsQuality Lighting Teaching KitLight Pollution's Effect on Birds
3-PS2-23rdMaking models of cratersWhip Up a Moon-Like CraterMaking Moon-Like Craters
3-ESS-1.13rdSeasonal change of temperatureWeather Adds Up to ClimateSweltering Summer... Measuring Temperature
2-ESS2-22ndLandforms and Bodies of WaterGlobal Precipitation Measurement MissionModels of Landforms and Bodies of Water
2-PS1-12ndObserving and Classifying Rock SamplesCandy Bar GeologyComing Soon!Candy Bar Geology
2-PS1-22 - 4 Designing parachutes and comparing the effectiveness of diffrent materialsParachute DesignParachute Design Challenge
1-ESS-1.11stPatterns of Sun, Moon, and StarsAstronomy for the Very Young

Sun's Patterns: Day and Night
Sun's Patterns: Day and Night
1-ESS-1.11stPatterns of Sun, Moon, and StarsAstronomy for the Very YoungBear's Shadow
1-ESS1-1.1stObserving the MoonAstronomy for the Very YoungHide and Seek Moon
K-ESS2KDaily Weather PatternsBringing the Universe to America's ClassroomsWeather Patterns
K-PS2-1K-2Straw Rockets (Push and Pull)NASA Video of Shuttle Take OffStrawkets
5-PS1-35thObserving the properties of the geology of MarsExploring the Colors of MarsExploring the Colors of Mars