Earth Day 2020 - 50th Anniversary

April 22, 2020 marks the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. Since 1970, Earth Day has increased awareness of the planet we live on, pollution, climate change, endangered species, and many other environmental issues. The NISE Network has compiled many resources to help you plan for your Earth Day celebration.

Earth Week takes place on the week around Earth Day - April 18-26, 2020

Image credit: NASA Earth Observatory/Joshua Stevens; NOAA National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service. Caption: Kathryn Hansen.

At-Home Friendly Activities

We understand that during this time in-person programming has transitioned into activities that you can use to engage your communities with online and families at home. Below is a curated list of activities and resources that you may find useful if planning an alternative Earth Day event or campaign that reaches audiences in new and creative ways.

These activities were designed for use in museums or in other informal educational settings but may be adaptable for online or at-home learning experiences. For resources, many of these materials can found around the house or will need to be printed from online. 

Hands-on Activities

Earth-themed activities from the Explore Science: Earth & Space toolkits

When hosting an Earth Day event, you may want to incorporate the following Earth-related hands-on activities and resources found in the Explore Science: Earth & Space toolkits.

Sustainability-themed activities from Sustainable Futures (2020) - A collection of new public programs exploring sustainable futures.
Some programs now available for digital download - MORE COMING SOON

More NISE Network activities

Additional Resources for Planning Programs and Events



Library Resources

Citizen Science Opportunities

SciStarter Citizen Science Resources

NASA Earth Science Education Collaborative Celebrates Earth Day!

The NASA Earth Science Education Collaborative (NESEC) is a partnership among four organizations: the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies and Earth science divisions at three NASA Centers: Goddard Space Flight Center, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and Langley Research Center. This year your physical toolkit has several connections to NESEC resources that will support your facilitation of Earth themed activities before, during, and after Earth Day.

  • GLOBE Observer is an international network of citizen scientists and scientists working together to learn more about our shared environment and changing climate. Your visitors, camps, or colleagues can participate by downloading the GLOBE Observer app and submitting observations. Giveaway rack cards are included with the Exploring Earth: Investigating Clouds activity and showcase the four data observations experiences in the app.
    • Clouds—By photographing clouds, recording sky observations, and comparing them with NASA satellite data, you can help scientists gain a new perspective on clouds that satellites can't provide: from the ground looking up!
    • Mosquito Habitat Mapper—By identifying potential breeding sites for mosquitoes, sampling and counting mosquito larvae, and using optional equipment to examine, photograph and identify the genus of your specimens, you will be enabling scientists to verify predictive models of mosquito population dynamics.
    • Land Cover—By photographing and classifying the land cover over an area the size of a soccer field, you will be assisting those scientists working to enhance global maps of land cover use.
    • Trees—The trees observation allows citizen scientists to measure tree height (and optionally tree circumference) to track the growth of trees over time. During the month of April 2020, the GLOBE Observer team is hosting a Trees challenge for Earth Day:
  • Zika Zine is a graphic story about how Aedes mosquitoes live and how to reduce the number of places where mosquitoes can survive. Readers will also find out how citizen scientists are helping NASA by documenting mosquito habitats with GLOBE Observer. The Zika Zine is an outreach resource of the GLOBE Zika Education and Prevention Project. A sample zine is included in your physical toolkit but a digital version can also be downloaded in multiple languages. You can also download the coloring pages and make your own comic guide.
  • Elementary GLOBE is designed to introduce students in grades K–4 to the study of Earth system science. Each module of Elementary GLOBE includes a science-based fictional storybook, three learning activities, and educator notes and glossary. Elementary GLOBE is a great option to extend your Earth science engagement efforts with young learners. Modules include: Air Quality, Climate, Clouds, Earth System, Season, Soils, and Water. A sample of the Do You Know That Clouds Have Names? storybook from the Clouds module is included in your physical toolkit and can be used with visitor groups before or after Exploring Earth: Investigating Clouds activity. Digital versions of all the modules, available in multiple languages, can be downloaded for free at the GLOBE website. Elementary GLOBE Modules:


    Online Workshops 

    • NASA Museum Alliance - Earth Day 50th
      Prepare for the 50th anniversary of Earth Day on April 22nd, 2020.  Come hear from NASA experts, learn what resources are available, and ask your questions about NASA Earth Science.  Also, hear details about how you and your audiences can participate in the special NASA Earth Day 2020 activities.
      Details (recorded but must log in to Museum Alliance to access resources)
      Date: Thursday, February 6, 2020, 12:00pm Pacific, 3:00pm Eastern

    NISE Net Sustainability and Earth-themed Online Workshops (Recorded)

    History of Earth Day