April 22, 2020 marks the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. Since 1970, Earth Day has increased awareness of the planet we live on, and encouraged people to learn more about pollution, climate change, endangered species, and many other environmental issues. The NISE Network has compiled a selection of 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 Experiences
Currently, during the crisis around COVID-19, in-person programming has transitioned into experiences designed to engage audiences online, including families at home. Below is a curated list of resources that you may find useful if planning alternative Earth Day events to engage your community in new and creative ways.
Hands-on Earth Activities
These activities were designed for use in museums or in other informal educational settings but may be adapted for online or at-home learning experiences. Many of the activity materials can found around the house or can be printed from downloaded files in advance.
- Exploring Earth: Paper Mountains hands-on activity (Earth & Space toolkit 2018)
- Watch and Create! Creativity For Sustainability creative challenge (Sustainable Futures public programs 2020)
- Good Life Challenge hands-on activity (Sustainable Futures public programs 2020)
- High Five for the Future drawing activity (SustainABLE kit 2016)
- My Community drawing activity (SustainABLE kit 2016)
- Buy It, Or Better Not? activity (NanoDays kit)
- DIY Lake Science printable activities from the Lawrence Hall of Science (some activities require outdoor travel)
- Earth Day At Home For Young Learners - Activity List from Howtosmile
- Chemists Celebrate Earth Week - At-home friendly activities from the American Chemical Society
Earth Videos, E-books, and Image Collections
Use these NASA media resources to introduce online engagement programming or extensions.
- NASA's Earth Minute Video Series from Jet Propulsion Laboratory
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R8hh_l3l9Ao&list=PL9TFrgFq75552g7qVa-iTOeuo7Fy11o5f&index=1 (full playlist)
- NASA Earth Expeditions
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLO0ZfOiXWrusueBK4VZsQEYCxuUZXDDko (full playlist)
- NASA Space Place Earth Videos (for young children)
- Earth: A photo-essay from NASA’s Earth Science Division (E-book)
- Earth at Night (E-book)
- NASA Earth Observatory image collection
- NASA's Blue Marble (full Earth) image collection Earth Observatory image collection
Earth Apps and Interactives
Apps & interactives can be useful for self-directed exploration or as the basis of livestream events.
- Earth-Now App from Jet Propulsion Laboratory
- NASA Visualization Explorer App
- DIY Lake Science App with lake simulation interactive, activities, and videos (iOS)
- NASA Images of Change
- Earth & Space Interactives from Concord Consortium
- Earth Science Interactives from PhET
Earth Citizen Science Projects
Involve your audience in citizen projects that help scientists understand the Earth and its systems.
- GLOBE Observer (outdoor travel required)
- SciStarter collection of Earth-themed projects that can be done online
- iNaturalist from Cal Academy and National Geographic (iOS, Android)
- NestWatch from Cornell Lab of Ornithology
For a more comprehensive list of at-home resources about a variety of science content please check our Do Science At-home page!
Please note: Following resources are not filtered by at-home programming.
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.
Exploring Earth: Paper Mountains (at-home friendly)
Exploring Earth: Investigating Clouds
Exploring Earth: Rising Sea
Exploring Earth: Land Cover:
Exploring Earth: Temperature Mapping
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
- Watch and Create! Creativity For Sustainability (at-home friendly)
- Good Life Challenge (at-home friendly)
More NISE Network activities
Sustainability & Museums - Why Sustainability and List of Resources
SustainABLE kit (2016)
Explore Science: Let's Do Chemistry - Cleaning Oil Spills with Chemistry (longer program)
Explore Science: Let's Do Chemistry - What’s in the Water (longer program)
Buy It, Or Better Not? program (at-home friendly)
More NISE Network suggestions:
Additional Resources for Planning Programs and Events
Earth Day 50th Anniversary
Earth Day Event Toolkit
Earth Day: 11 Actions for the planet during a pandemic
National Environmental Education week
National Environmental Education Foundation Environmental Education week resources
NASA Earth Day 50th anniversary resources
NASA Museum Alliance Earth Day Resources for Informal Education
NASA Earth Day Posters
NASA Earth overview
NASA Space Place
NASA Earth Day Gallery
Explore! Earth’s Climate
NASA citizen science projects with GLOBE Observer: Learn more below in CITIZEN SCIENCE OPPORTUNITIES
Environmental Protection Agency Community Resources
Chemists Celebrate Earth Week (2020 Theme: Sustainability)
STARnet resources for libraries - "Our Planet: EARTH" Campaign
- Climate Resilience, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
- howtosmile collection of the best educational materials from Lawrence Hall of Science
- Educating for a Sustainable Future, from Shelburne Farms
NASA Earth Day Posters
NASA Apollo 8 Earthrise Photo Posters
https://www.nasa.gov/specials/apollo50th/img/Poster1.pdf (Version 1)
https://www.nasa.gov/specials/apollo50th/img/Poster2.pdf (Version 2)
An Earth System View of Earthrise Lesson Plan — connected to the Earthrise Photo
The Lunar and Planetary Institute (LPI) has created a series of four posters illustrating the link between Earth Day and lunar exploration; 8.5"x11" and 24"x36" versions
NASA Earth Mission Posters
NASA Earth Day Gallery
NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) captured a unique view of Earth from the spacecraft's vantage point in orbit around the Moon in 2015
- STAR Library Network (STAR Net) is celebrating the important role that Earth plays in our lives with a special month-long campaign called, Our Planet: EARTH
- STAR Net Our Planet: Earth Campaign recording
Citizen Science Opportunities
SciStarter Citizen Science Resources
- SciStarter citizen science projects
- SciStarter - tips for citizen science from home
- SciStarter webinar - Facilitate Remote, Live-Streamed Citizen Science
March 25, 2020 2pm-3pm eastern webinar registration
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: https://observer.globe.gov/trees-2020
- 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:
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: https://informal.jpl.nasa.gov/museum/Conversations/nasa-earth-science-101-and-earth-day-50th-anniversary (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)
Online Workshop 3-Part sustainability series about Sustainability in Museums (2020)
Sustainability in Museums Around the World: Working Together to Create a Sustainable Future (Part 1)
Sustainability and Museum Operations: Practices, Partnerships, and Resources to Help Your Organization Become More Sustainable (Part 2)
Sustainability and Museum Visitors: Exhibits, Programs, and Other Ways to Engage the Public (Part 3)
Online Workshop: Celebrate Earth Day with NISE Net: Activity Connections and How Visitors Can Contribute Local Environmental Observations to NASA Science (2019)
Online Workshop: Changing the Conversation About Climate (2018)
History of Earth Day
- Rachel Carson inspiring Earth Day