PAESTA Classroom

Designed for the sharing of short classroom exercises and explorations, this database allows for teachers to search for materials and resources that you, the PAESTA membership, have tested in the classroom. The database contains short descriptions and examples of activities members have conducted with students, such as inquiry-based assignments to reinforce specific content, or as an extension exercise to increase the graphic literacy of students.

The database will be of the most use if you, the PAESTA membership, contribute the classroom-tested resources you have developed! Please consider writing up your innovative approach to teaching a specific topic for inclusion in this database. Descriptions should include the objectives of the exercise and why this approach was used.

Please be sure the materials you submit do not infringe on copyright or intellectual property rights – links and/or citations to original sources are required. Submitted examples will be reviewed before being placed online.


You can select one or more subject areas and/or grade levels.

  • For Windows: Hold down the control (ctrl) button to select multiple options.
  • For Mac: Hold down the command button to select multiple options.

by Laura Guertin on October 22, 2017.

The following is a collection of one minute reads on various topics relating to sustainabilty. The stories were written by undergraduate students at Penn State Brandywine studying the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the fall semester of 2017. Each link will take you to a MS Word file that has the student-authored story. The numbers after each student name refer to the SDGs listed in the chart below the list.

by Dave Curry on October 4, 2016.

Sally Ride EarthKAM (Earth Knowledge Acquired by Middle school students) is a NASA educational outreach program that enables students, teachers, and the public to learn about Earth from the unique perspective of space.

During Sally Ride EarthKAM missions (periods when the Sally Ride EarthKAM camera is operational), middle school students around the world request images of specific locations on Earth.

by Laura Guertin on September 13, 2016.

This exercise challenges students to think about the extent sea ice grows and melts each year and how sea ice coverage in the Arctic Circle changes with time. Students utilize the National Snow and Ice Data Center's Sea Ice Animation Tool (link is external) to explore these changes in the Northern Hemisphere.

by Laura Guertin on September 7, 2016.

This exercise challenges students to think about the order of and spacing between the planets in our solar system. Teachers may swap out and complete this exercise by having the students scale the relative size/diameters of the planets. I start by having the students work in groups of four or five and use the length of our classroom as the distance between the Sun and Neptune. Students must discussion and determine where to place a labeled Post-It note on the floor at the approximate relative position of the planet.

by Laura Guertin on September 7, 2016.

This exercise challenges students to think about the order of and spacing between evolutionary events in geologic time. Teachers may swap out and select their own events that are biologic, tectonic, environmental, etc. I start by having the students work in pairs, and I ask them to place the following alphabetical list of "first occurrences" in geologic time in the correct sequential order: dinosaurs, elephants, fish, humans (modern), insects, mammals, plants, reptiles. Then, students share their determinations in groups of four or five.

by Laura Guertin on August 14, 2016.

Goal: Students will understand the difference between climate and weather by exploring various urban center climographs of the United States.

by Laura Guertin on August 2, 2015.

The World Water Monitoring Challenge™ (WWMC) is an international education and outreach program that builds public awareness and involvement in protecting water resources around the world by engaging citizens in the monitoring of their local waterbodies. This activity has students test their own local water bodies (pH, dissolved oxygen, turbidity, temperature) and contribute their findings to a global database for use by scientists and other students across the globe.

by Katie Bateman on July 24, 2015.

Students will investigate data sources on snowpack, temperature, streamflow and population changes through out the watershed of the Colorado River.  They will analyze the impact these factors have on the effectiveness of the Colorado River Pact of 1922 and propose changes to the Pact to help with the current water dilemma in the region.

by Katie Bateman on July 22, 2015.

Student Description

by Katie Bateman on July 22, 2015.

In this activity students will explore watersheds in their local area, as well as those pertinent to discussion of the human impact on the watersheds in their own area and globally in areas with water problems.

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