The CERES (Clouds and Earth's Radiant Energy System) satellite instrument gathers data on Earth's surface coverage; this lesson provides an introduction to coverage types and percentages by using that data from two geographic areas: the equator and 40°N. Students will use a world map to locate a series of points by latitude and longitude, determine if each point is covered by land or water, and then compare their findings to those from the CERES data. Accompanying questions prompt students to offer possible explanations for differences between their assessment of coverage type and the satellite data. This lesson uses student- and citizen science-friendly microsets of authentic NASA Earth system science data from the MY NASA DATA project. It also includes related links, extensions, and an online glossary.


  • Mathematics > General

Education Levels:

  • Grade 1
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  • Grade 3
  • Grade 4
  • Grade 5
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Oceanography,Mathematics:Data collection, analysis and probability,Grade 4,Grade 5,NSDL_SetSpec_ncs-NSDL-COLLECTION-000-003-112-115,Mathematics,Social Sciences,NSDL,Earth Science,Engineering and technology:Aircraft, probes, satellites and/or spacecraft,Upper Elementary,The nature of science:The scientific process,Earth and space science:Earth structure:Landforms/geography,oai:nsdl.org:2200/20140407123604986T,Earth and space science:Earth structure:Ocean and water,History of science,Informal Education,Middle School,Authentic data use,Elementary School,History/Policy/Law,Engineering and technology:Remote sensing,Earth system science,Engineering,High School,Vocational/Professional Development Education,Technology,Geoscience,Geography



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