Lunar and Planetary Institute

Menu of Opportunities for Scientist Involvement in Teacher Preparation

Provide Data for Inquiry


Students and teachers can use real data in authentic inquiry learning environments to better understand the nature of science. While most data can be used with modifications, most teachers do not have the time or ability to make those modifications; however, you may have data that is already appropriate. 

Best Practices for Success

    1. Read the "Before You Begin" information.
    2. Plan on where you will locate the data (preferably with an existing resource that educators already use, so that the information will be easy to find. My NASA Data is one such Web site used by more teachers.
    3. Prepare clear descriptions of what you are providing, with simple terms.
    4. Use a format that most people can open, such as Word or Excel, rather than encoded in binary. 
    5. If you create an activity to use with your data, include a scientific view of the data and data analysis, and clear instructions.

Paths of Involvement

    • Share your data with an existing group that disseminates data for educational uses: My NASA DATA, DLESE, or the Planetary Data in Education group, for instance.
    • Work with local science or education faculty to see if your data could be used in their course.
    • Create a Web site with your data to share it.
    • Design an activity or mechanism for using your data.  This would need to be designed with input from (or in partnership with) appropriate individual(s) representative of the target audience, such as education faculty or teachers. 

Provide Data for Inquiry


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