STEP Activities and Resources
STEP has worked with educators in the Houston area to provide professional development in Earth and Space Science to thousands of teachers. Below are the resources we’ve assembled, by topic; feel free to use and share them!
Weather and Climatic Interactions
This topic addressed TEKS 8.10 (a,b,c) and connected strongly to physical concepts of energy transformation, light, absorption, and seasons.
This topic covered TEKS 6.10 (B and D). Resources connect to the Plate Tectonics workshop.
This first day included an overview of the Solar System and scale activities, definitions and misconceptions, and an introduction to gravity.
This topic addresses TEKS 8.7 B, regarding demonstrating and predicting the sequence of events in the lunar cycle, and includes a variety of activities and resources.
This topic addresses TEKS 8.7A, regarding modeling and illustrating how the tilted Earth revolves around the Sun causing changes in seasons. Students hould understand the scale of the solar system and the Earth’s revolution around the Sun before this topic is addressed.
This topic addresses TEKS 8.7C, relating the position of the Moon and Sun to their effect on ocean tides. Students should understand the cause of lunar phases, and have an introduction to the concept of gravity, before tackling this topic.
Projecting a visible spectrum and examining how we see it
Looking at wavelengths and frequencies, discussing non-visible types of light
Examining some spectra
Using the ALTAs to take random spectra
Examining images taken—different types of data collected (photos in various frequencies)
Looking at the planets, moons, Sun, comets, and asteroids: discussing with respect to images and spectra
Focus is not on detailed comparisons with Earth, but instead, on broad differences in mass, density, categorizing—those items likely to be tested on STAAR tests.
Examining the relationship between landforms, earthquakes, and plate tectonics, through an examination of the data.
These resources and activities are geared toward meeting the 8th grade TEKS 8.8 A-E, and build upon the content included in Components of the Solar System (first workshop) and Electromagnetism, Light Year, Spectroscopy (3rd workshop).
These resources focus on understanding how science works and what a hypothesis and theory are; we discussed them during the October teleconference. Please add your comments!
This topic includes TEKS 7.9 A and B, and connects to and reinforces 6.11 A and C.
This topic includes TEKS 7.8 A, B, and C — the impacts of natural catastrophes on ecosystems; watersheds; and weathering, erosion, and deposition by Texas ecoregion.
This topic included discussions on planning workshops, with a focus on the 1 hour CAST workshops.
This topic covered TEKS 8.9 (C), including using and interpreting topographic maps and satellite images.
Overarching Discussion and Resources: