Earth and Space Science Classroom Activities and Resources
Free middle school classroom activities and resources to meet Earth and space science standards: plate tectonics, lunar phases, seasons, and more.
STEP, a NASA-funded project, assembled Earth and space science classroom activities and resources while working with Houston area educators to provide professional development in Earth and Space Science to thousands of teachers. Each Earth and space science topic includes hands-on activities, some inquiry activities, and powerpoints and additional resources.
Weather and Climatic Interactions
This topic addresses TEKS 8.10 (a,b,c) and connects strongly to physical concepts of energy transformation, light, absorption, and seasons.
This topic addresses TEKS 8.7 B, regarding demonstrating and predicting the sequence of events in the lunar cycle.
This topic addresses TEKS 8.7A, regarding modeling and illustrating how the tilted Earth revolves around the Sun causing changes in seasons. Students should 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.
Cracking Up: Plate Tectonics
Explore the relationship between landforms, earthquakes, and plate tectonics, through an examination of the data.
Characteristics of the Universe
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 and Electromagnetism, Light Year, Spectroscopy
Nature of Science
These resources focus on understanding how science works and what a hypothesis and theory are.
Natural Resources and Ecosystems
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.
Planning a Workshop
This topic included discussions on planning workshops, with a focus on the 1 hour CAST workshops.