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GeoSTART materials will help middle/high school students learn state-of-the-art approaches to geography, earth science, and spatial thinking skills using NASA Earth Observing Missions remote sensing imagery and related data. Each activity is designed to engage one of the eight major modes of spatial thinking listed in the learning scaffold that is the primary focus of this NASA-funded curriculum project. The activities use this approach to study hurricanes.

As written, the activities contain all of the background information, instructions, satellite imagery, and other materials needed to support a very short but tightly-focused inquiry. This inquiry could fit into a larger curricular unit on hurricanes or natural hazards in many ways. In short, these lessons should be seen as miniature models of how to pose questions that can engage various modes of spatial thinking in order to solve a geographic problem.

The materials are available for free download in one total package format or by individual activities listed below. If activities are downloaded separately, it is still recommended to download the Teacher's Guide for instructional suggestions and answer keys to each activity.


GeoStart Complete Package (Teacher's Guide and 8 spatial thinking activities)

GeoStart Teacher's Guide

1. Hurricane Shapes: Spatial Patterns on Satellite Images

(Supplement: Answer Key)

2. Hurricane Frequency: Identifying Regions with Similar Numbers of Hurricanes

(Supplement: Answer Key)

3. Hurricane Paths: Comparing Places with Different Prevailing Winds

4. Hurricane Stories: Analogous Locations in Different Hemispheres

5. Hurricane Winds: A Spatial Hierarchy of Processes at Different Scales

6. Hurricane Strength: Spatial Association of Wind Speed and Water Temperatur

7. Hurricane Influence: Landfall Probabilities and Wind Speed

8. Hurricane Impact: Storm Surges and Elevation Transitions

(Supplements: PowerPoint of Five Locations, PowerPoint of Five Locations with Teacher Notes)

Funded by: National Aeronautics and Space Administration Grant NNG06GF76G

Inspiring the Next Generation of Earth Explorers: Integrated Solutions for K-16 and Informal Education