Space Math @ NASA - Exploring Climate Change

Common Core State Standards

6.EE.2.c Evaluate expressions at specific values of their variables. Include expressions that arise from formulas used in real-world problems. Perform arithmetic operations, including those involving whole-number exponents, in the conventional order when there are no parentheses to specify a particular order (Order of Operations);
6.EE.6 Use variables to represent numbers and write expressions when solving a real-world or mathematical problem; understand that a variable can represent an unknown number, or, depending on the purpose at hand, any number in a specified set;
6.EE.7 Solve real-world and mathematical problems by writing and solving equations of the form x + p = q and px = q for cases in which p, q and x are all nonnegative rational numbers.
6.G.A.1 Find the area of right triangles, other triangles, special quadrilaterals, and polygons by composing into rectangles or decomposing into triangles and other shapes; apply these techniques in the context of solving real-world and mathematical problems.
6.G.A.3 Draw polygons in the coordinate plane given coordinates for the vertices. Apply these techniques in the context of solving real-world and mathematical problems.
7.G.B.6 Solve real-world and mathematical problems involving area, volume and surface area of two- and three-dimensional objects.
8.EE.5. Graph proportional relationships, interpreting the unit rate as the slope of the graph.
8.SP.A.1 Construct and interpret scatter plots for bivariate measurement data to investigate patterns of association between two quantities;
8.SP.A.2 Know that straight lines are widely used to model relationships between two quantitative variables;
8.SP.A.3 Use the equation of a linear model to solve problems in the context of bivariate measurement data, interpreting the slope and intercept.
8.F.B.5 Describe qualitatively the functional relationship between two quantities by analyzing a graph (e.g., where the function is increasing or decreasing, linear or nonlinear).


RST.6-8.2. Determine the central ideas or conclusions of a text; provide an accurate summary of the text distinct from prior knowledge or opinions.
RST.6-8.8. Distinguish among facts, reasoned judgment based on research findings, and speculation in a text.
RST.6-8.9. Compare and contrast the information gained from experiments, simulations, video, or multimedia sources with that gained from reading a text on the same topic.

Next Generation Science Framework

PS1: Matter and Its Interactions,
PS1.A: Structure and Properties of Matter;
PS1.B: Chemical Reactions; Patterns
PS3: Energy,
LS2: Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics,
ESS2.A: Earth Materials and Systems,
ESS3.C: Human Impacts on Earth Systems,
ESS3.D: Global Climate Change,
ETS2: Links Among Engineering, Technology, Science, and Society
ESS2.D Weather and climate;

5-E Integrated STEM Modules

  • Exploring Climate Change Students explore changes in sea ice observed by NASA satellites; properties of functions describing ocean level rise, temperature and carbon dioxide increases and arctic ice declines. [Enter Here]
  • Exploring Climate Change from 1900-2010 Students explore temperature change of Earth during the 20th century and through 2010. Calculating slopes and rates of change to predict climate change for the year 2050. [Enter Here ]
  • Human Impacts on Climate Students explore how human activity impacts Earth's climate and simple mathematical models that predict changes in the Earth system. [Enter Here ]
  • Stratospheric Aerosols and Ozone Students explore how the SAGE III mission will use sunrises and sunsets to investigate the impact of aerosols and ozone on climate change. [Enter Here ]
  • 5-E Integrated STEM Modules

  • Exploring Snowflake Geometry Students learn about the properties of snowflakes through reading a NASA press release. By viewing a NASA eClips video segment, students discover how snowflakes form and how their shapes relate to their history. Students then explore the geometric shapes of snowflakes by viewing them as polygons and calculating their areas using the area properties of right triangles. [Enter Here ]
  • Measuring Snow and Water Volumes Students learn about tools that measure snow and ice through reading a NASA Press Release and watching a NASA eClips video segment. Then they quantify snow to water ratios and the density and volume of snow. [Enter Here ]
  • Phase Changes Between Snow and Water Students learn about carbon dioxide snowfalls on Mars by reading a NASA Press Release. They also learn about snow phase changes on Earth and the unique properties of water by watching a NASA eClips video segment. Students use formulae and graphs to quantify phase changes and explore relationships between temperature and energy. [Enter Here ]
  • Math Problem Resource Guides

  • Earth Math (2009) 46 Problems Students explore the simple mathematics behind global climate change through analyzing graphical data, data from NASA satellites, and by performing simple calculations of carbon usage using home electric bills and national and international energy consumption. [PDF: 4.2 Mby ]
  • Math Problem Resource Guides

  • SAGE III Explores Aerosol Math (2014) 18 Problems; 2 Interactive Labs This book explores the properties of atmospheric aerosols being studied by the NASA SAGE III instrument onboard the International Space Station. Also includes two interactive Excel Spreadsheets to study opacity [Download file], light transmission and Earth limb sunset and sunrise observations of the atmosphere [Download file]. Download Book: [PDF: 20.4 Mby ]