2019-20 JPL-CSUN NGSS Institute

NASA, NGSS, and the Health of Planet Earth
for science teachers

JPL 2019 Group  photo

: This NASA funded grant opportunity provides professional development opportunity to help teachers develop techniques for engaging their students in NGSS science and engineering practices using data collected by NASA earth-observing satellites, to better understand issues related to the health of their planet.    

The adoption of NGSS requires a paradigm shift in science teaching and learning.  In particular, NGSS requires
  • Students to engage in NGSS practices to build deeper understanding of science and engineering content and make sense of phenomena and design solutions. 
  • Students develop models of systems within the natural world and use them to explain phenomena or solve problems.
  • Students investigate to investigate real world problems and problem-solve using critical thinking.
In this institute, teachers will learn how employ NASA data to help their students develop scientific questions and developmodels about the interactions of the hydrosphere, biosphere, geosphere, and atmosphere.  Participants will learn how to engage their students in the analysis and interpretation of data, using  mathematics and computational thinking to construct explanations from evidence.  Using NASA datasets and free online analytical tools such as CODAP, Google Sheets, and image processing software,  teachers will learn how to address real issues regarding the health of our planet, and will learn techniques to help their students apply NGSS Engineering Design standards

Benefits to participating teachers
  • Learn from CSUN professors doing cutting-edge research monitoring the health of planet Earth 
  • Tour NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the "center of the universe" for Earth Science and planetary research
  • Meet and learn from the NASA scientists and engineers who are developing missions to monitor our planet's health 
  • Work with CSUN science educators to develop grade-appropriate NGSS-based lessons
  • Develop skills in data analysis and interpretation using powerful free online tools and NASA data 


  • David Seidel, Manager, STEM Education , JPL
  • Ota Lutz, Senior Education Specialist, JPL
  • Lyle Tavernier, Educational Technology Specialist, JPL
  • Paula Partida, JPL Educator Resource Center Administrator, JPL
  • Samuel Garcia, Educator Professional Development Specialist, JPL
  • Brandon Rodriguez, Educator Professional Development Specialist, JPL
  • Norm Herr, Director of Secondary Science Education programs, California State University, Northridge