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Engaging Underserved High School Students in Science Investigations using NASA's GLOBE and GLOBE Observer Resources.
  • Dorian Janney
Dorian Janney
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

Author Profile


Engaging high school students in authentic scientific investigations is essential for increasing scientific literacy. Teachers often resort to using textbooks and in-class laboratory experiences that emphasize facts but leave students feeling disengaged. Additional challenges are often added to trying to teach STEM content effectively to students for whom English is not their first language. A collaborative partnership between the author, a former educator who now is an Education and Outreach Specialist with NASA, and a high school teacher who works with underserved students for whom English is not their native language, was formed in order to offer authentic STEM experiences in a public-school setting. They explored the many resources within The GLOBE Program and the GLOBE Observer app, and decided to use these to build the structure around an elective STEM course for 11th grade students. Students learned how NASA satellite data is being used to better understand Earth’s systems and to gather data to help us monitor our changing climate. They used the GLOBE Observer “tools” (Mosquito Habitat Mapper, Trees, Land Cover) as well as several GLOBE atmosphere protocols (precipitation, air temperature, relative humidity, soil moisture) to monitor ongoing environmental conditions. Students formed investigative teams and worked with NASA scientists and data as they designed and conducted research to explore the impact of environmental conditions on active mosquito seasonality and types of mosquitoes, tree growth, and land cover in their schoolyard. They also communicated regularly with other students who were collecting similar data in different countries around the world to compare and contrast the impact of these environmental variables. The goal is for students to submit their research results to GLOBE’s “International Virtual Science Symposium” and also share their projects at their county-level science fair.