Geology K-12 Outreach
Outstanding Earth Science Teacher Award
Lesson Plans and Other Resources
Contact Us

Teacher Freebies

Check Out These Sites for Freebies
(or almost free stuff)!

Astrobiology Supplement- Article. In January, 2001,the Research Penn State magazine included an extended article on astrobiology that was based on the previous year's lectures presented during the Frontiers of Science Lecture series on astrobiology. The article, written at a high school level, is now available as a separate magazine supplement and is appropriate for educators,students, researchers, and the community at large. The pdf is available on site.

Bright Ideas Online Publication - Bright Ideas is for professionals in the fields of technology, science, and mathematics. The International Technology Education Association’s quarterly publication is free to any teacher, supervisor, or teacher educator. To receive it, visit, and select Bright Ideas. You'll receive four issues each school year that include free activities, program spotlights, and other information.

Budget Crunch Helpers from NSTA Suppliers Guide – get coupons and deals from several suppliers at

FREE Teacher’s Kit - The Consumer Aerosol Products Council (CAPCO) has created a FREE resource for science teachers. The CAPCO Science Class Challenge Kit contains all of the materials necessary to teach your students about the earth’s protective ozone layer, CFCs, and aerosol products. The Kit includes a teacher’s guide, classroom activities, experiments, homework assignments, and the DVD “Another Awesome Aerosol Adventure.” In addition, the kit is a perfect companion to CAPCO’s Science Class Challenge, an opportunity to design your own creative method of teaching important environmental issues. To order a kit and learn more about the Science Class Challenge visit:

Computer Animation and Paper Model of Earthquake Effects from US Department of Interior US Geological Survey.

The Dawn Mission Events calendar is a six-year wall calendar from the years 2007 to 2012. The calendar highlights major events that will take place during the mission.

The Earth and Space Science Explorers Poster highlights some of the explorers in the NASA Earth Explorers and NASA Space Science Explorers series of articles on the education pages. Some of the explorers highlighted on this poster are still in school, and some are adults who have chosen science as a career.

Earth/Mars Comparison Poster and other Mars education resources from NASA

Educational Activity that deals with the basics of landfills - The Environmental Research and Education Foundation page that tells what a landfill is, how to build a municipal solid waste landfill, and what happens when landfills become completely full.

Free Software (to teachers and schools who register it) : Astro-Mania

Fuel Cells: Driving the Future - The program, developed by Weekly Reader, is an entirely self-contained curriculum package with a teachers guide, student activities, and posters.

Geoblox offers free paper models on their site: Composite Volcano, Earthquake, Jetty, Groin, and Ocean Crust.

In the Mood? Here are two sites containing songs by which to learn science. Most are about space,but the second has a few geology songs as well. See: 

LA Coast Free Offers - Teachers can request a variety of items in support of wetlands education from the Louisiana Coastal Restoration Web Site.

Education Learning Network at the Office of Surface Mining has a free poster, games, quizzes, and more.

Light and Energy Learning Unit - This online curriculum module from GE Lighting can teach middle school students about saving energy. Designed to work as a stand-alone guide or a supplement to existing energy curriculum, the Light and Energy Learning Unit gives students the background knowledge and skills needed to make better decisions about light and energy use for their schools or homes. The module features content about the history, math, and science of light, along with practical experiments in understanding lighting and vision. At the end of each lesson, teachers will find quiz and feedback options and detailed teachers notes. After students complete the unit, they can conduct their own lighting audit, either as a class project or in their own homes, by using the new online GE Lighting Auditor. Access the interactive unit and the GELA at

Mars Activity Booklet – NASA has a great downloadable booklet of activities for the class about Mars, our visiting neighbor. See: the Mars Activity Book (pdf), along with other Mars education resources from NASA and the JPL. 

Mars -- The Red Planet Poster is available in the Posters section of the Educational Materials area. The poster shows that the journey to Mars starts in the classroom. The back of the poster has an overview describing what NASA has learned about Mars listing facts about the Red Planet.

Mineral Information Institute - FREE download of lessons, activities, guides, student pages, background information, and more.

Moments of Discovery - This audiovisual exhibit uses the actual voices of leading scientists to explore how major discoveries are made, teaching some science along the way. The material is designed for classroom use and for individual study at high school or beginning college levels. To encourage use in the classroom, 2000–2001 NSTA President Arthur Eisenkraft has provided lesson plans, discussion questions, and exercises. The exhibit is mounted on the web site of the Center for History of Physics at the American Institute of Physics. Students can also compare these moments of discovery with ones described elsewhere in the Center for History of Physics web site.

Movers & Shakers™ - This complete teaching package for kindergarten through 12th grade discusses earthquake preparedness. The kit includes a video, lesson plans, supplementary handouts, and a poster. It has been endorsed by the National Association of Elementary School Principals, the National Coordinated Council of Emergency Management, and the Central United States Earthquake Consortium. It is free to schools. If you'd like to give this program to a school, contact a State Farm agent near you. They will need the following information: Name of school, Street address (no P.O. Boxes, please), and the Name of the teacher using the program.

NASA El Niño Poster and Activities

NASA has two new posters available: A Key to Discovery and Build it with Space walks.

NASA's Earth Science Games for Kids - who says learning can't be fun?

National Geophysical Data Center - fantastic images. You can even order full-sized posters, etc. for a reasonable price.

NEF – Think Energy Teaching Materials There are several packets for different grade levels available. These materials are related to natural gas safety, energy sources, energy conservation, transportation, and other topics. Supplies are limited.

PALEOMAP Project - This project aims to illustrate the plate tectonic development of the ocean basins and continents, as well as the changing distribution of land and sea during the past 1,100 million years. Visit for instructions for making your own Pangea Antenna Ball. The web site also offers free Earth System History-GIS Time Slices. Each time slice consists of the reconstructed positions of present-day continental coastlines, shelf margin, major tectonic boundaries, active plate boundaries, and sea floor spreading isochrons. Because the shape files are in decimal latitude and longitude (geographic coordinates), they can be easily transformed to other map projections. To request a free time slice, you must have ArcView 3.x installed on your machine. Choose one of the following time slices: Present-Day, Late Cretaceous (K/T Boundary), Pangea (Late Permian), Rodinia (Late Precambrian), or Pangea Ultima (+250 million years in the future). Call 1-888-288-0160, or e-mail with your request.

Pathfinder Teaching and Learning Units - Science curriculum materials that address island environmental issues are available free online. The Pathfinder Teaching and Learning Units present important scientific concepts in Pacific Island learning contexts and engage island values, such as careful stewardship of the home environment. These standards-based instructional units were developed by Pacific classroom teachers as part of the Operation Pathfinder Institutes sponsored by the Pacific Mathematics & Science Regional Consortium at Pacific Resources for Education and Learning and the University of Hawaii Sea Grant College Program. The Pathfinder Teaching and Learning Units are available as a printed publication or as HTML and PDF files. For more information, e-mail

Rays Awareness educational materials for teachers of grades 3–5 - These sun safety materials include a set of cross-curricular lesson plans covering science, math, language arts, and social studies; and a color sun safety poster. Contact Rays Awareness Curriculum, c/o The Weather Channel Education Dept., 300 Interstate North Pkwy., Atlanta, GA 30339; 1-800-471-5544.

Resource Guide for Teaching Astronomy Through Science Fiction - An annotated topical index to science fiction stories and novels that use good astronomy can be found on the education web pages of the nonprofit Astronomical Society of the Pacific (an NSTA Associated Group). The guide currently has 195 entries organized into 40 categories, ranging from "anti-matter" to "Venus." It includes stories and novels by scientists (some writing under a pseudonym) and by other writers who pay attention to the accuracy of their science. The stories and novels listed deal with such topics as the dangers of asteroid impacts and exploding stars, the future exploration of Mars,  the search for intelligent life in the universe (and the forms it might take), and a look at what it would be like to live among the rings and moons of the outer solar system. Though not designed as a complete index, the guide highlights stories that teachers have found particularly useful for making scientific ideas come alive for non-science students.

Review Copies of Global Systems Science Guides - GSS is an interdisciplinary course for high school students comprised of nine student books with teacher guides. The books may be used for a one-year integrated science course, or individual guides may be incorporated into existing high school biology, physics, chemistry, earth science, or social studies courses. The GSS project at Lawrence Hall of Science, University of California, Berkeley has made available free download of books for the GSS curriculum. The entire series (nine interdisciplinary student books) appear online for review by teachers, teacher education leaders, and curriculum designers.

Spectroscope Posters – for free – just pay $7 for shipping.

The Universe in the Classroom (archives) - Newsletters on teaching astronomy in grades 3–12 published by the Astronomical Society of the Pacific (an NSTA Associated Group).

Surfing the Net with Kids Science Games

The Environmental Research and Education Foundation’s Educational Activities for Secondary Schools. You'll find these activities on (see link on the right-hand side of the web page). Activity 1 deals with Landfills. Activity 2 concerns packaging and transporting municipal solid waste and hazardous waste. Classes who complete the activities will receive a Certificate of Completion from EREF. For grades K–5, EREF offers its Solid Choices curricula, also available on the web site. All EREF materials can be downloaded as pdf files.

The Office of Surface Mining - U.S. Department of the Interior has a poster and teacher packet available at

The Universe in the Classroom - wonderful newsletters with great articles and resources for class.

Topex/Poseidon Mission Materials

TOPO Bingo – a fun way for students to learn the terminology and symbols of topography. (pdf)

Understanding Radiation in Our World Kit

Women are Scientists Video Fill out the form for this free video for teachers of grades 6-12.