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Earth Day 2018

Written by Elizabeth Burck, IGES

Earth Day is celebrated each year on April 22. But at NASA, Earth is celebrated every day - when satellites and airborne missions capture dazzling images of land, atmosphere, water, weather and climate; when details of cycles, patterns and natural and human-induced changes are revealed; and when sharing that research culminates in advancing Earth science and inspiring humanity.

Join with NASA to celebrate Earth Day 2018 by attending a community event, following online postings and social media accounts, and/or by including a lesson or other resource from NASA Wavelength in your classroom or informal venue.

Here are links to information on three community events as well as the online and social media postings:

• NASA will celebrate Earth Day at Union Station in downtown Washington, DC (50 Massachusetts Ave. NE) on Thursday, April 19 and Friday, April 20. Visitors can participate in hands-on activities, learn about the technology that allows NASA to study Earth, and meet former astronaut Paul Richards. The event is free of charge.

• The Kennedy Space Center in Florida will host an Earth Day event on April 22. Visitors will discover how NASA Earth science missions and related technology spin-offs help us learn about and care for our planet.

• From April 17-21, NASA will spotlight its use of data and technology to advance our understanding of Earth. Related stories, videos and images will be posted on NASA's Earth Day page and on the following NASA social media accounts: @NASAEarth on Twitter and NASA Earth on Facebook.

• Earth Day Houston
Sunday, April 22, noon to 6 p.m. CDT
Discovery Green, 1500 McKinney St. in Houston
A citywide event featuring displays, exhibits and talks on topics ranging from alternative energy to recycling methods. NASA’s Johnson Space Center staff will demonstrate virtual reality goggles showing the International Space Station, which hosts several exterior instruments that monitor Earth, and discuss the use of Earth observation images at Johnson and the center’s Sustainability Program to reduce environmental impacts and build energy-efficient facilities.

A live NASA social media event will highlight several Earth science technologies:

• Facebook Live: Transforming How We See Our Planet
Friday, April 20, 2 p.m. EDT, broadcast on NASA Television, streamed live on the NASA Facebook page and the agency’s website. NASA regularly pushes the envelope to find new ways to better see and understand our changing planet. Join us to hear about three up-and-coming technologies: Ved Chirayath, NASA scientist, has developed cameras to image marine environments obscured by the ocean’s surface; Shayna Skolnik of Navteca is working to bring NASA satellite data of Earth to life through virtual reality; and Brian Campbell, NASA outreach specialist, talks about the space laser system on the upcoming ICESat-2 mission that will measure polar ice and other important Earth features.

NASA Wavelength can assist in your celebration. The sample list entitled, In Support of Earth Day 2018 includes resources that can be used prior to, during, or following Earth Day. For example, engage younger learners with games related to recycling and conservation. Present images of fresh water and ocean locations under environmental stress and have students analyze the problems and propose solutions. Use the “Cloud Teller” game to learn cloud types and build vocabulary. Investigate clouds by creating them in bottles. Then, begin your role as a citizen cloud scientist by downloading the GLOBE Observer app to begin taking and submitting your own cloud observations.

Happy Earth Day from NASA Wavelength!