Media Resources

Created by National Informal STEM Education Network Last updated 2/9/2018

A collection of media and interactive resources to supplement the NISE Network's Explore Science: Earth and Space Toolkit

  • Explore Science: Earth and Space Activity and Content Training Videos

    [2017 and 2018 Toolkits] This should be your staff’s first stop after opening your kit and going through the “Open Me First” box. These videos offer great tips to do our activities and provide some basic background information for your docents to give your visitors a high quality experience. This link covers both 2017 and 2018's toolkits.
  • NASA’s Eyes

    [2018 - Craters, Space Telescope, Hide and Seek Moon, Objects in Motion, Exoplanets] This simulation can be used to augment several activities. You can look at craters on the moon, see the distance the rovers traveled to Mars, and see how moons and satellites orbit around Earth and any other planet in the Solar System. You can also search for satellites to see where their current position is or will be in the future! “Eyes on Exoplanets” allows you to explore exoplanets and their stars. “Eyes on Earth” allows you to see how different datasets about soil moisture and atmospheric rivers look from space.
  • Real World: NASA eClips

    [2018 Toolkit] Here is a treasure trove of media for grades 6-8. You'll find a video relevant to many of our activities like Paper Mountains, Pack a Space Telescope, Mars Rovers, anything moon related, and many more. If you're running a camp or classroom experience for older kids, this is a must stop.
  • Our World: NASA eClips

    [2018 Toolkit] A fantastic series of videos for K-5 level students. You can find age appropriate video content for our gravity activity, Paper Mountains, Craters, Hide and Seek Moon, and many more. A treasure trove of media!
  • Earth Pro on Desktop – Google Earth

    [2018 - Craters, Mars Rovers, Paper Mountains] Google Earth Pro (which is free) picks up where Eyes on the Solar System leaves off if you want to zoom in on features on the Earth, Mars, or the Moon. You can see where the astronauts explored on Moon and look at craters a bit closer up. On Mars, you can search for craters and see where all the rovers are located and see their paths. In Google Earth, you can see local relief close up or explore regions of the Earth that have extreme relief like mountainous regions.
  • DIY Sun Science

    [2018 - Filtered Light] The app features the Sun Observatory which shows the most recent images from the Solar Dynamics Observatory satellite. SDO orbits the Sun constantly taking pictures. Each image shows a different light wavelength emitted by the Sun.
  • DIY Lake Science App

    [2018 - Paper Mountains] A great companion to Paper Mountains with lots of activities about runoff, erosion, and lake science. It has an interactive lake that lets you see how lakes change over seasons.
  • NASA’s Spacecraft 3D App

    [2018 - Stomp Rockets and Mars Rovers] Using augmented reality, you can examine NASA rockets, probes, and Mars rovers! It’s a great companion to the Stomp Rockets and Mars Rovers activity. This page also has some of the newer and older apps that JPL has built.
  • 5 Ways to Find a Planet

    [2018 - Exoplanet Transits] A great and simple website that shows you 5 different ways NASA searches for exoplanets. Uses simple visualizations and very approachable explanations.
  • Kepler Exoplanet Transit Hunt

    [2018 - Exoplanet Transits] This is a good interactive that extends the our exoplanet activity. You can access it via the "archived copy" link or you can follow this URL:
    AAAS Benchmarks: 3A/M2, 4A/H4
  • Observing with NASA

    [2018 - Hide and Seek Moon] This is more of a digital make and take activity. Visitors can request an actual NASA telescope image taken within 48 hours and have it e-mailed to the visitor. In this case, you can request an image of the moon taken by a NASA “Control Telescope” and they’ll e-mail it to you. This is a great activity for the older siblings who are reluctant to participate in "Hide and Seek Moon."
    AAAS Benchmarks: 4A/E2, 4A/H3, 10A/M2
  • NASA Viz: Modeling Earth's Magnetism

    [2018 - Magnetic Fields] Our planet's magnetic field changes shape constantly due to strong winds from the sun. You'll find high quality visualizations about Earth’s magnetic fields here.
  • GMS: Exploring Jupiter's Magnetic Field

    [2018 - Magnetic Fields] The high quality videos here go well with our magnetic field activity especially if you have an emphasis is on Jupiter and Juno. Aside from the Sun, the solar system's largest magnetosphere belongs to Jupiter – a gargantuan magnetic windsock with a tail stretching out to the orbit of Saturn. Now, NASA is sending the Juno spacecraft to peer beneath Jupiter's clouds, giving scientists their first glimpse of the dynamo driving this giant magnetic field.
  • Participate | Mars Exploration Program

    [2018 - Mars Rovers] You’ll find a plethora of digital media and interactives about the Mars Rovers. You can find images, videos, mobile apps, and interactives about the Mars Rovers. Explore this page before doing the Mars Rover activity to extend visitor interaction or provide a backdrop for your rover activity.
  • SVS: Moon Phase and Libration, 2018

    [2018 - Hide and Seek Moon] Show today’s phase of the moon! Also, 4k videos of the Moon! But more than that, this page has the great visualizations of the Moon, Moon phases, and the Moon’s orbit around the Earth. A great companion to the Hide and Seek Moon activity.
  • SVS: James Webb Telescope Media

    [2018 - Pack a Space Telescope] Here’s a great compilation of videos about the James Webb satellite and if you’re doing the “Pack a Space Telescope” activity, you could play these in the background, too.
  • Webb Telescope's Houston Highlights Time Lapse - YouTube

    [2018 Pack a Space Telescope] If the B-Roll videos of James Webb doesn't satisfy your itch to display cool videos about the space telescope, this time-lapse is ready to stream!
  • Hyperwall: Our Solar System

    [2017 - Pocket Solar System] This is a high definition look at all the planets of our solar system. Although not to scale, this a great way to visualize all the planets in motion side by side.
  • CILab: Solar System Animation

    [2017- Pocket Solar System] Top-view to side-view animation of the solar system. Not to scale.
  • GMS: Massive Black Hole Shreds Passing Star

    [2017 - Orbiting Objects] This artist’s rendering illustrates new findings about a star shredded by a black hole. When a star wanders too close to a black hole, intense tidal forces rip the star apart. In these events, called “tidal disruptions,” some of the stellar debris is flung outward at high speed while the rest falls toward the black hole.
  • NASA Viz: How Planets Are Born

    [2017 - Orbiting Objects] Planets emerge from the dense disk of gas and dust encircling young stars. A good visualization that complements the Gravity Well and seeing what happens when you create a "dust cloud" of objects by throwing many marbles into the Gravity Well.
  • GMS: Hubble Makes First Measurements of Earth-Sized Exoplanet Atmospheres

    [2017- Imagining Life] What kind of atmospheres are possible on exoplanets? On May 4th, 2016, the Hubble Space Telescope made the first spectroscopic measurements of two of the three known Earth-sized exoplanets in the TRAPPIST-1 system just 40 light-years away. Knowing more about the atmospheres of exoplanets can help scientists consider the possibilities for alien life.
  • Extreme Shrimp May Hold Clues to Alien Life - YouTube

    [2017 - Imagining Life and Ice Orbs] A narrated video that might complement "Imaging Life" and "Icy Worlds." This extreme oasis of life deep in the Caribbean Sea may hold clues to life on other planetary bodies, including Jupiter's moon Europa.
  • How to Hunt for Life as We Don’t Know It - Science Friday

    [2017 - Imagining Life and Ice Orbs] A great introduction and overview of NASA's efforts to find life on other planets and a fascinating bit about simulating the oceans under miles of ice on some icy moons.
  • Alien Ocean: NASA’s Mission to Europa - YouTube

    [2017 - Ice Orbs] Could a liquid water ocean beneath the surface of Jupiter’s moon Europa have the ingredients to support life? Here's how NASA's mission to Europa would examine the ice. Can you find similar ice patterns on the ice orbs you used in our activity?
  • GMS: Hubble Directly Images Possible Plumes on Europa

    [2017 - Ice Orbs] NASA's Hubble Space Telescope was used to find supporting evidence of water vapor plumes from the Jupiter's icy moon of Europa. The existence of water vapor plumes could provide NASA's Europa flyby mission the opportunity to study the conditions and habitability of Europa's subsurface ocean.
  • NASA Viz: Europa's Chaos Terrains

    [2017 - Ice Orbs] Good video showing Europa's icy surface closeup via the Galileo Mission. Giant lakes trapped in Europa's crust burst up this distant moon's icy surface.
  • Climate Kids: The Climate Time Machine

    [2017 - Rising Seas] A simple interactive showing how the climate has changed over the last several decades and how sea level rise will affect several important, yet low lying, ecosystems around the world.
  • NASA Viz: Earth's Rising Seas

    [2017- Rising Seas] This video presents the facts around sea level rise. Satellite measurements show how sea level is changing around the world.
  • NASA Viz: Meltdown

    [2017 - Rising Seas] A recent analysis of Greenland’s ice sheet shows just how quickly and intricately its ice is thinning.
  • NASA | Intro to LIDAR - 2D Version - YouTube

    [2017 - Investigating Clouds and Rising Seas] A good overview of what LIDAR is. Although it focuses on measuring topography of Earth and planets, it does touch on examining clouds and ice caps at the end.
  • Correlation Between GLOBE Citizen Science and NASA Satellite Observations

    [2017 - Investigating Clouds] Between October 1 and October 22, NASA asked museums and science centers around the world to participate in a global experiment collecting observations of clouds while NASA satellites were overhead. As part of the part of International Science Center and Science Museum Day (ISCSMD), the experiment built upon UNESCO’s theme of “Science for Peace and Development.” More than 900 cloud observations, including more than 5,500 photos, came in. The white dots on this map show each observation submitted through the app in that period. The red dots represent science centers participating in the global experiment.
  • Riding Light on Vimeo

    [2017 - Pocket Solar System] Doing the Pocket Solar System activity? This is a different take on viewing distances from our Sun. Journey through our solar system at the speed of light!
  • 2017 Eclipse and the Moon's Orbit

    [2017 - Solar Eclipse] This animation illustrates why there isn't an Eclipse every New Moon. The Moon's orbit is slightly tilted, and as seen in this animation, the tilt causes the Moon's shadow to miss the Earth during most New Moons—about five out of six, in fact. The olive-colored square represents the ecliptic plane, while the light blue circle shows the plane of the Moon's orbit. Unlike most illustrations of this kind, the Earth and the Moon are to scale. The Sun is off-screen to the left, about 400 times farther than the Earth-Moon distance and roughly twice as big as the Moon's orbit.
  • 2017 Total Solar Eclipse in the U.S.

    [2017 - Solar Eclipse] Although these have no sound, you could play one or more of these visualizations on a loop before and during your Eclipse event. There are a couple visualizations to choose from and they illustrate the connection between time, location, and shadow as the moon passes in front of the Sun.
  • Visualizing the 2017 All-American Eclipse

    [2017 - Solar Eclipse] On August 21, 2017, the Earth will cross the shadow of the Moon, creating a total solar eclipse. This narrated video features several visualizations of the Eclipse and uses some of the same visualizations noted in this list.
  • Motions of the Sun Simulator

    [2017 - Bear's Shadow] For the older kids who won't be challenged by Bear Shadows, this simulator shows how your shadow will look at different times of the day and different times of the year. Why is your shadow longer in the winter than during the summer at 12 o'clock?
  • Peep and the Big Wide World: Shadow Play - YouTube

    [2017 - Bear's Shadow] A cute video you can play while people wait in line to do Bear Shadows. Peep, Quack, and Chirp discover their shadows — then use them to teach Tom (that trouble-making cat!) a lesson.