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Suitcase Lessons

in Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences

July 2nd, 2012

If you’re an educator in grades K-6, Suitcase Lessons provide an excellent introduction to earth,  oceanographic, and atmospheric sciences for your students. They were developed by researchers and elementary school teachers under a federal NSF GeoEducation grant.

Air & Weather

Students gain basic knowledge to answer these questions: Where does rain come from? What role does the ocean play in the water cycle? Why is weather different in different places?

Earth Materials

Students can see in these lessons how rocks and minerals form in the ocean and how sediments are used to interpret the geological record.

Icebergs & Sea Ice

How do icebergs and sea ice form? How does sea ice affect animals and people, and why is knowledge of sea ice and icebergs important for navigation of seafaring vessels?

Mixtures & Solutions

Students are introduced to the water cycle and the concepts of evaporation and precipitation, while learning about salinity and the role of density in understanding currents of the ocean.

Salt in the Ocean

These lessons illustrate why oceans are salty and why it is important to understand the salinity of seawater.


Suitcase lessons were developed by M. Torres, K. Falkner and M. Feldberg of Oregon State University and S. McAuliffe and were funded as part of a National Science Foundation GeoEducation grant (GEO-0224566).

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