A new comprehensive, virtual-learning science curriculum for students in fourth grade focuses on the water cycle, weather, climate and natural processes that shape the Earth’s coasts and communities.

Water Shapes Our Planet and Our Lives provides a unique, hands-on experience that allows students to explore local weather, discover and create tools used by scientists to collect weather data, and evaluate long-term trends recorded by climate scientists.

“Our goal was to create a “one-stop shop” for educators to find up-to-date, virtual materials to teach water, weather and climate standards while introducing climate change science to their students,” says Katy Smith, water quality program coordinator at the University of Georgia Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant.

Smith served as the principal investigator on the project, which was funded by the Southeast Coastal Ocean Observing Regional Association (SECOORA).

“While our curriculum is built around Science Georgia Standards of Excellence, it will benefit any fourth-grader learning about these universal topics,” Smith said.

Each lesson is designed as an online teaching resource for both educators and curious learners. Educators are able to teach the lessons to their students through Pear Deck, an interactive presentation tool for educators, while curious learners can launch the lessons at home. There are short tutorials and other resources on the curriculum web page to help users get started.

All lessons are paired with videos about the different topics and include hands-on activity tutorials for students to follow along with educators. For virtual students who don’t have access to classroom resources, Smith has developed 60 activity kits that are available for educators to request for their students on a first-come, first-serve basis. Educators can reserve kits by filling out this form.

A webinar about the curriculum is scheduled for Tuesday, April 27, from 3:30 – 4:30 p.m. Participants will learn how to implement the lesson plans and the project team will be available to answer any questions. Click here to reserve your spot.

The first 60 educators to utilize this curriculum and complete the evaluation will receive a one-year subscription to National Geographic Kids print magazine (nine issues).

The curriculum is available here https://secoora.org/education-outreach/water-shapes-our-planet-and-our-lives-curriculum/

Katy Smith, klaustin@uga.edu, 912-264-7268

Story originally published here.