Taking the pulse of the planet (14-16)
These resources from the European Space Agency climate change initiative education resource pack allow students to learn about how data can be collected by sensors and how the orbit of satellites affect the details that can be obtained - Taking the Pulse of the Planet.
The first activity is text based and introduces the concept of remote sensing, specifically how the satellites are in different orbits so can be matched to the intended application (traffic monitoring, bird migration patterns, wave conditions are some examples). The second activity is more mathematics focused, with calculations based upon scale and resolution of pictures taken by a camera in the classroom versus those extracted from satellite images. The final activity requires computer access as it is research based upon using the 'Climate from Space' web application where data is extracted to explore the range of climate variables causing El Nino and La Nina events (irregularly occurring and complex series of climatic changes affecting equatorial regions). An animation introduces the phenomena and can be used as a starting point for the research task. All activities can be carried out independently or as a group with all teacher notes and student worksheets provided.