EROS Reaches Out to Kids with Landsat Activities

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The Communication & Outreach (C&O) team at the Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center is working on some quick ways to connect with students who are currently doing school from home.

Image pair screenshot from USGS EROS change pair quiz

C&O is working on a new lesson plan for middle school students that can be used in class or as a self-led tutorial. The lesson uses a web-based image viewer to explore Landsat imagery and show how land changes over time.

“With many parents and students working from home these days, the team saw an opportunity to create a quick activity that teachers and parents can use to help their students learn from home now,” said Jan Nelson, USGS EROS Communications & Outreach Manager. “It’s more of a game than an entire lesson, but we want to introduce the public to remote sensing and show them some of the changes that Landsat satellites capture. It’s part of our Outreach mission.”

Each question in the game displays a pair of images and lets kids choose from a multiple-choice menu what type of change is identified when comparing the images.

To create the game so quickly, the C&O team used images previously presented at outreach events in the Sioux Falls community. The game also uses images from USGS EROS’ Earthshots website.

Eventually, more of these activities could be produced for use by students who are in school or home schooled. “It might also be that we could make these activities available in the EROS lobby as interactives for both kids and adults,” Nelson said. “The more we can place activities in the hands of our visitors, the better we can educate the public on the value of remote sensing and all of the science we study here at EROS.”

The change pair game is available to the public. Feel free to have your kids try it out, and don’t hesitate to pass it along to teachers and friends who could use some additional online activities during this time!

Check out the EROS Outreach page for even more ideas.