The National Ocean Service, a branch of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), has created a new online educational resource designed to help students explore geodesythe science that measures and monitors the size and shape of the Earth and identifies points on its surface. The science is perhaps best known as the concept that drives state-of-the-art global positioning systems. The Geodesy “Discovery Kit” includes three components: a 10-chapter tutorial explaining the science and history of geodesy; a list of online resources where educators and students can view specific geodesic data; and lesson plans correlated with National Science Education Standards and targeted to educators at the high school level. NOAA’s two previous Discovery Kits cover the topics of coral and ocean tides. All are written in a “student-friendly style,” according to the National Science Teachers Association, which undertook a formal review of the kits. The kits are among the many tools NOAA is developing to improve the understanding of the changing Earth and it processes.

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