New Earth Science materials helps students map what they learn

earth-science-esriEsri is teaming up with GISetc for a free set of Earth Science materials, called the GeoInquiry Collection.

The materials uses ArcGIS Online web mapping and analysis tools to enhance middle school earth science lessons. GISetc is an award-winning, longstanding publisher of GIS curricula materials for primary and secondary school students.

The partnership is also in support of an Esri initiative to provide a free ArcGIS Online subscription to every K-12 school in the United States. ArcGIS is an online mapping program that lets users create their own custom maps using an available pool of data and statistics, both political and geographical.

The new Earth Science collection contains 15 web-mapping activities that correspond with and extend map-based concepts in leading middle school earth science textbooks. The activities use a standard inquiry-based instructional model, require only 15 minutes for a teacher to deliver, and can run on any device. In addition, the activities align with Next Generation Science Standards.

“Earth Science GeoInquiries provide a substantial change in the way we, as educators, use mapping and geographic analysis with data and concepts from across the science of earth systems,” says Tom Baker, Esri manager for education. “Broadly, GeoInquiries introduce mainstream K–12 students and teachers to the power of web mapping in a standards-based, teacher-friendly activity, complete with modern web technology, live data, and inquiry-oriented investigations.”

Activity topics include the following:

Topographic Maps
Remote Sensing
Rock Types
Plate Tectonics
Mountain Building
Ocean Features
Ground Wind and Temperature Patterns
Climate Change

Esri plans to release high school level GeoInquiries for U.S. history later this year. Teachers, GeoMentors, and school administrators can learn more at


About the Author:

Stephen Noonoo

Stephen Noonoo is a former editor of eSchool News. He has served as a consultant for CUE, California’s ISTE affiliate, and as managing editor of its quarterly publication, OnCUE. He has worked as a freelance writer, an education editor for SmartBrief newsletters, and as a staff editor for a well-known publication focusing on education technology.