PAESTA Classroom

Designed for the sharing of short classroom exercises and explorations, this database allows for teachers to search for materials and resources that you, the PAESTA membership, have tested in the classroom. The database contains short descriptions and examples of activities members have conducted with students, such as inquiry-based assignments to reinforce specific content, or as an extension exercise to increase the graphic literacy of students.

The database will be of the most use if you, the PAESTA membership, contribute the classroom-tested resources you have developed! Please consider writing up your innovative approach to teaching a specific topic for inclusion in this database. Descriptions should include the objectives of the exercise and why this approach was used.

Please be sure the materials you submit do not infringe on copyright or intellectual property rights – links and/or citations to original sources are required. Submitted examples will be reviewed before being placed online.

You can select one or more subject areas and/or grade levels.

  • For Windows: Hold down the control (ctrl) button to select multiple options.
  • For Mac: Hold down the command button to select multiple options.

by Sara Neville on March 17, 2013.

The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University is the oldest natural science research institution and museum in the North America. Located in Philadelphia, PA, the institution celebrated its 200th anniversary in 2012. As part of a year-long bicentennial celebration, an online supplement to the museum’s bicentennial exhibit was created in Google Earth with a series of educational activities, targeted for middle school science educators and students.

by Meredith Bembenic on March 17, 2013.

Purpose of The Coal and Energy Unit

Coal is a part of our daily lives, but how often do we think about its importance? Coal generates over half our electricity and provides Pennsylvanians with thousands of jobs at mines, power plants, and in the transportation industry.

We hope that the students will gain an understanding of:

by EilishaJoy Bryson on March 16, 2013.

The "Discovering Plate Boundaries" exercise:, developed by Dale Sawyer at Rice University, requires students to examine global maps and observe, describe, and classify data. No prior knowledge of plate tectonics, geography, or Earth science is required for students. This activity has been popular in middle school, high school, and university classrooms, at the beginning or the end of a tectonics unit.

by Laura Guertin on March 16, 2013.

An image is a powerful tool for Earth and space science instruction.  An image can capture a feature, a process, and/or an event and allow us to bring that snapshot to our students.  Although images may be used throughout a class period, an image can be used at the very beginning of a class to engage students and direct classroom discussion for the day.

We invite you to contribute to our collection of examples of how you utilize an “image of the day.”

by Laura Guertin on March 12, 2013.

I came across this exercise on the Project Exploration website and have used it as an in-class exercise for a course I teach on Dinosaurs.  My goals are to get students to think about what is involved in preparing and carrying out a field expedition, as well as to engage students in a basic quantitative exercise.  I like to expose my students to the process of science, and in this case, what it takes to think about and prepare for an expedition in the desert.

by Laura Guertin on March 11, 2013.

This is a take-home assignment for students.  I teach an introductory-level course on dinosaurs at the college level.  One of my goals in all of my courses is for students to be familiar with the scientists that are the founders of the discipline, and to know who the current researchers are in the field.