STEM Professionals' Blog


The GLOBE International STEM professionals Network (GISN) Blog is an online collaborative effort where scientists associated with GLOBE post their thoughts, comments, and philosophies about a variety of science topics.

GLOBE strongly encourages positive and productive discussions to further advance the scientific understanding of all involved with The GLOBE Program.




It’s almost spring, the time of year when the looming change in seasons could lead to some pretty fascinating cloud activity in the sky. NASA and  the GLOBE Program  are asking for your help by taking part in a citizen science cloud observation challenge. From March 15 through April 15, citizen scientists of all ages can make up to 10 cloud observations per day using the  GLOBE Observer app  or one of the other  data entry options  (for trained GLOBE members). Challenge participants with the most observations will be congratulated by a NASA scientist in a...


Posted in:

Today we start a series of posts devoted to providing information, tips, tricks and answers to frequently asked questions by Calitoo users! So, how do you measure Aerosol Optical Thickness (AOT) with a Calitoo? First and foremost: NEVER look directly at the sun! And… ONLY take measurements when the sun is not obstructed by clouds. TIP: Use your hand(s) to cover the sun; if you see any clouds on either side of your hand(s), do NOT take any measurements. Wait until the sun is not obstructed by clouds. Now, the Calitoo sun photometer measures AOT values at 465 nm, 540...


Posted in: Curriculum: Education Research Science and Math STEM Event Topics: Campaigns and Projects (IOPs, etc) Science Symposia and Fairs GLOBE Science Topics: General Science GLOBE Protocols GLOBE Working Groups: Science Working Group Investigation Areas: Atmosphere » Aerosols News Topics: Virtual Science Fair Primary Audience: Partners Students Teachers

The NASA GLOBE Clouds team is excited to highlight Mr. Gary Popiolkowski, a middle school science teacher at Chartiers-Houston Jr./Sr. High School in Houston, PA, USA. Mr. Popiolkowski has been teaching for 44 years and has been a GLOBE teacher since 1995. He has had his students doing cloud observations for the past 18 years, submitting over 15,000 observations! He has also been doing virtual connections with Patumwan Demonstration School in Thailand each year for the past four years. We ask Mr. Popiolkowski how he does it! Here is what he shared: Each period of the day the...


Posted in: Curriculum: Science and Math STEM Event Topics: Other GLOBE Science Topics: General Science GLOBE Protocols Scientist Skills Investigation Areas: Atmosphere » Clouds Atmosphere » Surface Temperature Primary Audience: Alumni Country Coordinators Partners Scientists Students Teachers Trainers

The GLOBE Clouds team at NASA Langley Research Center in Hampton, VA would like to highlight the top observers for the month of February! Thank you to all observers for submitting your observations and using the satellite matching of data. Also, remember that on March 15, 2018 we will start our NASA GLOBE Clouds: Spring Cloud Observations Data Challenge ! The top observers will be congratulated by a NASA scientist with a video posted on the NASA GLOBE Clouds website. Click here for more information.   Top 10 cloud observers for February 2018   ...


Posted in: Event Topics: Competitions GLOBE Science Topics: Backyard Science General Science GLOBE Protocols Scientist Skills Investigation Areas: Atmosphere » Clouds News Topics: Competitions Primary Audience: Alumni Country Coordinators Partners Scientists Students Teachers Trainers

A fourth grade student from Public School 122 (Queens, NY), recently visited NASA Langley for a week. During his visit, he studied the GLOBE Aerosol Protocol. He went outside the Atmospheric Sciences building and collected aerosol data using a Calitoo sun photometer, which measures Aerosol Optical Thickness (AOT) at three wavelengths: 465nm (blue), 540nm (green) and 619nm (red). After downloading the data measured with the Calitoo to his laptop, the student learned how to access AERONET data. The AERONET ( AE rosol RO botic NET work) project is a federation of ground-based remote...


Posted in: Curriculum: Education Research Science and Math STEM Event Topics: Campaigns and Projects (IOPs, etc) Science Symposia and Fairs GLOBE Science Topics: General Science GLOBE Protocols GLOBE Working Groups: Science Working Group Investigation Areas: Atmosphere Atmosphere » Aerosols News Topics: Virtual Science Fair Primary Audience: Partners Students Teachers

The NASA GLOBE Clouds team recently presented a webinar the details of how your cloud observations are matched to satellite data. The webinar, recording found below, also focuses on the importance and quality of the observations, ways that the data can be used by scientists, and current work being done by the team at NASA Langley Research Center in Hampton, VA.  The webinar also highlights newly processed data from the temperature and cloud observations reported for the Great North American Solar Eclipse on August 21, 2017.      See how your data...


Posted in: Curriculum: Education Research Science and Math Technology STEM Event Topics: Campaigns and Projects (IOPs, etc) GLOBE Science Topics: Backyard Science General Science GLOBE Protocols Earth System Science Scientist Skills Investigation Areas: Atmosphere » Clouds News Topics: Video Primary Audience: Country Coordinators Partners Scientists Teachers Trainers

Spring is starting to spring in some parts of the Northern Hemisphere but not quite yet in others. The March observations period for the Urban Heat Island/Surface Temperature Student Research Campaign has started. Please take surface temperature observations in March to help out with the campaign. If you can, please take observations from two sites so you can compare the temperatures for them. One approach is to take observations from a grassy area and an asphalt area to compare. Just a quick look at surface temperature data on the GLOBE visualization page shows the cold weather that is...


Posted in: GLOBE Science Topics: Backyard Science Earth System Science

This past week was a very exciting one for the Science Education Team at NASA Langley Research Center! Four members visited one of the schools participating in the GLOBE Air Quality Student Research Campaign: Our Lady of Mount Carmel School, in Newport News, VA., where twenty middle school students, led by their science teacher Ms. Angie Rizzi, presented their team research projects and posters about aerosols. After students started taking aerosol measurements and once they had selected their research project questions, Dr. Pippin, -lead scientist for the GLOBE Air Quality Student...


Posted in: Curriculum: Education Research Science and Math STEM Event Topics: Campaigns and Projects (IOPs, etc) Science Symposia and Fairs GLOBE Science Topics: General Science GLOBE Protocols GLOBE Working Groups: Science Working Group Investigation Areas: Atmosphere » Aerosols News Topics: Virtual Science Fair Primary Audience: Partners Students Teachers

Mr. Jeff Bouwman The NASA GLOBE Clouds team is excited to highlight Mr. Jeff Bouwman, a 6th and 7th grade teacher at  Shumate Middle School  ( Gibraltar School District ) in Gibraltar, MI. Mr. Bouwman was one of the top 10 GLOBE Cloud observers for 2017 and we are very excited for the research his students are doing with the data.    We invite you to read his most recent post -   "It's Cool to Have Your Head in the Clouds" - and read the research his students are doing with 2-years of cloud observations!    If you would...


Posted in: Curriculum: Education Research Science and Math Technology STEM Event Topics: Science Symposia and Fairs GLOBE Science Topics: Backyard Science General Science GLOBE Protocols Scientist Skills Investigation Areas: Atmosphere Atmosphere » Clouds Learning Activities: Atmosphere and Climate News Topics: Competitions Virtual Science Fair Primary Audience: Scientists Students Teachers Trainers Teacher's Guide: Grade Level Investigation Area Documents

The 2017-18 GLOBE U.S. Air Quality Student Research Campaign is well underway in the United States! There are 34 school participating with more joining as the weeks go by: Broadalbin Perth High School (Alicia Dobyns) Cassadaga Middle School (Sandi Askin) Crestwood High School (Diana Johns) * Elizabeth City Middle School (Wanda Hathaway) Fredonia Middle School (Amy Lauer) Hamburg High School (Kaci Nowadly) Kipp Intrepid Prep School (Robert Bujosa) Life Academy (Sarah Pipping) * Main Street Intermediate School (Marcy Burns) Met Sacramento High School...


Posted in: Curriculum: Education Research Science and Math STEM Event Topics: Campaigns and Projects (IOPs, etc) Science Symposia and Fairs GLOBE Science Topics: General Science GLOBE Protocols GLOBE Working Groups: Science Working Group Investigation Areas: Atmosphere » Aerosols News Topics: Virtual Science Fair Primary Audience: Partners Students Teachers

NASA GLOBE Clouds: Spring Cloud Observations Data Challenge Audience : Students and teachers all grade levels, informal educators, and the general public Dates : March 15, 2018 - April 15, 2018 The NASA GLOBE Clouds team at NASA Langley Research Center in Hampton, VA is excited to announce the NASA GLOBE Clouds: Spring Cloud Observations Data Challenge . Participants are invited to enter up to 10 cloud observations per day from March 15, 2018 to April 15, 2018 using the GLOBE Program’s data entry options or using GLOBE Observer app . GLOBE and...


Posted in: Curriculum: Education Research Science and Math Technology STEM Event Topics: Other Competitions GLOBE Science Topics: Backyard Science General Science GLOBE Protocols Scientist Skills Investigation Areas: Atmosphere Atmosphere » Clouds News Topics: Competitions Primary Audience: Alumni Country Coordinators Partners Students Teachers Trainers Teacher's Guide: Grade Level

The GLOBE Clouds team at NASA Langley Research Center in Hampton, VA would like to highlight the top observers for the month of January! Thank you to all observers for submitting your observations and using the satellite matching of data.   Top 10 cloud observers for January 2018   Observer School Country Total Observations Ebtisam Nahhas 19th Secondary Girls School at Al-Madinah Al-Monawarah Saudi Arabia 121 Helio Cabral ...


Posted in: GLOBE Science Topics: Backyard Science General Science GLOBE Protocols News Topics: Competitions Primary Audience: Alumni Country Coordinators Partners Scientists Students Teachers Trainers

Friday, February 2nd is Groundhog Day and some of us will be waiting to see if Punxsutawney Phil saw a shadow or not! Punxsutawney Phil and other groundhogs have been predicting the arrival of Spring for many years and has intrigued us all.   NASA Education Specialist Dr. Anne Weiss NASA Education specialist at NASA Langley Research Center, Dr. Anne Weiss, was gathering cloud and temperature data while visiting her nephews (3rd, 5th, and 8th grade) when they got talking about Punxsutawney Phil. Her nephews were questioning if Punxsutawney Phil’s forecast would affect...


Posted in: Curriculum: Education Research Science and Math GLOBE Science Topics: Backyard Science General Science GLOBE Protocols Scientist Skills Investigation Areas: Atmosphere » Clouds Learning Activities: Atmosphere and Climate » Estimating Cloud Cover Primary Audience: Students Teachers Trainers

Satellites can detect and collect a lot of observations in very short amount of time. It is simple to think that anything that is white in an image is a cloud. Well, not always.  Look at these beautiful images taken by the GOES 16 satellite of the recent "Winter Weather Bomb" that left a blanket of snow from South Georgia to New England on January 4, 2018. Click here and watch a loop of images from the GOES 16 satellite for January 4, 2018. GOES 16 Image taken on January 4, 2018 at 171720Z GOES 16 Image taken on January 4, 2018 at 201720Z   ...


Posted in: Curriculum: Education Research STEM Event Topics: Other GLOBE Science Topics: Backyard Science Climate General Science GLOBE Protocols Scientist Skills Investigation Areas: Atmosphere » Clouds Learning Activities: Atmosphere and Climate Primary Audience: Partners Scientists Students Teachers Trainers

Here at NASA Langley we've started the year with snow, and lots of it! Has all this snow and weather gotten you hooked on the weather? Do you like to watch the weather reports on TV or on your phone? Dr. Yolanda Shea, a scientist at NASA Langley Research Center, used to do just that when she was younger. See what inspired her and how she became a NASA scientist! Comment and share how this video inspires you! Also, with all this snow on the ground, be sure to submit your cloud reports! Enter your data through GLOBE or use the  GLOBE Observer app and follow...


Posted in: Curriculum: STEM GLOBE Science Topics: Backyard Science General Science Scientist Skills Primary Audience: Country Coordinators Partners Students Teachers Trainers

We are in the middle of our December observations for the Urban Heat Island Effect/Surface Temperature Field Campaign. 69 schools have entered 1323 observations. As developer of the surface temperature protocol I wanted to thank everyone who has taken observations . It is your data that will allow other students to create interesting research projects as well as providing a database for me and my students to conduct research. We have schools all over the world taking surface temperature observations to contribute to the campaign. I want to talk about problems some schools are having with...


Posted in:

The GLOBE Clouds team loves coming up with ways to help students and teachers identify clouds. I've been blessed to visit a number of 4th grade full inclusion classrooms and want to share my quick cloud ID and data collection activity outline! Anchor question: Do all clouds look the same, even from space? Goal: Students identify, collect and submit cloud observations by using their own notes and clues for each possible cloud type. Objectives:  Students will, (A) Recognize that clouds are part of the water cycle. (B) Investigate cloud types...


Posted in: Curriculum: STEM GLOBE Science Topics: GLOBE Protocols Scientist Skills Learning Activities: Atmosphere and Climate Primary Audience: Teachers Trainers Teacher's Guide: Grade Level » Upper Primary: 3-5 Protocol Specific Documents » Resources

The GLOBE Clouds team at NASA Langley Research Center in Hampton, VA would like to highlight the top observers of 2017! Thank you to all observers for submitting your observations and using the satellite matching of data.   Top 10 cloud observers for 2017   Observer School Country Total Observations Valentina Langiene Zemynos pro-gimnazium Lithuania 1201 Ahmad Alhefzi As-Siddiq Secondary School at...


Posted in:

By Olawale Oluwafemi (Femi), (Nigerian Space Agency) and DeStaerke Danielle (CNES) The primary objective of every research project is not only about what you discover but also how do you communicate your discoveries to the interested audience. Delivering either a poster or oral presentation at a scientific meeting is not an easy task, but my passionate friend Danielle and I will present tips that will assist GLOBE Students and Teachers to deliver good scientific presentations.  Plate 1: Femi delivering poster presentation during GLOBE Annual Meeting at Estes Park,...


Posted in: Curriculum: Education Research STEM Event Topics: GLOBE Learning Expeditions Science Symposia and Fairs Competitions GLOBE Science Topics: Meetings/Conferences GLOBE Working Groups: Science Working Group Education Working Group News Topics: Meetings Virtual Science Fair Primary Audience: Scientists Students Teachers Trainers

Learning science involves learning important concepts, conducting experiments to see first-hand how researchers discovered and confirmed some elements of science concepts, and learning how to think scientifically. With this complete approach to learning science, students are well-prepared to deal with the natural world around them and to make wise decisions when confronted with various choices. The ability to think scientifically is a valuable skill in almost all aspects of life and doing science teaches scientific habits of mind. Students can do science through research projects...


Posted in: Curriculum: Science and Math STEM GLOBE Science Topics: Backyard Science General Science Scientist Skills GLOBE Working Groups: Science Working Group Investigation Areas: Atmosphere Hydrosphere Earth As a System Pedosphere (Soil) Biosphere News Topics: Competitions Virtual Science Fair Primary Audience: Country Coordinators Partners Students Teachers