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.




The GLOBE Clouds team got to celebrate World Meteorological Day with the Secretary-General of the World Meteorological Organization, Dr. Petteri Taalas through a Facebook live filmed live from NASA Langley Research Center in Hampton, VA.    Join the celebration by watching the recorded Facebook live below.     View event on Facebook at - https://www.facebook.com/nasaearth/videos/10156418942207139/


Posted in: Curriculum: Education Research Science and Math STEM Event Topics: Other GLOBE Science Topics: Backyard Science General Science Primary Audience: Alumni Country Coordinators Partners Scientists Students Teachers Trainers

    Today we will get a closer at look at the values displayed on our Calitoo screen. When you first turn on your Calitoo, you will get a screen like the following: note the serial number of your instrument will be displayed.                After the initial screen, your instrument will display basic information as shown on the following picture (Source: http://www.calitoo.fr/uploads/documents/en/usermanual_2016_en.pdf ) TIP: The temperature displayed by your Calitoo is actually the temperature ...


Posted in: Event Topics: Campaigns and Projects (IOPs, etc) Science Symposia and Fairs GLOBE Science Topics: GLOBE Protocols Earth System Science GLOBE Working Groups: Science Working Group Investigation Areas: Atmosphere » Aerosols News Topics: Virtual Science Fair Primary Audience: Partners Students Teachers Trainers

Bill Smith, left, along with Kris Bedka. The NASA GLOBE Clouds team is excited to share with you this recent news article about two NASA scientists that help match your observations with satellite data - Bill Smith and Kris Bedka. They, along with Louis Nguyen lead SatCORPS, at team at NASA Langley Research Center that use expertise in clouds to make better weather predictions.  Read more about their work at  https://www.nasa.gov/feature/langley/how-cloud-data-is-improving-weather-forecasts    


Posted in: Curriculum: Science and Math Technology STEM Event Topics: Other GLOBE Science Topics: Climate General Science GLOBE Protocols Earth as a System Scientist Skills Investigation Areas: Atmosphere Primary Audience: Alumni Country Coordinators Partners Scientists Students Teachers Trainers

We are excited to have such a response to the NASA GLOBE Clouds: Spring Cloud Observations Data Challenge .  Remember, top observers will be congratulated by a NASA scientist! Click here to learn more about the challenge.  Are you wondering about the clouds you are reporting and the type of weather you might experience in your area? Here is a guide to how cloud types are related to weather!  The information below was taken from the NOAA's SciJinks webpage -  https://scijinks.gov/clouds/   


Posted in: Curriculum: Education Research Science and Math STEM Event Topics: Competitions GLOBE Science Topics: Backyard Science General Science GLOBE Protocols Scientist Skills Learning Activities: Atmosphere and Climate News Topics: Competitions Primary Audience: Alumni Country Coordinators Partners Scientists Students Teachers Trainers

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

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

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

Gathering data Once you have determined what protocols to use for your project, you will need to develop a plan for gathering the data. It might consist of using automated data collection or making your own measurements. Also, it may include finding data taken by others, such as when you compare your observations with those of another GLOBE school. Automated Data Collection If you are using an automated data collection device or devices, verify that the data are being recorded properly before your official testing timeframe. You will want to monitor that the data are being...


Posted in: Curriculum: Education Research Science and Math Technology STEM Event Topics: Science Symposia and Fairs GLOBE Science Topics: Scientist Skills Meetings/Conferences GLOBE Working Groups: Science Working Group Education Working Group News Topics: Virtual Science Fair Primary Audience: Students Teachers Teacher's Guide: Grade Level » Middle: 6-8 Grade Level » Secondary: 9-12

Authors: Claudia Caro and Olawale Oluwafemi (Femi) Our participation in the International Virtual Science Symposium (IVSS) as judges has allowed us  to learn more about  the scientific experiences of students involved in the GLOBE Program. As members of the GLOBE Science Working Group with backgrounds in Geography and Biology, we would like to share our findings about the importance of the IVSS in the GLOBE community and give you some advice to empower your participation in this extraordinary yearly event. Why an International Virtual Science Symposium? Knowledge...


Posted in: Curriculum: Science and Math Technology STEM Event Topics: Science Symposia and Fairs GLOBE Working Groups: Science Working Group Education Working Group Primary Audience: Country Coordinators Students Teachers Teacher's Guide: Grade Level Grade Level » Middle: 6-8 Grade Level » Secondary: 9-12

When you start writing your GLOBE report for IVSS, it might be difficult because you might not sure where to start. We tend to start writing the Methods section first because it is something you did it yourselves and it should be relatively easy and straight forward to write. Second, you should write the Results section, do graphs, tables and texts (think of a best way to present your cool data to the whole world). Third, you should start writing the Introduction stating your hypotheses and predictions. The next step would be the Discussion section. It is funny to say but as scientists, we...


Posted in: Curriculum: Education Research Science and Math Technology STEM Event Topics: Science Symposia and Fairs Meetings GLOBE Science Topics: Scientist Skills Meetings/Conferences GLOBE Working Groups: Science Working Group Education Working Group News Topics: Virtual Science Fair Primary Audience: Students Teachers Teacher's Guide: Grade Level Grade Level » Middle: 6-8 Grade Level » Secondary: 9-12

The journal Scientific American just published a blog about GLOBE. The post, titled " The GLOBE Program: Making the Case for K–12 Citizen Scientists " discusses several aspects of GLOBE, including our contributions and campaigns. As well, it helps explain our mission of providing the resources for students across the world to become citizen scientists. "Contributing to global datasets not only gives students a chance to collect data that scientists can actually use, but allows them to compare their experiences and findings with other students around the world." To read more about...


Posted in: Event Topics: Campaigns and Projects (IOPs, etc) Other Field Campaigns: El Niño Surface Temperature GLOBE Science Topics: Backyard Science GLOBE Protocols Scientist Skills Primary Audience: Alumni Country Coordinators Partners Scientists Students Teachers Trainers

Observations of daily precipitation have been a part of GLOBE from the beginning. At the start, GLOBE’s participation model was that schools would take measurement following all of the original 17 protocols. Atmosphere temperature, precipitation, cloud, and soil moisture measurements were to be collected daily at a site easily accessible to the school. A permanent installation of an instrument shelter containing a max/min thermometer mounted to a post along with a rain gauge was the expected norm with other measurements taken nearby. Daily temperature and precipitation measurements were...


Posted in: Field Campaigns: El Niño GPM GLOBE Science Topics: GLOBE Protocols GLOBE Working Groups: Science Working Group Education Working Group Investigation Areas: Atmosphere Primary Audience: Country Coordinators Partners Students Teachers Trainers Teacher's Guide: Protocol Specific Documents

From the start, the measurement of daily maximum and minimum air temperature within one hour of local solar noon has been a key GLOBE protocol. The low cost approach was to use a U-tube thermometer housed in a wooden instrument shelter facing away from the equator. The U-shaped tube contained mercury with pins on either side of the mercury. As the air temperature warmed the pin on one side would move while the other pin stayed in place; when the air cooled, the pin on the other side would be pushed up. The pins were held in place by magnetized strips behind the thermometer tube so that...


Posted in: Curriculum: Technology STEM GLOBE Science Topics: Climate Climate Change GLOBE Protocols Earth as a System Earth System Science GLOBE Working Groups: Science Working Group Investigation Areas: Atmosphere Primary Audience: Alumni Country Coordinators Partners Scientists Students Teachers Trainers

Quaking aspens can grow in a wide range of environmental conditions. They can tolerate a wide variety of variations in climate and environmental conditions including slope, moisture, surrounding vegetation, and soil ( https://www.fs.fed.us/wildflowers/beauty/aspen/ecology.shtml ). I found this information with a simple web search. But, before there was access to infinite articles, websites, and papers all a click away, scientists had to figure out growth trends using data. So, before I decided to do a web search about the environmental conditions of aspen habitats (my memorized aspen...


Posted in: Event Topics: Science Symposia and Fairs GLOBE Science Topics: Scientist Skills Investigation Areas: Atmosphere Hydrosphere Earth As a System Pedosphere (Soil) Biosphere News Topics: Virtual Science Fair Primary Audience: Students Teachers

I recently had the pleasure of meeting a GLOBE student named Aspen. I was excited because my favorite type of tree is Aspen (Quaking Aspen to be more specific, Populus tremuloides to be even more specific), and I was able to tell her some of the fun facts about her namesake. My favorite thing about aspens is their bark. The white powder on it can act as sunscreen. It’s only about an SPF of 5 but it’s still pretty cool. The bark also contains chloroplasts which means it can photosynthesize, making it one of the few deciduous trees that do not solely rely on leaves for...


Posted in: Investigation Areas: Biosphere Primary Audience: Alumni Country Coordinators Partners Scientists Students Teachers Trainers

As Earth science has a single uncontrolled object of study, the first rule is to take today’s data today. While ice and sediment cores and fossils can reveal past conditions, the observations that can be made right now cannot be replaced by ones taken later. This goes well with the Native American adage, “You can’t step in the same river twice.” The environment is constantly changing and doing so on a wide range of time and space scales. In a recent video post, Neil deGrasse Tyson said, “One of the great things about science is that it is an entire exercise finding what is true. You...


Posted in: Curriculum: Science and Math Event Topics: Campaigns and Projects (IOPs, etc) GLOBE Learning Expeditions Science Symposia and Fairs Field Campaigns: SMAP El Niño GLOBE Science Topics: Climate Climate Change General Science Earth as a System Earth System Science Investigation Areas: Earth As a System Primary Audience: Alumni Students Teachers

Consider the rain gauge used in GLOBE, CoCoRaHS, and other citizen science programs. Just four pieces plus 2 mounting screws – an inner graduated cylinder, an outer cylinder, a cap/funnel, and a mounting bracket. The area of the outer tube is exactly 10 times the areas of the inner tube and the cap/funnel, so the graduations on the inner cylinder can be spaced ten times further apart. Thus, 0.2 mm of rain fills the inner tube to a depth of 2.0 mm, which one can read. In addition, if heavy rainfall fills the inner cylinder, the rest of the rainfall overflows into the outer cylinder,...


Posted in: Curriculum: STEM Field Campaigns: El Niño GPM GLOBE Science Topics: Backyard Science GLOBE Protocols Investigation Areas: Atmosphere Primary Audience: Alumni Students Teachers

This time was my first visit to Trinidad and Tobago and to the LAC region. The visit was first of its kinds, knowing vividly that Africans and the People of Trinidad and Tobago have so many things in common in terms of Geography and Historical antecedent.  The motivation for my visit to Trinidad and Tobago started during the 17 th GLOBE Annual meeting at Maryland. Initially, it was just a brief discussion with Henry Saunders (Country Coordinator, GLOBE Trinidad and Tobago). However, after a year, I met Mr. Michael at GLOBE Expedition in New Delhi, India where we had in-depth...


Posted in: GLOBE Science Topics: Meetings/Conferences GLOBE Working Groups: Science Working Group Investigation Areas: Pedosphere (Soil) Primary Audience: Alumni Country Coordinators Scientists Students Teachers

Concerns regarding the impact of global warming on vector-borne diseases have intensified interest in the relationship between atmospheric factors and dengue fever incidence. Global climate change poses the threat of serious social upheaval, population displacement, economic hardships, and environmental degradation. Changes in temperature, rainfall and relative humidity have potential to enhance vector development, reproductive and biting rates, shorten pathogen incubation period and encourage adult longevity. In addition, changes in wind direction, velocity and frequency will have an...


Posted in: GLOBE Science Topics: Climate Change GLOBE Protocols Investigation Areas: Hydrosphere Learning Activities: Hydrology Primary Audience: Students Teachers