Science Today



Understanding Floods & Precipitation Events

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St. Vrain & Boulder Creek Watershed Education Guide: get to know your Watershed address where you live as defined by creeks, wetlands and lakes / discover the plants, animals, and birds you might see in or around the creek or wetland in your neighborhood.

Understanding Colorado Watersheds: By reflecting on their own lives and activities, students start to recognize their place in the watershed.
Student Guide  /  Teacher Guide  /  St. Vrain Watershed Map

Flood Risk Planning and Response: In this unit, students learn about 100 year floods and why floods happen, how to prepare for floods and what to do in a disaster. Student Guide  /  Teacher Guide

Virtual Watershed Power Point: Includes maps of the St. Vrain Watershed, explains where Longmont gets it’s drinking water and much more.

Basics of Water Quality in Boulder County: Exploring the water quality of the Colorado Front Range.

Boulder County Precipitation Data September 2013: This is a pdf of two graphs. First the precipitation totals for Boulder County from 1899 to 2013 and second comparing 2013 to the wettest (1995) and driest (1910) months on record.

First Look – Lyons & Longmont Aerial Photos: Aerial photos of both Lyons and Longmont with points of interest identified. These pictures were taken near the height of the flooding.

Record rain, steep canyons fueled Colorado floods: Video explaining the atmospheric and geographic conditions that set up events of September 2013.

NOAA / National Weather Service Colorado Precipitation Maps: The National Weather Service developed a series of maps showing annual exceedance probabilities (AEPs) of the rainfall for the Colorado event that started on September 9, 2013. The Colorado event delivered total rainfall amounts that exceeded 15 inches in some locations as it slowly moved through the area and caused extensive river flooding. These maps highlight the rarity of this event.

September 2014 Flood Lesson Plan: This 2nd – 5th grade activity was prepared by Erie Elementary Teacher Kristina Stem. The lesson introduces students to the science behind the flood and requires students to analyze data and create their own graphs of perception and run-off. Lesson PowerPoint   PDF of Power Point




The Science of Fracking

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How Hydraulic Fracturing Works: A new technology for natural gas extraction has created substantial excitement and intense controversy since its introduction in the late 1990s. It is called high-volume horizontal hydraulic fracturing, or fracking or hydro-fracking for short. This advanced, unconventional drilling technique has made it possible to retrieve deposits of methane gas trapped in formations of shale rock thousands of feet below ground, fossil fuels that had heretofore been considered inaccessible. This development has led the energy industry in the United States to raise dramatically its estimates of the nation’s natural gas reserves and has unleashed a tremendous wave of new domestic drilling. But fracking has also inspired fierce opposition due to concerns over groundwater contamination, air pollution, and other environmental and health hazards. Learn More at the Links Below

SVVSD Media Services – Fracking

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PBS Lesson Plan: Fracking: positive or negative impact? In this segment, learn what hydraulic fracturing – or fracking – is, the health concerns that citizens have with it, and how citizens and corporations are working together to suggest government standards to regulate it.

Project Learning Tree Teacher Resources – Teaching Hydraulic Fracturing:
Teachers’ Domain offers useful resource for teaching about fracking. The site includes a downloadable video, discussion questions, background essay and correlation to state standards as well as several other informative websites.

The lay of the shale-gas play

“Plays” are regions with available gas or oil. Fracking and horizontal drilling have vastly expanded the fossil-fuel landscape.


Graphic: U.S. Energy Information Administration





Climate Science

Climate Communication Resources: Climate is a complex topic, with rapidly developing science and technology and the potential for controversy. See the following pages for suggested pedagogic approaches to teaching these topics and possible challenges for educators.

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National Park Service Climate Change Response Videos: Exploring climate change – great for 4th – 12th grades, practical evidence of change in our National Park ecosystems. The National Park Service invites you to view videos on a variety of climate change topics, including citizen science, sea-level rise, glaciers, and more! Additional videos, currently in production, will be featured online in the coming months.

Through these educational videos, teachers and students can learn the basics about climate change topics, explore the National Park Service’s unique position in responding to climate change, understand the challenges of managing parks in the face of climate change, and find out more about the science behind climate change. See the videos online at NPS Multimedia Page Click on the Managing Park Series for a list of videos from several  National Parks.

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UCAR Connect highlights science from NCAR and the broader UCAR community through brief videos combining the story behind the science with educational and multimedia resources. Awesome Source for News, Videos, Writings, K-12 Teacher Resources and Links about weather and our planet. UCAR Connect



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NASA Climate – conducts a program of breakthrough research on climate science, enhancing the ability of the international scientific community to advance global integrated Earth system science using space-based observations. This website includes interactive graphs, charts, videos and satellite imagery.

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CLEANET – A collection of 600+ free, ready-to-use climate related resources rigorously reviewed by educators and scientists, suitable for K-12 classrooms.

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CU Learn More About Climate – Translates climate change information into resources and tools for teachers, policy makers, and citizens. Watch videos, schedule a guest speaker, find standards-based lessons and interactive resources.




Science & Engineering of the Olympic Games

The National Science Foundation has partnered with NBC Learn to release the “Science and Engineering of the Olympic Games”.

This video collection delves into the physics, engineering, chemistry, design and mathematics behind the world’s foremost sporting events. The series’ diverse topics reveal how key engineering and science concepts and cutting-edge technology play an integral part in each athlete’s respective sport and help maximize their performance.

2010 2014
2010 Vancouver Games 2014 Sochi Games

OLY2012 London Olympics



…….Measuring Different Lanes on the Track | Cyberchase | Grades 2-8

Engage your students with this timely, sports-themed resource designed to help them understand the basic principles behind measuring distance. In this video from Cyberchase, a student athlete is competing in her first 200 meter race, but doubts the fairness of starting further back in the inside track lane. View Resource


2Titanium Chairs and Cheetah Legs
…….| Medal Quest | Grades 6-12

Study the engineering and technology behind the specialized wheelchairs, prosthetics, and other high-tech tools of the trade that allow Paralympic athletes to compete at elite levels. View Resource


3Physics: Conservation of Angular ….Momentum | Circus | Grades 9-12

Acrobats, gymnasts, ice skaters tuck in their arms and scrunch up their bodies while spinning in the air. Use this resource to help contextualize angular momentum and conservation. View Media Gallery


4………Dot Plot and Distribution:
…….Swim Times at the Olympics
……| Khan Academy | Grades 7-9

In this resource, students will examine the distribution of a dot plot to draw conclusions about the times of Olympic swimmers.
View Resource

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