(Summary adapted from the Exploring the Environment web site and
The Exploring the Environment (ETE) online series, which features an integrated
approach to environmental earth science through modules and activities, is
developed at the NASA Classroom of the Future; at Wheeling Jesuit University.
Through a cooperative agreement with the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, the ... ETE online series is supported by NASA's Information Infrastructure Technology
and Applications (IITA) Program, which facilitates public use of Earth and
Space Science remote sensing databases over the Internet.
The vision of the ETE online series is to promote science-literate and
reflective students who are knowledgeable of the Earth's processes and their
responsibilities for stewardship. The problems in the ETE modules and
activities ask students to address human activities and their impacts upon the
environment. The modules and activities incorporate environmental issues such
as water quality, deforestation, biodiversity, volcanoes, ozone depletion, and
global climate change.
Featuring problem-based learning (PBL), the ETE series provides students with
tools to investigate scientific, social, political, and cultural aspects of
controversial, authentic environmental problems. Standard problem-solving
models, online resources that include relevant satellite imagery, and
recommendations for extended inquiry are available to students.
Student-directed research generally lasts a minimum of five weeks but often
extends throughout the semester. Working cooperatively or individually,
students engage in problem-based modules and activities that require them to
formulate problem statements; to collect and analyze data; and then to prepare
and present their findings, solutions, or recommendations. These findings,
solutions, or recommendations should demonstrate students' understanding and
awareness of the dynamics of both physical/biological and socio-economic