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Using NASA Earth-Observing Satellites to Help Improve Agriculture and Water Usage

National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency

In this resource, students learn about freshwater resources, how NASA uses satellites to measure precipitation, and how that data can be used in agricultural practices. Students use data from the NASA Global Precipitation Measurement satellite to explore precipitation patterns in two parts of the world and then make recommendations for how to reduce water use in agriculture and in their own lives.

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Notes from our reviewers

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  • Relevant topic to engage students on the topic of climate change. Possible idea for an extension activity is to look at agriculture locally where the educator is based and locate NASA precipitation data if available and/or collect it on your own. Then students can determine water needs for crops in specific regions. Possible idea for extension is to discuss to what extent irrigation is used in local farming. This may help students understand that the issues raised in this lesson are not unique to the regions the lesson mentions. If students struggle with reading comprehension, educators can have them become experts/complete graphic organizers in strategic pairs.