K-12 Activities

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Virtual Events

Join us for live virtual K-12 student and educator events!

children in the core lab
tent camp in Antarctica
bathtub science at Open House 2016

October 20, 2020 | 3:00 PM - 3:45 PM
The Water is Rising: Art, Changing Ice, and Warming Climates
Suitable for students grades 3-8, and educators

October 21, 2020 | 3:00 PM - 3:45 PM
Our Home on the Hudson: The LDEO Field Station
Suitable for K-12 students and educators

October 21, 2020 | 4:00 PM - 4:45 PM
Bringing the Hudson to School
Suitable for middle school and high school educators

October 22, 2020 | 3:00 PM - 3:45 PM
Superhero Science: Nicolás Young
Suitable for students grades 3-8, and educators


October 19, 2020 | 3:00 PM - 3:45 PM
When am I Going to Use This?: Dynamic Careers in Science 
Suitable for students grades 6-12

October 19, 2020 | 4:00 PM - 4:45 PM
Pack Your Parka - A Virtual Field Trip to Antarctica
Suitable for students grades 3-12, and educators

October 20, 2020 | 1:00 PM - 1:45 PM
Talking About the Weather: Crowdsourcing and Memories of Climate
Suitable for students age 16 and older, or younger students playing along with parents or friends


October 19, 2020 | 2:00 PM - 2:45 PM
Show and Tell: Monster Waves, Milk Fingers, and Other Weird Stuff in the Ocean
Suitable for students age 10 and older

October 20, 2020 | 4:00 PM - 4:45 PM
Moving at a Glacial Pace
Make glacier goo at home! Appropriate for students grades 2-5, with adult assistance

October 22, 2020 | 4:00 PM - 4:45 PM
Imagining the Future City
Grades 3-8 students and educators, or younger students with adult assistance

Additional K-12 Resources

Pre-recorded content, past events, and lesson plans you can follow from home

hands folding paper airplane
Fold and Forecast

Nathan Lenssen helps participants learn about probabilistic forecasts by folding and flying paper airplanes. 

Materials Needed:

  • 5-10 sheets of paper
  • pen or pencil
  • 3 dishtowels
video still of rotating tank
DIYnamics: Atmospheric, oceanic and interior flow demos

Learn how to build your own rotating tank platforms. The devices are made out of LEGOs and household products and can be easily put together for use in your classroom or home.

is it a new finding? what can it mean for your area of research and society?
Can You Talk Climate? | Climate Research Methods & Communication

This interdisciplinary session will teach participants about climate research methods, building off of the scientific method, and climate communication. This activity is suitable for students in grades 7-12, and educators.

still of microbe video
Better Know a Marine Microbe

Get to know some marine microbes in a series of videos from Sheean Haley, Senior Staff Associate, Biology and Paleo Environment, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory

screenshot of paper craft video showing colored glacier drawing and pencil
LDEO to Go: DIY Paper Craft

Have you received your LDEO to Go kit? Follow along in a video with Cassie Xu as she builds the simple paper diorama of the Thwaites Glacier. Suitable for all ages.

still from a video showing a drawing of scientists and an iceberg
The Changing Face of Ice: Expeditions to Antarctica with Scientists and Artists

What is it like to be an artist-in-residence on a science research vessel? Hear firsthand from artists Marlo Garnsworthy and Karen Romano Young, Lamont scientists Indrani Das and Nichole Anest, and IODP education officer Sharon Cooper

screenshot of ocean sunlight book
Storytime at Lamont: A Microbial Oceanographer Reads "Ocean Sunlight: How Tiny Plants Feed the Seas"

Follow along with Sheean Haley, as she reads "Ocean Sunlight" from her lab at Lamont.

Tree sample with dates showing age
TREX Tree-Ring Expeditions

Lamont's Nicole Davi built this site hosted by Carlton College, where you can explore tree-ring science through virtual labs. Labs are suitable for older students and undergraduates.

bathtub science dancing video screenshot
Bathtub Science at Home

An Open House favorite! Lamont geophysicist Marc Spiegelman demonstrates how to make “oobleck” goo out of cornstarch and water, then shows how the substance is a great example of rheology – or how liquids behave when you try to deform them.

trash can volcano
Exploding Mentos and a Trash Can Volcano: Volcanology at Home

Join Lamont volcanologist and PhD candidate Henry Towbin for a demonstration of the famous Trash Can Volcano explosion. Henry shows you how to create small at-home volcanoes using easily found kitchen items and explains the science behind it and how it related to real-life volcanoes.

microbe comic screenshot
Marine Microbe Memory

Learn about marine microbes and test your memory with this marine microbe-focused matching game!

discover lamont: a virtual science adventure game start screenshot
Discover Lamont: A Virtual Science Adventure

Take an interactive journey through representations of Lamont's campus and field stations to learn about climate science. This "escape room - like" game will entertain, educate, and keep everyone guessing. Play with the whole family.

Resources from the International Ocean Discovery Program and JOIDES Resolution:

JOIDES Resolution papercraft model
The JR goes origami! Fold your own paper model of the ship, complete with helicopter.

Microfossils knitting patterns
These knitted patterns help to provide students and educators an example of what a microfossil looks like on a tangible scale.

Ocean Science Career trading cards
Download the Career Trading Cards pdf to discover the variety of career options available on a given expedition. Learn how you can translate your interest in computer sciences, art, engineering or researcher into a career at sea.

IODP-related coloring pages
Discover unique aspects of the JOIDES Resolution with your crayons! Connect the dots, learn about safety suits, find stories in the core, and search for words with these 6 coloring sheet activities.

LDEO to Go

A kit of activities to do at home!

screenshot of Thwaites Glacier paper craft
DIY Glacier Craft
superhero scientist screenshot
Superhero Scientist
recipe for glacier goo
Make Glacier Goo at Home

Want to receive an LDEO to Go kit? We have a limited number of free kits available to send out. Register here by October 8 to receive your kit in the mail by October 19. We will continue to take orders until we run out, but if you order after October 8, you may not receive your kit by October 19.

We are able to send 1 kit per mailing address to United States addresses only. 

The kit includes a hands-on paper craft activity, a superhero scientist postcard, a recipe for glacier goo, and an LDEO swag item.

If you want to download and print items yourself, the paper craft is available for free download (PDF) in color or black and white.

Once you have your paper craft materials, join Cassie Xu, Director of the Office of Education and Outreach at Lamont, as she builds the simple paper diorama of the Thwaites Glacier. Get your colored pencils, scissors, and tape and/or glue ready and follow along! Share your final creation with us via social media (use #LDEOtoGO) or email it to us at [email protected]

Education Programs

Education programs for K-12 students and undergraduates

Earth Institute LIVE K-12 Education
EI LIVE K-12 Education

The Earth Institute LIVE K-12 channel features experts presenting relevant sustainability content in 60-minute sessions for K-12 students and educators. Sessions vary between topical lectures, demos, and skills-based training.

Pre-College Programs
Pre-College Program

The Earth Institute's new pre-college program is for high-school students (Grades 9-12) who want to sharpen their knowledge and skills in the areas of climate change and sustainability.

Columbia University campus
Undergraduate Programs

Exploring your options for college? Columbia University offers unmatched resources for undergraduates interested in the Earth and the environment.