Ani-gif made with NASA GRACE data

Using MY NASA DATA for Earth System Science Projects and Investigations:

Earth system science is the study of the complex interactions of the various components that make up our Earth’s atmosphere, lithosphere, hydrosphere, cryosphere, and biosphere and how Earth is constantly changing as each of these components interact. The purpose of NASA’s Earth science program is to develop a scientific understanding of Earth’s system and its response to natural or human-induced changes, and to improve prediction of climate, weather, and natural hazards. Learn more from NASA

The Atmospheric Composition focus area consists of research on the composition of Earth’s atmosphere, particularly of the troposphere and stratosphere, in relation to climate forcing, atmospheric ozone and aerosols, solar effects, air quality, and surface emissions of radiatively and chemically active source gases and particulates.

Our weather system includes the dynamics of the atmosphere and its interaction with the oceans and land and involves phenomena ranging from local or microphysical processes lasting minutes to global-scale events predictable up to two weeks prior.

NASA’s role in climate variability study is centered around providing the global scale observational data sets on oceans and ice, their forcing, and the interactions with the entire Earth system.

The Water & Energy Cycle focus area studies the distribution, transport and transformation of water and energy within the Earth System, with the long-term goal to improve hurricane prediction, quantify tropical rainfall and eventually begin to balance the water budget at global and regional scales.

This Focus Area deals with the cycling of carbon in reservoirs and ecosystems as it changes naturally, is changed by humans, and is affected by climate change.

NASA’s Earth Surface and Interior focus area supports research and analysis of solid-Earth processes and properties from crust to core. This includes providing the space geodetic observations and products foundational to many space missions.

NASA becomes a part of Intel ISEF by Offering an Earth System Science Award at Affiliated Regional and State Science Fairs in Spring of 2016

Beginning spring of 2016, the NASA Earth System Science Certificate may be awarded annually at regional and state science fairs that are partnered with the Society for Science & the Public (SSP) and aligned with the requirements set forth by Intel ISEF. Projects that are awarded the NASA Earth System Science Certificate are invited to submit a copy of their abstract along with the NASA Earth System Science Awardee information sheets that were provided to participating regional and state science fairs. From these entries up to 25 most relevant projects will be invited to participate in a NASA Earth System Science Virtual Science Colloquium. NASA scientists and educators will hear students present their projects and then provide feedback. After this discussion, up to 10 projects using NASA-related data may be offered the chance to be highlighted on the MY NASA DATA Science Project Page.

Additional Resources:


NASA Earth System Science Award Criteria

Intel ISEF Logo

Intel ISEF Online Abstract Form


Intel ISEF Award Earth System Science Subcategories:

Atmospheric Science (AIR)

Studies of the earth’s atmosphere, including air quality and pollution and the processes and effects of the atmosphere on other Earth systems as well as meteorological investigations. Learn More —>

Climate Science (CLI)

Studies of Earth’s climate, particularly evidential study of climate change as it relates to Earth’s systems. Learn More —>

Environmental Effects on Ecosystems (ECS)

Environmental Effects on Ecosystems (ECS)Studies of the impact of environmental changes (natural or as a result of human interaction) on ecosystems, including empirical pollution studies. Learn More —>

Geosciences (GES)

Studies of Earth’s land processes, including mineralogy, plate tectonics, volcanism, and sedimentology. Learn More —>

Water Science (WAT)

Studies of Earth’s water systems, including water resources, movement, distribution, and water quality. Learn More —>

Science Project Tips

1. Choose an appropriate topic:
Try to choose a project based on an area of interest to you. This will make your project much more enjoyable to do.
2. Know the Scientific Method:
There are some key elements that characterize science. These include: reliance on observation, having a testable question, and avoiding observer bias. See more discussion of the scientific method.
3. Seek additional resources:
Besides the Internet, there are a number of other valuable resources that are available. Try consulting a topic expert or visit your local library for printed materials on your topic.
4. Publish your results in a clear manner:
Be sure to display the outcome of your experiment in an easy to understand way. There are a number of websites that can assist you with this, such as the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair website.

Other Links:
Science Fair Projects Demystified in NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s Education Videos

MY NASA DATA Science Projects
Interested in exploring Earth Science or need a Science Fair Project idea?
  1. + Beginner
  2. + Advanced
  3. + Using a Sky Mirror
  1. + Beginner
  2. + Advanced
  • Dust Observation
  1. + Beginner
  2. + Advanced
Cloud Composite Image
  • Sky Color
  1. + Sky Color for Kids
  2. + What Color is your sky?
Monarch Butterfly
  • Using Cameras
  1. + Have Fun Doing Science with a Camera
  2. + Doing Science with a Camera
  3. + PicturePost Project Ideas
Cirrostratus Layer
  • Additional Project Ideas
  1. + Solar Garden
  2. + Measuring Temperature Islands
  3. + Measuring the Temperature of the Sky and Clouds
  4. + Measuring Sunlight
  5. + Measuring the Earth’s Water Vapor Blanket
  6. + Measuring Local Precipitation
  7. + Birds and Climate