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Earth is a set of complex systems. The motion of Earth’s plates is responsible for the land we live on as well as the recycling of carbon dioxide between the oceans and the atmosphere. We rely on Earth’s energy, mineral resources, and fresh water. We also pollute, burn fossil fuels, and deforest the land—triggering climate change, soil erosion, a decrease in air quality, and the availability of clean water. This set of curriculum modules investigates Earth’s systems with computational models. Explore tectonic plates, climate change, energy choice, hurricanes, and more!

Models and Simulations

Models and Simulations  

Dynamic interactive Earth system simulations provide opportunities for discovery-based learning,  offering students tools for observing and investigating previously inaccessible systems.

The sunrises through the mesa arch in Canyonlands National Park.

Real-World Science  

Like geoscientists, students examine phenomena by investigating data and using models to test their ideas. Using data from ESRI, NOAA, and USGS, students can make sense of Earth’s systems and underlying mechanisms.

Aerial view of Phang nga bay in Thailand with a boat racing through the water

Scientific Argumentation  

Because scientists explore the unknown, there are many areas of uncertainty. Students write evidence-based scientific arguments, drawing on data, using reasoning, and addressing uncertainty. 

NOAA ship in the forefront of a large mountain in Alaska

Teacher Supports  

Interactive Teacher Editions offer supplemental background materials, teacher tips, exemplar answers, and discussion questions, as well as a real-time class dashboard for monitoring student progress. 

Classroom Resources

The Concord Consortium’s transformative Earth and geoscience resources are designed for middle and high school students and beyond. Aligned with the Next Generation Science Standards, these free online resources include Earth systems models, pre and post-assessments, and teacher support materials. Get access to teacher resources with a free teacher account on the Concord Consortium website (

A wildfire lights the California sky at night. Many wildfires become difficult to extinguish and can permanently damage the areas they pass through.

How Will Wildfire Risks and Impacts Change Over the Next 100 years?  

Discover the factors that contribute to wildfire spread such as terrain, vegetation, moisture and wind, the hazards wildfires bring, and the link between wildfire and climate change.

Hurricanes Jose and Maria going over the Caribbean

How Will Hurricane Risks and Impacts Change Over the Next 100 Years?  

Investigate the variables that drive hurricanes, the risks that hurricanes bring to people, and the connections between hurricanes and rising global temperatures.

Aerial view of houses partially flooded with water in the United Kingdom

How Will Flood Risks and Impacts Change Over the Next 100 Years?  

Explore the factors that contribute to inland flood events, the impact that flooding has on local communities, and the relationship between recent severe flooding and climate change.

Iceberg in the waters around Antarctica

What is the Future of Earth's Climate?  

Evaluate how scientists can be certain that Earth is warming while not knowing exactly how much Earth will warm.

Wind turbines at sunset

What Are Our Energy Choices?  

Consider the advantages and disadvantages of different energy sources for generating electricity, with a focus on the hydraulic fracturing process.

Seljalandsfoss in Iceland with the sun beaming in

Will There Be Enough Fresh Water?  

Explore the distribution and uses of freshwater on Earth and examine how humans can preserve supplies of freshwater for the future.

Clouds of smoke and pollutants coming from smokestacks in a shipyard

Will the Air Be Clean Enough To Breathe?  

Explore the interaction between natural and man-made factors that affect a region's air quality.

Sunsetting over a cornfield

Can We Feed the Growing Population?  

Examine the resources that make up our agricultural system and compare the effect of different management strategies on the land.

A look at a giant star cluster and a nebula, an interstellar nursery for new stars, visualized by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope’s near-infrared Wide Field Camera 3.

Is There Life in Space?  

Discover how scientists search for distant planets and how they determine whether those astronomical bodies could be habitable.

Aerial view of the San Andreas Fault

Plate Tectonics: What will Earth look like in 500 million years?  

Run experiments with a plate systems model to see how the movement of Earth’s tectonic plates results in earthquakes, volcanoes, and landforms such as mountains and trenches

Cotopaxi volcano erupting with a town in foreground of the photo

Assessing Volcanic Hazards and Risks with Code  

"Who is at risk from a volcanic eruption?" In this module students develop block-based computer codes to explore the risk of tephra volcanoes and the natural hazards they cause.