GLOBE Grandma is a series designed by Christine Villano, an award winning early primary science educator from Alaska, and produced by her daughter Dr. Katie Spellman of GLOBE-Alaska at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. As an early primary educator and GLOBE teacher, Chris has seen decades of very young students empowered by the experience of collaborating on real science with real scientists. Her students, and all young students, are very capable of being successful and rigourous scientists using some of the simplest GLOBE protocols. The GLOBE Grandma series was inspired by this knowledge that GLOBE can start early and help fuel a love of science as children get older.

This series was developed during the COVID19 pandemic as we watched science instruction move online. Even after school resumed we saw the increasing popularity of video-based, hands-on science programs like "Mystery Science." Chris and her University of Alaska Fairbanks GLOBE-Alaska collaborators, Dr. Elena Sparrow and Dr. Katie Spellman, have applied this popular model of easy-to-use science lessons to offer a place-based alternative, and make GLOBE more accessible to early primary teachers, students and families. The GLOBE materials have been adapted to be more useful and understandable to young learners. The engaging videos make delivering the lessons as easy as printing the handouts and pushing "play," whether in the house of a family, or in a busy classroom.

GLOBE Grandma - Fall Season

Lesson 1 Our Leaves are Changing

Introduction to the GLOBE Green Down investigation for K-3 kids. The leaves are changing! What do you notice? What do you wonder?

eLearning lesson material / printable

Lesson 2 Adopt Your Leaves

Learn how to set up your GLOBE Green Down site to track the changing leaves with children grades K-3. Join GLOBE Grandma investigate fall leaves with NASA's GLOBE program. Adapted for early primary from GLOBE Green Down

eLearning lesson material / printable

Lesson 3 Observe Green Down

Join GLOBE Grandma as she guides young learners in observing leaf color in the GLOBE Green Down investigation. Early primary students can do GLOBE, too! They are NASA's microexplorers through the GLOBE program!

eLearning lesson material / printable

Lesson 4 Check Your Leaves

Join GLOBE Grandma as she goes back out with her family to check on how their leaves are changing. Will the adopted leaves be still green, or have they changed colors? What other surprises do they find at the site, and what should Grandma do when she accidentally pulls a leaf off?! 

eLearning lesson material / printable

Lesson 5 Why Do Leaves Change Colors?

GLOBE Grandma explores with her family why leaves change color in the fall with a demonstration using pigments. Just as leaves lose their green chlorophyll pigments, Grandma and Simone use a simple chromatography experiment to understand how colorful pigments can be hidden behind other colors. To learn more, they call plant ecologist Dr. Christa Mulder from the University of Alaska Fairbanks Institute of Arctic Biology. 

This lesson is an early primary grade adaptation of the GLOBE learning activity "Investigating Leaf Pigments." 

eLearning lesson material / printable

GLOBE Alaska - Leaf Green-Down data entry

Submit your leaf data here.

GLOBE Grandma - Winter Season

Lesson 1 We know about snow!

This first lesson in the Grandma GLOBE winter series gets children ready to learn about snow and how it changes through time or across different places. After watching the video, use the activity sheets to give the children the chance to observe snow, think of what they know and notice, and what they wonder about snow. 

eLearning lesson material / printable

Lesson 2 Planning your snow site

Where would be a good spot for you to monitor snow in your yard, neighborhood or schoolyard? Join GLOBE Grandma in thinking about and mapping the best spot to make GLOBE snow depth measurements.

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Lesson 3 Measure snow depth

Join GLOBE Grandma as she guides children in this early primary grades adaptation of the GLOBE total snowpack monitoring protocol. The snowpack data collected can help scientists using GLOBE data understand how much water is on the landscape in the form of snow.

eLearning lesson material / printable

Submit snow data from your sites to GLOBE Alaska 

Lesson 4 Observe changes in snow depth

Join GLOBE Grandma as she revisits her GLOBE snow site and sees that big changes have occurred! Observing changes in snow depth helps children observe and understand changes through time, and the data collected can help scientists using GLOBE data understand how the timing and amount of snow is changing.

eLearning lesson material / printable

Submit snow data from each time you check your site to GLOBE Alaska 

Lesson 5 Comparing snow in different places

Join GLOBE Grandma and her early primary aged grandchildren discover the differences in snow depth on the river and on the land using GLOBE protocols. They call on University of Alaska snow and ice scientist Dr. Chris Arp to discuss their results. Join in the fun and try it yourself using the activity sheets below.

eLearning lesson material / printable

Submit snow data from your two sites to GLOBE Alaska