Remote Sensing and Coral Reefs
A Curriculum for 4th - 6th Grade Students

Satellites have revolutionized communication, entertainment, and scientific monitoring. It becomes increasingly relevant for our 21st-century students to learn about these objects that hover around our planet. Satellite monitoring of the environment around coral reefs offers invaluable information to those working to preserve these unique ecosystems.

Coral Reef

The lessons in this unit are designed to be taught in sequence, however, many of the activities are suited to teaching in isolation. This science unit is appropriate for grades four through six. Some concepts tend to be abstract, so depending on students' ability and background knowledge, this unit might be more suitable in a gifted and talented setting.

Below, the lesson plans and Power Point presentations are available for download. Users may choose a zipfile of the entire curriculum, or individual lesson plans. All files are PDF, unless otherwise indicated.

Entire curriculum (zipfile with PDF and PowerPoint files)

National Science Content Standards met by the curriculum

During the summer of 2004, Margaret "Peggy" Koenig created this curriculum unit for NOAA Coral Reef Watch as part of the Earth/Space Science Internship Program funded by the Maryland Space Grant Consortium in collaboration with Johns Hopkins University. The unit was first launched by Ms. Koenig at the Satellites and Education Conference XVII, hosted by the Satellites in Education Association (SEA) in Los Angeles, CA in August of 2004 (view a PDF of the abstract).

Ms. Koenig has taught in Baltimore County Public Schools since 1998, and currently teaches fifth grade at Hillcrest Elementary School in Catonsville, Maryland. She is a graduate of the College of Notre Dame of Maryland and Loyola College, and is pursuing a second Master's degree from Johns Hopkins University. Her internship with NOAA Coral Reef Watch was part of her work toward this degree: a Master of Science in Education with a concentration in Earth/Space Science.

For more information about the Earth/Space Science Internship Program, see