Erin DiMaggio

Ph.D. Candidate in Geological Sciences

sese logo Arizona State University
School of Earth and Space Exploration
17711 South Rural Road, PSF 686
Tempe, AZ 85287-1404
office: Interdisciplinary A 121
phone: (480) 965-4053
View Curriculum Vitae

- Education Outreach -
about me

Space Grant Consortium
-- I am currently an ASU/NASA Space Grant Fellow --
2010-2011 school year

Space Grants support graduate and undergraduate students in a variety of disciplines to further their educational experiences in science, engineering research, and informal education programs.

ASU/NASA Space Grant Graduate Fellows are required to complete an educational outreach project as the focus of their fellowship. An Educational Outreach Workshop is held every semester to assist with identifying possible topics. (from Space Grant website)

conferences and publications
-- SciNews Education Outreach Project --

The purpose of SciNews is to provide middle and high school teachers timely, pre-packaged lessons on a science current event (such as an oil spill, earthquake, or shuttle launch) that are short (~15 minutes), easy to implement, and align to states standards.


I have created multiple figures for SciNews that are available for download both on the SciNews webpage and here, at the bottom of this webpage. I have also added additional figures for use in teaching Earth and Space Science.

Visit the
SciNews Webpage to learn more!

Download lessons - read about current events - join the SciNews listserv!

Most Current Issues online:

Issue 10: Devastating 9.0 Earthquake and Tsunami in Japan - 4/2011

Issue 9: Student Health Issue: Should we tax sugary drinks? - 3/2011

Issue 8: Kepler Mission: Potential Exoplanets Habitable Zone - 2/2011

Issue 7: Severe Flooding in Australia related to La Niña - 1/2011

Issue 6: NASA's EPOXI mission flyby of Comet Hartley 2 - 11/2010

NSF Logo

ASU GK-12      
       -- NSF Graduate Fellowship in GK-12 Education --

2009-2010 school year

Program Website

Download ASU GK-12 poster presented at the National GK-12 Annual Meeting in Washington DC (3/2010) (.pdf 2MB)

Download "Gotcha Activities" presented on our poster for use in the classroom (.pdf 788KB)

Education Outreach PicturesDuring the 2009-2010 school year I was an NSF Graduate Fellow in GK-12 Education at Arizona State University. As a fellow, I assisted teaching 7th grade science at a local middle school (Willis Jr. High School, Chandler, AZ) two days a week. I shared my research and enthusiasm for science with teachers and students by developing inquiry-based lessons, generating classroom discussions, and simply by answering questions and discussing current scientific events.

The goal of my fellowship was to help motivate students to continue to keep an open mind to science. In my opinion, this requires showing students real-world applications of the classroom science lessons and creating a positive classroom atmosphere that allows students to experience feelings of curiosity, discovery, and excitement in their work.

The purpose of this the GK-12 program is to bring together ASU graduate student scientists and engineers to enrich learning experiences for the K-12 local community, The main goals for this project are to improve communication and teaching-related skills for graduate fellows, strengthen partnerships between ASU and the K-12 community, and provide new opportunities for K-12 students and teachers to work with practicing scientists and engineers. (from the ASU GK-12 website)

As fellows we:

    - attend workshops focused on relevant classroom topics (example: teaching ELL students)
    - develop inquiry-based classroom lessons related to our graduate research projects
    - take a 3-credit class on inquiry-based science education and a 1-credit seminar
    - write weekly journals about our classroom experiences
    - present our lessons/ideas at national education conferences

-- Download lessons for 5-9 grade students created by GK-12 Fellows --

What do Geologists do? middle school
5-9th grade
What Do Geologists Do? A slideshow presentation emphasizing what geologists do including: What do they study? How do they collect data? What tools do they use? Where do they work? This lesson works really well if students fold a sheet of paper into four squares and throughout the presenentation write in answers to each of those questions. See notes included in the powerpoint for specifics. Created by Erin DiMaggio Presentation (ppt 10 MB)
Rock Cycle Lesson middle school
5-9th grade
A Rock Cycle Shower (1) Classroom discussions about the geologic settings where main rock types form (2) Students describe the characteristics of Igneous, Sedimentary, and Metamorphic rocks and classify rocks (3) Using a large white shower curtain with the Rock Cycle drawn on it, students complete the rock cycle by adding their classified rock samples, different processes, and a description of each process (4) Discussion questions related to the lesson are given to the students to debrief. Created by Erin DiMaggio Rock Cycle Lesson (pdf 797 KB)
Rock Cycle Student Directions (pdf 34KB)
Rock Cycle Cards (pdf 1.7MB)
Rock Cycle Powerpoint (ppt 7.92MB)
Mars Exploration Rover
middle school
5-9th grade
Mars in 3D
(requires 3D glasses)
A slide show containing 3D images of Mars taken by Mars Express, Mars Pathfinder Rover, and Mars Spirit & Opportunity Rovers. Note: 3D glasses are required for viewing. Created by Erin DiMaggio 3D Mars Slide Show (.ppt 12.8 MB)
3D Mars Slide Show (.pdf 3.6 MB)
McDonald's Nutrition
middle school
5-9th grade
Health Science
Fast Food Nutrition Lesson
Students write down their dinner order from one of 7 fast food restaurants. The lesson then asks students to analyze a friend's fast food order, and uses math to determine the amount of fat, calories, sugar, protein, in terms of percent of daily. Students then determine if the meal was healthy or not and why, and suggests a new meal that is healthier from the same fast food restaurant. Created by Erin DiMaggio & Charlie Kidder Fast Food Lesson (.pdf 458 KB)

Nutrition Facts (all .pdfs) for fast food restaurants: Arby's - Carl's Jr. - KFC - McDonald's - Subway - Taco Bell - Wendy's

Solar System Ambassador Program- NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassadors Program -

I have participated in the Solar System Ambassador program since 2003, giving talks at local schools on topics including Mars, field geology, and careers in science. Find out more about this awesome program on the SSA website

(from the website) The Solar System Ambassadors Program is a public outreach program designed to work with motivated volunteers across the nation. These volunteers communicate the excitement of JPL's space exploration missions and information about recent discoveries to people in their local communities.

There are almost 500 Ambassadors in 50 states, Washington DC and Puerto Rico bringing the excitement of space to the public. Ambassadors are space enthusiasts from various walks of life who are interested in providing greater service and inspiration to the community at large.

Teacher Resources:

-- Figures created for the SciNews Project --

Illustration of how a tsunami is created by an earthquake (created by E.DiMaggio) -download .jpg-

tsunami illustration, tsunami figure

Illustration of El Niño and La Niña (redrawn by E.DiMaggio after -download .jpg-

el nino la nina figure, el nino, la nina

Illustration of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon/BP oil spill (created by E.DiMaggio) -download .jpg-

Deepwater Horizon oil spill, BP oil spill figure

-- Other Useful Figures for Teaching Earth & Space Science --

(below left) Plate tectonics map showing tectonics bountaries and relative plate motion (from NASA) -download .jpg

(below right) Plate tectonics map showing major tectonic plates in different colors (from USGS) -download .jpg

plate tectonics map plate tectonics

World Map of Volcanoes, Earthquakes, Impact craters, and Plate Tectonics (from USGS, Smithsonian Institution, US Naval Research laboratory) -click here to download high resolution .jpg (8 MB)
world map of volcanoes, earthquakes, impact craters, and plate tectonics

Diagram of the Rock Cycle showing main rock forming processes -download.jpg- . The Rock Cycle figure below is from a student website that contains a series of interactives on types of rocks, how rocks change, the rock cycle, & includes short quizzes. Click here to go to the website.

the rock cycle