Earth as Art
STEAM lesson that introduces students to various data collecting satellites at NASA and the artful images they produce.
Subjects: Science/STEM

Today’s Activities


  • Watch Earth as Art 6 Video. This is the 6th edition Earth as Art Collection.

  • What do you notice?

  • What do you wonder?


  •  NASA has launched satellites associated with various missions to collect a multitude of data about Earth. A serendipitous product of this is art.
  • Read the Earth as Art NPR article to explore how science and art intersect.
  • Many of the images were taken by Landsat satellites. Listen to the Eyes on Earth podcast – Landsat’s International Partners.
  • JPL Photojournal
    Use this NASA page to explore images from various NASA missions. Each mission was designed to collect Earth observations. Explore the goals of each of the various missions and discover some of the instruments used to collect the data.

Leveled Learning Extension: What are satellites


  •  Choose your favorite image from the Earth as Art 6 collection or from the JPL Photojournal.
  • What draws you to the image you chose?
  • Research an aspect of this image (location, phenomena related to the image, source of the image)

Leveled Learning Extension:  Choose one of the images from the JPL photojournal. Describe the image in detail. What colors do you see? What shapes? can you tell what the picture is of? How? What does it make you think of?



  • Create your own “Earth as Art” image.  Go outside and get creative! Choose one of the following or something else completely unique.  

    • Create a digital image
    • Create a digitally edited image
    • Use watercolors, pencils, crayons, or charcoal
    • Make a collage

    Share your art with a friend, parent or teacher. 



  • Reflect on the activity. What is one interesting thing you learned from this activity? Did you find answers to any of your initial wonderings? What questions do you still have?
  • Extend your learning with these links
  • Link to a PDF version of Earth as Art Book
  • Earth as Art Ebook available
  • Eyes on Earth Podcast


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