From demos to lab ideas to tutorials on how certain types of equipment work, SERC has lots of great material. Of course, it doesn’t just appear out of nowhere. If you have taken the time to develop an interesting and useful activity, guide, or lab, you can submit the materials for others to use (under a Creative Commons license).
I have used SERC to get activities on dinosaurs (this one on calculating the speed of dinosaurs was awesome!), as well as to find good resources on mineralogy (my background as a chemist left me a bit behind mineralogy/petrology when I joined an Earth Science research group). There are activities and discussions around topographic maps, glaciers, climate change, groundwater, and the geologic timescale (my introduction to the geologic timescale, which isn’t on SERC, can be found here).
SERC is a great resource, and they hold workshops/webinars too!
Developed by NOAA, Science on a Sphere is a 1.7-meter diameter globe, surrounded by four projectors, which can display animated digital maps of the globe. Because the display is actually spherical, the maps do not have edges or strongly distorted projections, which can make looking at rectangular maps confusing.* On this display, it makes perfect sense why a flight from Los Angeles to Beijing would go near or over the Aleutian Islands of Alaska.
Many, many maps are available, covering a variety of topics including biology, geology, meteorology, planetary science, oceanography, and geography. There are maps of temperature changes going forward a hundred years, generated for each of the scenarios in the IPCC’s latest report. There are near-real-time maps of clouds seen (in infrared) by NOAA’s GOES and POES weather satellites. A near-real-time feed of earthquakes, coded by size and depth, is provided by the USGS. Following a tsunami, NOAA provides computer model output showing the wave heights as the waves travel across the ocean.
You can see the paths of commercial airplanes, the Earth at night, agricultural regions and their productivity, and the locations of volcanoes worldwide. Even the Moon, other planets (particularly Mars), and the Sun have their own visualizations.
Through the marvels of modern technology, these datasets can be overlain on top of each other, paused, backtracked, and even marked up like a sportscaster.
I spent many hours with the SOS at the Lawrence Hall of Science while I was living in Berkeley. Not only did I have fun talking with visitors about science, but I brought my favorite dataset to Science on a Sphere: near-real-time true-color imagery from the MODIS instrument aboard NASA’sAqua satellite.