Earth Observation

From glacial melt to forest fires, polluted rivers to penguin migration patterns; students investigate satellite data to discover how the natural world is adapting.


Their work contributes to scientists’ efforts to understand our changing landscape.

Project timeline

Earth Observation follows IRIS’ 4 phased project structure:


4Weeks timeframe

Prepare & launch: Teachers prepare and launch the project, using our helpful guidance documents.

6Weeks timeframe

Background research & skills development:
With access to our support materials, students develop the knowledge and skills required to successfully complete research.

18Weeks timeframe

Student research:  Young scientists systematically investigate, explore, discover, analyse and establish their conclusions.

9Weeks timeframe

Artefact development and conference: Students produce an article, academic poster presentation or academic paper, based on their research process and/or findings with the aim of exhibiting at IRIS’ conference.



This project is for UK state schools and colleges. It’s free and fully supported by our team. If you are a teacher and would like to start this project at your school, click the join button at the top right.


Skill level
Beginner /
SubjectCHEMISTRY/ GEOGRAPHY/ PHYSICSWatch to discover Earth Observation
Project partners

The Earth is encircled by a cluster of satellites. Many of which look back towards our planet, gathering data and monitoring changes.


The aim of this project is to encourage students to recognise
the wealth of data available to them through satellite images and learn how to use this information.


Earth Observation challenges budding scientists to look at the information collected across a range of wavelengths and processes and to investigate how this might change over time and the localised impact of such change.


Before they embark in their studies, students will learn more about the different types of satellite and how the images are gathered. This allows them to understand how to use these images to gather as much data as possible.


This project is suitable for students studying geography, as well as the sciences, and it engages students across the curriculum.