SPIF for Educators

Cornell faculty and graduate instructors have ready access to the SPIF collection of planetary images, press release pictures, videos, globes, spacecraft models, Magic Planet, and more.

Bring your students to SPIF!

SPIF is annually visited by classes from the surrounding community, where they are presented with and take part in discussions of planetary images.

Workshops and field trips for K-12 teachers have provided and will continue to provide information about current missions, making educational materials available for use in the classroom.

These presentations available through SPIF

  • "Solar System Tour"
  • "Robotics – Mars Rovers"
  • "Gamma Ray Bursts"
  • "How We Get Pictures From Space"
  • "How We Know What We Know"
  • "Invisible Universe"
  • "Lifecycle Of Stars"
  • "Imaging Results From Some US Spacecraft Missions"
  • "Multispectral Imaging"
  • "How Orbits Work"
  • "Planet Surfaces"
  • "Saturn, From Its Discovery Through The Cassini Mission"
  • "Solar System Moons"
  • "Solar System Rotating Globes"
  • "Sub-Milimeter Spectroscopy"
  • "What Is An Astronomer?"
  • "Why Isn't Pluto A Planet Any Longer?"

View more resources

Images Courtesy NASA/JPL-Caltech, Top Panel PIA02879

The Extraterrestrial Virtual Field Experience (EVFE) is a game-like, computer based laboratory activity for introductory geology students at junior high, high school, and undergraduate levels. The EVFE is intended for either two or more sessions of an Earth Science class as a syllabus enrichment tool, or as an after-school enrichment activity for a science-oriented student group.

Screenshot of EVFE

Screenshot of EVFE Minimap

Open EVFE Activity Interface


We are currently in a prototyping and play testing phase. Our prototype module puts students in the role of the science team for the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity, tasked with the responsibility to use the spacecraft's instrument suite to make hypothesis and evidence driven discoveries about the role of water in the history of the Meridiani Planum landing site. We are committed to producing at least four additional modules covering other missions and scientific subject matter at a rate of approximately one per year.

Links are provided below for the teacher's guide and activity interface. Please feel free to make use of this activity with the understanding that it is a prototype in active development. We encourage and request feedback from educators on ways to make the activity more useful and attractive as a classroom tool. Please send feedback to Chase Million (chase.million@gmail.com).

View EVFE Teacher's Intro Slides

View EVFE Teacher's Guide