NCLI Creating Partnerships

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© Bob Ridky, USGS

To make your NCLI Day celebration all it can be, enlist the help of colleagues and partners in your school system and wider community. Help won’t be hard to find when others begin to understand the effort’s importance — and its potential benefits.

As someone who is deeply engaged in Earth science, you know how vital the geosciences are to living in today’s world. And your neighbors receive daily reminders in the form of news headlines about natural disasters, energy crises, technological advances, employment needs, and global climate controversies. With your exceptional geoscientific expertise and ties to the community, you’re in a perfect position to point out the importance of Earth science. (See Why Earth Science? An AGI Brochure.)

More immediately, NCLI Day can bring unique benefits to your school community. This event, as noted above, can excite young people by shaking up their classroom routines and leading them into uncharted territory. Additionally, NCLI Day can show the community a new side of your school, highlighting the nontraditional educational approaches you’re undertaking to provide students with high-quality, hands-on experiences in Earth science education.

Whom should you include on your team? Some recommendations:

  • Approach your principal, your school’s lead science teacher, and your school district science curriculum supervisor about organizing an NCLI Day celebration. You might even enlist the support of your district superintendent or key school board members. Talk with your fellow science teachers, as well as teachers in other subjects such as math and social studies, about collaborative activities and cross-curricular projects.
  • Don’t forget to involve partners from outside your school system, such as geoscience faculty from nearby colleges and universities, not to mention informal education entities such as museums, science centers, local geological societies, public parks, geoscience-related employers, and your state geological survey. Representatives from these organizations often are more than happy to spend part of a day promoting awareness among young people. (To learn about potential partners in your area, see Earth Science Organizations.)
  • Welcome parents and guardians to volunteer at the event. In particular, if the number of students included is high, you may be glad to have extra adults on hand to manage students. And as you probably know from previous experience, these folks appreciate being included in their children’s education.
  • Finally, consider inviting a community leader, such as your district’s superintendent or your city’s mayor, to participate. Many leaders, and especially elected officials, appreciate such opportunities to interact with constituents and community members. Also, including such leaders in your NCLI Day event can help add cachet and attract media attention. (More on that below, under Media Outreach.)

Enlisting partners is a great way to share the workload. Many of the recommendations above come from AGI’s The Pulse of Earth Science: An Advocacy Guide. Feel free to consult this handy resource in maximizing your efforts to garner support for NCLI Day and your other Earth science efforts.

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