Earth Science Week Update August 2007

EARTH SCIENCE WEEK UPDATE
American Geosciences Institute
Vol. 5, No. 5: August 2007

IN THIS ISSUE…
* Earth Science Week 2007 Coming Soon!
* Kick Off the Fun on International EarthCache Day
* New Programs, Activities Make Education Rock
* Earth Science Week Toolkits Available Now

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Earth Science Week 2007
Coming Soon!
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Heading back to school? Now is the time to make plans for Earth Science Week 2007. The 10th annual Earth Science Week will celebrate the theme “The Pulse of Earth Science” with a wide range of exciting activities, programs, and resources for geoscience educators, students, and others.

You can pitch in to promote science literacy. Dig up fossil evidence of past life, record observations of cloud patterns, or take field trips to museums, science centers, and parks. Conduct activities detailed in the Earth Science Week Toolkit or featured on the Earth Science Week website at http://www.earthsciweek.org. For more ideas, read about successful past events at http://www.earthsciweek.org/highlights/index.html or see recommendations at http://www.earthsciweek.org/forplanners/index.html.

This year’s event is shaping up to potentially reach an even wider audience than last year’s total estimated audience of more than 2 million. In 2006, overall participation exceeded prior records, according to an independent evaluation. Further, 92 percent of survey respondents rated Earth Science Week as “excellent” or “good.”

AGI distributed more than 15,000 Earth Science Week 2006 Toolkits to teachers and geoscientists, with majorities giving high marks to featured materials. The website was viewed by more than 15,400 visitors in October 2006 and by over 64,000 visitors during the entire year. Print media coverage reached more than 876,600 readers, and hundreds of thousands of television viewers watched news coverage of Earth Science Week.

For the past 10 years, AGI has organized Earth Science Week to foster public and professional awareness of the status of Earth science in education and society. To learn more, visit the Earth Science Week website at http://www.earthsciweek.org.

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Kick Off the Fun on
International EarthCache Day
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Earth Science Week begins again this year with International EarthCache Day on Sunday, Oct. 14, 2007. Whether you’re a teacher, a student, or just someone who enjoys experiencing Earth science firsthand, EarthCaching provides a great way to kick off the celebration.

EarthCaching is a variation of a recreational activity known as geocaching. Typically, a geocache organizer posts latitude and longitude coordinates on the Internet to advertise a “cache,” or scavenger-hunt destination, which geocachers locate by using GPS devices. Today, more than 270,000 caches are active in over 200 countries, according to Geocaching.com. The activity has attracted over one million participants worldwide.

EarthCachers recently have added an educational dimension to the activity. When you visit an EarthCache, you learn something special about Earth science, the geology of the location, or how the Earth’s resources and environment are managed there. EarthCaching has been developed by the Geological Society of America - a major Earth Science Week partner - in association with Groundspeak, Inc., and the geocaching community.

You are invited visit or establish an EarthCache in your area on the second annual International EarthCache Day, Oct. 14. To learn more, visit http://www.earthcache.org/.

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New Programs, Resources
Make Education Rock
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Earth science means learning through discovery. That’s why Earth Science Week 2007 will offer a host of exciting, new programs and resources in addition to old favorites, such as the traditional Earth Science Week Toolkits and Contests:

* The new, four-part television series “Faces of Earth” is scheduled to air during Earth Science Week on The Science Channel. Produced by AGI and Evergreen Films in collaboration with The Science Channel of Discovery Communications, Inc., the series explores how the Earth is constantly remade by the forces of nature. “Faces of Earth” reveals the natural world through the perspectives of geoscientists, using computer-generated imagery to show how humans are both a force of nature and a product of our world. To learn more and watch trailers, go to http://www.facesofearth.tv.

* AGI is reinstituting a data-collection initiative as part of Earth Science Week’s effort to monitor “the pulse of Earth science.” A website providing detailed information on the status of geoscience education, as well as guidance on advocating for Earth science in your area, is planned to debut during Earth Science Week. Preliminary findings show that, although 25 states now require students to pass high school exit exams for graduation, only 13 feature science components in exams, and only five include Earth science. For more information, check http://www.earthsciweek.org regularly.

* One of the major geoscience events being highlighted by Earth Science Week is International Polar Year (IPY). Earth Science Week resources and activities will enable participants to join in many research and educational opportunities tied to IPY, which takes place from March 2007 to February 2009. But IPY is just one of four “international science years” being launched in 2007. This year also marks the start of the International Year of Planet Earth (IYPE), International Heliophysical Year (IHY), and the International Electronic Geophysical Year (eGY). These initiatives aim to generate research and awareness integral to Earth science. Learn more about Earth Science Week Resources at http://www.earthsciweek.org/themebasedresources/index.html.

As always, AGI also is sponsoring the Earth Science Week photography, visual arts, and essay contests. The photography contest, open to all ages, focuses on “People Discovering Earth’s Treasures.” The visual arts contest, titled “Changing Earth,” is open to students in grades K-5. Students in grades 6-9 may enter the essay contest: “Earth Science in My Community.” Each first-place winner receives $300 and a subscription to AGI’s Geotimes magazine. To learn more, visit http://www.earthsciweek.org/contests.

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Earth Science Week Toolkits
Available for Order Now
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The new Earth Science Week Toolkit is arriving on doorsteps across the country this month. The Toolkit is packed with everything you need to join the celebration, lead Earth science educational activities, and promote science literacy. To ensure that you are among the first to receive these exciting educational resources, order yours today.

The Earth Science Week 2007 Toolkit includes:

* A 12-month school-year activity calendar, suitable for hanging
* The new Earth Science Week poster, including an activity
* A CD of geoscience fact sheets and other materials from USGS
* An Earth science CD-ROM, postcards, and more from NASA
* Education materials, cloud chart, and careers info from NOAA
* A CD on GIS technology and activities from ESRI
* A microfossils poster from JOI Learning
* A remote-sensing flyer from AmericaView
* Items from National Park Service, Smithsonian, and IRIS
* And more materials for classroom and home use

In addition, copies of Earth Science Week Toolkits from some previous years are available for order. See website for details.

Library Rate shipping and handling in the U.S. is included. Allow 2-3 weeks for delivery. Faster shipping services are available at additional cost (phone 703-379-2480 for details). Orders outside of the United States will incur additional shipping charges. For special shipping, bulk orders, and more information, visit http://www.earthsciweek.org/materials/index.html.

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The American Geosciences Institute is a nonprofit federation of 44 geoscientific and professional associations that represents more than 120,000 geologists, geophysicists, and other earth scientists. Founded in 1948, AGI provides information services to geoscientists, serves as a voice of shared interests in the profession, plays a major role in strengthening geoscience education, and strives to increase public awareness of the vital role the geosciences play in society's use of resources and interaction with the environment. For contact information, please visit http://www.earthsciweek.org/contactus/index.html.