Earth Science Week Update December 2010

EARTH SCIENCE WEEK UPDATE
American Geosciences Institute
Vol. 8, No. 12: December 2010

IN THIS ISSUE…

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Deadline Coming Up for
Earth Science Teacher Award
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Less than three weeks to go! January 5 is the deadline for applications for the 2011 Edward C. Roy, Jr. Award for Excellence in K-8 Earth Science Teaching, offered by AGI and the AGI Foundation. Each year, this award recognizes one full-time U.S. teacher from kindergarten to eighth grade for leadership and innovation in Earth science education.

The winner will receive a $2,500 prize and an additional grant of $1,000 to enable the recipient to attend the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) Annual Conference in San Francisco in March 2011 to accept the award. To be eligible, applications must be postmarked by January 5, 2011.

This award is named in honor of Dr. Edward C. Roy, Jr., a past president of AGI, who was a strong and dedicated supporter of Earth science education. The 2011 award ceremony will be hosted by the National Earth Science Teachers Association at the NSTA Conference. To learn more, visit http://www.agiweb.org/education/awards/ed-roy.

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Help NGWA Promote
Ground Water Awareness
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Ground Water Awareness Week (March 6-12, 2011) will shed light on one of the world’s most important resources - ground water. According to the National Ground Water Association, ground water is essential to the health and well being of humanity and the environment.

To learn more about Ground Water Awareness Week, see http://www.ngwa.org/public/awarenessweek/index.aspx. To find information on ground water and water well stewardship, visit NGWA’s web site for well owners, http://www.wellowner.org.

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Dive Into Ocean Studies
During EE Week in April
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Mark your calendar: On April 10-16, 2011, National Environmental Education Week (EE Week) will celebrate the theme of “Ocean Connections.” EE Week will be posting related lesson plans, facts, quizzes, and other resources online.

The ocean covers nearly three quarters of the planet’s surface, provides 70 percent of the oxygen in the atmosphere, and houses about 20 percent of the known species on Earth. It regulates climate and provides food and energy for humans worldwide.

EE Week, held each year the week before Earth Day, inspires environmental learning among K-12 students and connects educators with environmental resources. Learn more at http://www.eeweek.org/.

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National Fossil Day
Contest Names Winners
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Winners of the National Fossil Day Art Contest were recently announced by the National Park Service, a major Earth Science Week partner. To view the artworks of winners in four categories - ages 5-8, 9-13, 14-18, and 19 and up - please visit online at http://www.nature.nps.gov/geology/nationalfossilday/ art_contest_2010_results.cfm.

The National Park Service teamed up with AGI to launch the first annual National Fossil Day on October 13, during Earth Science Week 2010. Plans already are being made for the next National Fossil Day on October 12, 2011. For more information, see http://www.nature.nps.gov/geology/nationalfossilday/.

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AGU Events Advance
Education and Outreach
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The American Geophysical Union (AGU), an AGI member society dedicated to the furtherance of the geophysical sciences, offers an array of opportunities exposing students, teachers, and life-long learners to the freshest, most accurate scientific knowledge and the excitement of discovery.

This is accomplished through educational and career-focused events at annual AGU meetings, national conferences on science education reform, professional development workshops for teachers, special programs for pre-college and post-secondary students, awards for science educators, and printed and electronic resources.

Taking place currently in San Francisco, AGU’s Fall Meeting allows some thousands of geophysicists from around the world to gather for discussion of the latest issues affecting Earth and Earth science. To learn more about AGU’s education and public outreach efforts, please visit http://www.agu.org/education/ online.

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DuPont Contest Invites
Students’ Science Essays
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The DuPont Challenge Science Essay Competition, now seeking entries, aims to inspire students to achieve in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). The competition invites students to submit an essay of 700-1,000 words discussing a scientific discovery, theory, event, or technological application that captures their interest - including Earth science topics.

U.S. and Canadian students in grades 7-12 may submit entries until January 31, 2011. Essays are evaluated in two divisions: grades 7-9 and grades 10-12. The DuPont Challenge has more than $75,000 in prizes and awards. See details at http://www.thechallenge.dupont.com.

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GSA Geoscientists
Reach Out to Educators
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Teachers and students alike can learn a lot from the Geological Society of America (GSA), an AGI member society and Earth Science Week partner. GSA is an organization of geoscientists in industry, government, business, and academia who are committed to the ongoing professional growth of Earth scientists.

One of GSA’s major education and outreach programs, the Teacher Advocate Program (TAP), provides “Explore Geoscience” CD-ROMs, lesson plans, educational materials, and resource links for Earth science teachers. For more information on TAP, visithttp://www.geosociety.org/educate/tap.htm. Teachers also can take advantage of GSA’s Teacher GeoVenture trips, teacher workshops, and Distinguished Earth Science Teacher in Residence. GSA also offers a number of teacher awards and fellowships. See http://www.geosociety.org/awards/aboutAwards.htm to learn more.

Students are encouraged to apply for GSA’s GeoCorps America program, which works with the National Park Service, the Forest Service, and the Bureau of Land Management to place young geoscientists in geoscience-related positions at national parks. Find out more at http://rock.geosociety.org/g_corps/index.htm.

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GeoConnection Network:
Join on Facebook
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You are invited to join the AGI Geoscience Workforce Program’s GeoConnection Network on Facebook. Soon, the network will link you with all related university departments and AGI contacts.

Become a “fan” of GeoConnection, and you can receive updates about geoscience events, new data from the workforce program, and other intriguing geo-tidbits in your Facebook news feed. You can become a fan of GeoConnection at http://www.facebook.com/geoconnection/.

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SSSA Offers Riches
Of Soil Science Education
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Six thousand members strong, the Soil Science Society of America (SSSA) is a scientific organization that aims to support geoscience teaching and learning about soils. This AGI member society provides an educational resources webpage (https://www.soils.org/lessons/) that includes lessons, activities, fun facts, sites of interest organized by soil topic and grade level, and soil definitions for the novice soil scientist.

And you can visit the online version of “Dig It,” an SSSA-sponsored exhibition on soil from the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History. The exhibit includes interactive displays, hands-on-models, videos, and monoliths representing soils from each state, territory, and the District of Columbia. Check online for viewing times (http://forces.si.edu/soils/).

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NSTA Offers Links to
Free Science Resources
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Looking for teaching resources? Check out a page called “Freebies for Science Teachers” on the National Science Teachers Association web site.

Updated periodically, this searchable “array of free resources for you and your classroom” frequently features online links to publications, CD-ROMs, DVDs, videos, kits, and other materials for Earth science education. For more, go to http://www.nsta.org/publications/freebies.aspx?lid=tnavhp.

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The American Geosciences Institute is a nonprofit federation of 47 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, resiliency to natural hazards, and interaction with the environment. For contact information, please visit http://www.earthsciweek.org/contactus/index.html.
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