EARTH SCIENCE WEEK UPDATE
American Geosciences Institute
Vol. 8, No. 11: November 2010
IN THIS ISSUE…
- Earth Science Week 2010 an Energetic Success
- Earth Science Week Contest Winners Announced
- Get Benefits, Become an Earth Science Week Fan
- NSF Offers Online Climate Change Resources
- Dig Into ‘Citizen Science’ With Online Resources
- Give Your Support for Earth Science Week
- SSA Resources Produce Seismic Shift in Learning
- Is Earth Science Education at Risk in Your State?
- NOAA Teaches Teachers About Oceans, Atmosphere
- Earth Science Week Toolkit a Great Holiday Gift
While figures are still being tallied, it is estimated that over 40 million people gained a new awareness of the geosciences through the 13th annual Earth Science Week (http://www.earthsciweek.org) last month. The event celebrated the theme “Exploring Energy” by promoting scientific understanding of the ways Earth’s natural systems affect - and are affected by - energy.
Events ranged from classes conducting playground science projects to activities at USGS field stations, NASA facilities, and National Parks. Students explored geoscience outdoors on No Child Left Inside Day, October 12. Women in the Geosciences Day, October 14, enabled professional geoscientists to share the excitement of their careers with young women. And the first annual National Fossil Day, October 13, reached millions with paleontology activities and resources (http://www.nature.nps.gov/geology/nationalfossilday/).
If you conducted a special activity to celebrate Earth Science Week, please let us know. Your activity will be featured in the Earth Science Week 2010 Highlights Report, which will be posted online and used to help secure support for the program in the future. Email information, news clips, and images to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Darwin Lau of Virginia Beach, Virginia, won first place in the visual arts contest with a colorful drawing of energy sources, uses, and users in the community. Finalists were Sebastian Barrios, Shanti Vega, Allison Crane, and Vennela Sri Kantamaneni. Students in grades K-5 made two-dimensional artworks illustrating the theme “Energy on Earth.”
Kayli Hall of Paradise, Texas, won first place in the essay contest with her writing about where energy comes from, how it affects the environment, and ways people can be effective stewards of resources. Finalists were Ramya Radhakrishnan, Francesca Peavie, Benjamin Hughes, and Michael Thew. Students in grades 6-9 wrote essays of up to 300 words addressing this year’s theme, “How Energy Powers the Planet.”
Adam Yurigan of Vero Beach, Florida, won first place in the photo contest with his image of car drivers and bicyclists traversing a landscape of power plants and lamp posts. Finalists were Kennedy Mirocha, Juri Fukuda, Christina Forbes, and Aaron Noriega. Submissions illustrated the theme “We Depend on Energy.”
Congratulations to the winners, finalists, and hundreds of students and others who entered. Each first-place winner receives $300 and a “Faces of Earth” DVD set. Entries submitted by winners and finalists are being posted online for viewing at http://www.earthsciweek.org/contests/index.html.
Earth Science Week now reaches a whole new audience through Facebook, the Internet’s most popular social networking site. Facebook enabled us to connect geoscience educators, students, and others with people who work, study, and live around them. Now we’re taking that group to a new level.
AGI recently launched an Earth Science Week Fan Page on Facebook. When you become an Earth Science Week Fan, you instantly gain access to geoscience videos, begin receiving important updates and information, and help spread the word about Earth Science Week.
You can join the group by creating or using your own Facebook account. To become an Earth Science Week Fan, go to http://www.new.facebook.com/pages/Earth-Science-Week/24519701661?ref=nf.
Many of the teachers and students “exploring energy” through Earth Science Week 2010 examined the connections between energy and climate. For those wishing to take a closer look at climate change, the National Science Foundation (NSF) offers a new web site.
“Our planet’s climate affects - and is affected by - the sky, land, ice, sea, life, and people found on it. To understand the entire story of climate change,” according to the site, “we must study all of the natural and human systems that contribute to and interact with Earth’s climate system.”
Go to http://www.nsf.gov/news/special_reports/climate?govDel=USNSF_51 to find an NSF report summarizing the current state of knowledge about climate change. The succinct format is enhanced with slideshows and videos.
Young and old alike, ordinary citizens are delving into scientific research and recreational activities. And professional scientists are working side by side with them.
If you’d like to take part, the “Science for Citizens” web site can help. Matching professionals with amateur enthusiasts and students, the site includes a search feature that allows users to find “citizen science” projects that meet various parameters, such as location, subject, time, and cost. Check it out online (http://www.scienceforcitizens.net)!
At a time of public concern about energy, climate, and natural disasters, the importance of Earth science education is growing. Earth Science Week plays a leading role as the geoscience community’s premier public awareness campaign. While much of the program’s budget is generated from grants, individual donations represent a significant source of support.
Your tax-deductible contribution can make a big impact. AGI’s online donation form (http://www.agiweb.org/contributions/index.html) makes giving easy. On the form, just be sure to check the box to ensure your donation is applied to Earth Science Week. Thank you for your support of the geosciences!
Want to shake up education? Start with the Seismological Society of America (SSA), the international scientific association devoted to advancing seismology and applications in imaging Earth’s structure and understanding and mitigating earthquake hazards.
SSA, an AGI member society, offers a number of links to educational web sites, including geoscience activities related to seismic science and earthquakes. Sponsored by Purdue University, the site (http://web.ics.purdue.edu/~braile/indexlinks/educ.htm) features seismic eruption models, wave animations, plate tectonics simulations, information on tsunamis, and much more.
SSA also offers publications, information on seismology careers, a distinguished lecturer series, and an electronic encyclopedia of earthquakes. Learn more about SSA online (http://www.seismosoc.org).
Public schools have dropped Earth science from the required curriculum in recent years. Colleges have closed geoscience departments. Employers have said they need more qualified candidates for geoscience jobs. Does your public education system ensure that all students learn important Earth science content?
AGI now allows you to track the status of Earth science education nationwide. The “Pulse of Earth Science” web site, launched in connection with Earth Science Week, offers detailed, up-to-date information on geoscience education in every state, as well as guidance for advocates. View online at http://www.agiweb.org/education/statusreports/2007/index.html.
The U.S. National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) promotes education about oceanic and atmospheric science - and not only during Earth Science Week. NOAA offers resources and opportunities for students and teachers all year long.
On NOAA’s education site at http://www.education.noaa.gov/teachers1.html you’ll find lesson plans, interactive activities, educational games, videos, images, scholarships, career opportunities, and detailed information on weather, climate change, oceans, and satellites. Also, look for information on NOAA’s Teacher at Sea program, which allows a K-16 teacher to serve aboard a NOAA ship as a researcher. For resources geared toward students, including games and scholarship and career information, go to http://www.education.noaa.gov/students.html.
In addition to online offerings, NOAA’s Office of Education conducts teacher development workshops throughout the year to help improve oceanic and atmospheric literacy among science teachers. To find out where a workshop is being held near you, see http://www.oesd.noaa.gov.
Looking for a gift for a geoscience educator or enthusiast friend? The Earth Science Week Toolkit provides dozens of materials - from computer disks to posters and learning activities - that can be used all through the year!
Choose the kit that best fits your needs. Focusing on the theme “Exploring Energy,” the 2010 kit includes:
* 12-month school-year activity calendar with 12 energy lessons
* Earth Science Week poster, including an energy activity
* USGS energy resources, including a booklet and online info
* What You Need to Know About Energy booklet by NAS
* NASA energy resources, including a flyer on climate interactions
* Environmental science material from the Energy Department
* Energy Sources of the World poster by SPE
* Energy Outlook brochure from ExxonMobil
* Brochures, bookmarks, fact sheets, postcards, and more
Still available for a limited time, past years’ kits address other topics: The 2009 “Understanding Climate” kit includes activities, posters, a DVD, a CD, brochures, fact sheets, and additional resources on climate science. The 2008 “No Child Left inside” kit features materials designed to help young people explore the geosciences outdoors. For ordering, special shipping, bulk order discounts, and more information, visit http://www.earthsciweek.org/materials/index.html.
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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