The Earth Science Week Update
EARTH SCIENCE WEEK UPDATE
American Geosciences Institute
Vol. 4, No.4: October 2006
Weather Channels Greg Forbes
Kicks Off Earth Science Week
The Weather Channel's Greg Forbes launched Earth Science Week 2006
with his address at the first International EarthCache Day, and event
co-hosted by AGI and the Geological Society of America (GSA) on Sunday,
Oct. 8, at the foot of the Washington Monument in Washington, DC. The
event gathered scores of Earth science and geocaching enthusiasts on
the Washington Mall to participate in a brief Earth-science educational
experience and festivities.
Im encouraging you to become more aware of the various
types of impacts that we, as mankind, are inadvertently imposing upon
the Earth, Forbes, an on-air personality and severe weather expert
with The Weather Channel, told those in attendance. He discussed risk
factors associated with human interactions with weather, including pollution,
population growth, global warming, and unchecked resource use.
The event began with an introduction to Earth Science Week by AGI's
Geoff Camphire and an explanation of EarthCaching by GSA's Gary Lewis.
Ranger Dan Dressler of the National Park Service spoke briefly about
monuments in Washington and types of stone used to build them. Forbes
completed the presentation, speaking at length on a number of topics,
including the effects of acid rain on national treasures such as the
What I wanted to point out are some of the things about society
and the ways the Earth is evolving that are going to make it increasingly
important for Earth scientists to come up with new ideas and new ways
to adapt to our changing Earth, said Forbes. In addition, Forbes
discussed related topics during the week in his online blog (http://climate.weather.com/blog/9_10839.html),
and The Weather Classroom presented relevant information for students
During the International EarthCache Day event, children and other participants
took part in hands-on activities, such as "Make Your Own Rain Gauge"
and "Acid Rains Effect on Building Stone," which offered
an exciting look into the processes that effect monuments. The event
also gave participants an opportunity to see how EarthCaches are developed.
Additional EarthCache events were held on the same day in other states
and countries. Currently more than 550 EarthCaches are located in 27
countries, and the number of these geoscience-related activities is
Earth Science Week 2006
Extends Celebrations Reach
Record numbers of people gained a new awareness of the geosciences
through the ninth annual Earth Science Week, held earlier this month,
according to preliminary estimates. The event celebrated the theme Be
a Citizen Scientist by engaging the public in real citizen
science research and promoting science literacy. Earth Science
Week events ranged from individual teachers and classrooms completing
in-class Earth science activities to open houses held at large USGS
As in past years, visitors to Baltimores Maryland Science Center
were greeted and treated to a fun introduction to the geosciences by
AGI staff throughout Earth Science Week. AGI staffers traveled to the
science center to discuss Earth science, hand out educational and promotional
materials, and conduct a brief experiment with children
on each day of the celebration. Children were invited to make their
own Secchi disk, use it to text the penetration of light into various
water samples, and take the disk home.
In addition, events and outreach efforts reached many people nationwide.
* Earth science displays, demonstrations, and video clips were shown
at an event where participants were eligible to win mineral and fossil
samples at Palomar Community College in San Marcos, California.
* In Vermont, geoscience enthusiasts explored watersheds, toured a hazardous-materials
spill rig, discussed mercury risks, and hiked throughout the states
many parks, with the help of the Vermont Department of Environmental
Conservation and the Vermont Geological Survey.
* Participants took part in special competitions, presentations, and
other activities at the Houston Geological Societys Annual Family
Earth Science Festival at the Houston Museum of Natural Science in Texas.
* The Alaska Geological Society guided elementary-school students in
a hands-on activity that simulated mining and reclaiming land.
In one of the weeks most highly visible instances of publicity
for the event, Washington, DC-area NBC Weather Anchor Bob Ryan devoted
a few minutes of a daily weather forecast to promoting participation
in Earth Science Week. Viewers throughout the District of Columbia,
southern Maryland, and northern Virginia saw Ryan hold up an Earth Science
Week T-shirt, heard him explain ways to participate, and learned how
they could find out more on NBCs Weather Plus Web site.
More Earth Science Week Toolkits already have been distributed this
year than ever before. For example, for the first time, the vast majority
of State Geological Surveys - 31 - requested bulk shipments for distribution
to teachers and others within their respective states. This year the
Toolkit included a new edition of its popular Earth Science Activity
Calendar filled with activities and important geoscientific dates. The
kits also include factsheets on citizen science programs from the USGS,
a DVD entitled Views of the National Parks from the National
Parks Service, and a lithograph about ozone and a cloud chart from NASA.
Supplies of the 2006 and previous years kits are running low.
To order, visit http://www.earthsciweek.org/materials/index.html
Earth Science Week Contests
Winners, Finalists Announced
Carson Conover of Orrtanna, Pennsylvania, won first place in this years
Earth Science Week photo contest with his picture of windmills at the
waters edge. Finalists were Karsen Donati-Leach, Hannah Henderson,
Daniel Marom, Danny John Rutherford, and Vivian Wright. Submissions
illustrated the theme "Using and Studying Earth's Resources."
The goal was to create pictorial evidence of Earth resources is an exciting
Rama Bushra Imad of Houston, Texas, won the visual arts contest with
her drawing depicting the Earth's atmospheric layers and mission control
in Houston. Finalists were Mickayla Aufiero, Clay Collins, Isaac Han,
Patrick Sibayan, and Clara Tucker. Students in grades K-5 made a drawing,
collage, or other two-dimensional piece of artwork illustrating the
theme "Earth Science in Your Home Town."
Ray Daniels of Herndon, Virginia, won first place in the essay contest
with his essay titled "Finding Caerulium." Finalists were
Arianna Barbee, Christina Marie Culmone, Rhiannon Dockter, Stephen Eltinge,
and Jack Furness. Students grades 5-9 wrote essays of up to 500 words
addressing this year's Earth Science Week theme: "Be a Citizen
Congratulations to the winners, all our finalists, and everyone who
entered! The winning photo and essay can be viewed online at http://www.earthsciweek.org/contests/index.html
New K-5 Resource Promoted
In Earth Science Week Toolkit
Educators receiving AGIs Earth Science Week 2006 Toolkit are
finding a valuable resource inside - a colorful poster teaching guide
promoting AGIs new K-5 GeoSource (http://www.K5GeoSource.org)
Web site. This groundbreaking professional development site is designed
specifically for elementary-level instructors who teach Earth science
topics such as weather, fossils, rocks, soil, water and more.
AGI has teamed up with Scholastic Inc. - the global childrens
publishing, education and media company - to develop The Wonders
of Earth, a new science poster teaching guide highlighting K-5
GeoSource, which is being distributed to Earth Science Week Toolkit
recipients and more than 150,000 educators nationwide. The poster teaching
guides include grade-appropriate and standards-based classroom activities
that explore and celebrate science and are exemplary of those found
on K-5 GeoSource. Every lesson helps students dig into Earth science
by teaching the six scientific processes. Following these steps, students
will explore the earths minerals, what causes earthquakes, and
how to predict the weather.
K-5 GeoSource provides classroom activities, assessment recommendations,
targeted research and resources, training opportunities, graduate level
courses and more - all specially tailored for teachers of students in
kindergarten through grade five, says Ann Benbow, AGI Director
of Education and Outreach.
This extensive Web site, created with generous AGI Foundation support
from corporate and private donors, features resources designed to help
* Understand standards-based science content, such as how
and why questions about various geoscience topics.
* Plan stimulating lessons and classroom activities in the Earth sciences.
* Assess student learning effectively and tailor instruction to meet
* Explore up-to-date career information and the many exciting professional
opportunities available to students in the geosciences.
* Investigate links to additional educational resources in the geosciences.
* Access a variety of professional development opportunities currently
available for Earth science educators.
* Delve into research about how children learn science.
* Enroll in graduate-level online courses to improve teaching and increase
geoscience content knowledge.
We want to encourage young students during their most impressionable
years to become interested in the Earth and other physical sciences,
says Jan van Sant, Executive Director of the AGI Foundation. We
see the importance of the geosciences highlighted in the daily news
about energy, the environment, and international events. With the creation
of K-5 GeoSource, AGI now offers a complete portfolio of Earth science
educational programs, from the elementary grades, through high school
K-5 GeoSource provides an elementary-level component to match the two
secondary-level Earth science curriculum packages that AGI has released
in recent years: Earth System Science in the Community (grades 9-12)
and Investigating Earth Systems (grades 6-8). Additional geoscience
curricula for middle school, high school, and college level are in development.
All AGI educational products and services can be found online at http://www.agiweb.org/geoeducation.html
K-5 GeoSource teaching guides are available in AGIs Earth Science
Week 2006 Toolkit, a materials packet designed to help educators and
others celebrate the event. In addition to the teaching guides, the
toolkits contain geoscience posters, an activity calendar, a DVD, brochures,
classroom activities, and more. Teachers can learn more about Earth
Science Week and order materials at http://www.earthsciweek.org/materials/index.html
Earth Science Week
Many geoscience agencies, organizations, and educators distribute AGIs
Why Earth Science? brochure to promote awareness of the
importance of Earth science in K-12 education. To ensure that this vital
message reaches the widest possible audience, AGI has recently translated
this publication into Spanish.
The geoscience community recognizes the demand for greater minority
participation. Americas 40 million Hispanics currently comprise
the nations largest race or ethnic minority, a population that
is rapidly growing. Whats more, three out of four Hispanics age
five and older speak Spanish at home, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
AGIs new Spanish-language Why Earth Science? brochure,
distributed through Earth Science Week, explains the importance of Earth
science education for success in school, careers, informed decision-making,
and civic engagement. With the federal No Child Left Behind law calling
for state assessments in science by 2007, the need for top-flight geoscience
education has never been more urgent.
See the Earth Science Week Education Kit for a sample copy of this
new publication. To receive free additional copies, please contact AGIs
Geoff Camphire at firstname.lastname@example.org.
English and Spanish versions of the brochure also are available online
Earth Science Week
Resources Available Online
If youve got Internet access, you can teach and learn about Earth
science. The Earth Science Week Web site (http://www.earthsciweek.org)
features information on geoscience classroom activities, contests, theme-based
resources, research projects in which you can participate, events taking
place in local communities, local organizations available for collaboration,
geoscience careers, and ways to order an Earth Science Week Education
Perhaps most importantly, the site features dozens of recommended activities
that teachers and parents can conduct with children. All activities
are aligned with the National Science Education Standards. On the site,
young people also can complete the Geosciences Career Webquest to test
their knowledge of what Earth scientists do.
This years theme, Be a Citizen Scientist, highlights
ways to engage students and the public in conducting citizen-science
research and spreading science literacy. In keeping with this theme,
the Earth Science Week Web site now features links to programs and resources
that emphasize citizen science, such as The Weather Channels Weather
NASAs Name the International Space Station Node 2 (http://esc.nasa.gov/html_files/NameNode2.html),
and information on geoscience scholarships, fellowships and internships
The American Geosciences Institute is a nonprofit federation of 44 scientific
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 interest
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 the resources and interaction with the environment.
More information about AGI can be found at http://www.agiweb.org/.
The Institute also provides a public outreach site at http://www.earthscienceworld.org/.