EARTH SCIENCE WEEK UPDATE
American Geosciences Institute
Vol. 9, No. 4: April 2011
IN THIS ISSUE…
- Earth Science Week 2010 Highlights Now Online
- Earth Science Education Kits on Sale for $5 Each
- SPE's Energy4me Sparks Energy Education
- Take Part in Testing World's Water Supply
- Plant a SEED of Earth Science Learning
- 'Lite Geology' Magnifies Earth Science for Students
- Web site Monitors 'Pulse' of Earth Science Education
- NASA and NSTA Offer Science Web Seminars
- NRCS Offers Resources for Soil Education
Last year’s Earth Science Week celebration was a unique, unmatched success. The program reached 46 million people overall. Individuals in all 50 states and over five countries participated. Nearly 60,000 people visited the program web site. New partners joined the effort, new resources were introduced, and news of the event was carried by outlets ranging from Wired and The Boston Globe to NBC and CBS.
To continually improve Earth Science Week, AGI annually tracks the program’s impact, compiles new clips, and commissions an independent evaluation. To view the full report on Earth Science Week 2010, please see http://www.earthsciweek.org/highlights/index.html.
Earth Science Week participants know that the program provides educational toolkits perfect for leading instruction on key topics, from energy and climate to outdoor learning and geoscience careers. Four kits are now on sale for the next month:
* Earth Science Week’s Exploring Energy Toolkit, 2010
* Earth Science Week’s Understanding Climate Toolkit, 2009
* No Child Left Inside (Outdoor Activities) Toolkit, 2008
* Geoscientists Explore the Earth (Careers) Toolkit, 2005
Each kit contains dozens of items ranging from informational brochures and posters to activity booklets and disks. All available kits are on sale for $5.00 each, any quantity, from now through the month of May 2011. This price includes Library Rate shipping to U.S. addresses via the U.S. Postal Service, allowing 2-3 weeks for delivery.
Faster shipping services are available. Please contact AGI Publications for details and pricing by phone at 703-379-2480 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or go to http://www.earthsciweek.org/materials/index.html to order online.
Through its Energy4me program, the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) offers teachers of all grade levels tools for teaching about oil, gas, and other energy sources, including classroom activities, experiments, and presentations, as well as teacher workshops and energy education materials for the classroom.
Teachers are invited to request classroom speakers, science fair judges, and career fair exhibitors from the roughly 80,000 SPE members worldwide. Free one-day teacher workshops, held at select SPE conferences, cover grade-specific, hands-on energy lessons. The Energy4me Kit, available from SPE, offers teaching aids, speaker resources, sample presentations, and classroom activities for teaching about energy. Teachers are encouraged to visit the program web site for PowerPoint presentations, career information, and more.
SPE, an Earth Science Week partner, is a nonprofit professional association whose members are energy professionals in 110 countries. Visit http://www.energy4me.org to learn more.
Though more than three quarters of Earth is covered by water, it has become one of our most precious resources. Ninety-seven percent of the planet’s water is sea water, rich in salt and inadequate for most uses. The world’s water supply requires practical methods - through chemistry - for proper treatment.
To help students understand why water can’t be taken for granted, the Global Water Experiment encourages students to test water where they live and share results with other students around the world. Students learn about sustainable water management and the role that chemistry plays in purifying water for consumption. Results are showcased on an interactive global data map throughout the experiment, which runs through 2011.
Supported by the Dow Chemical Company, the Global Water Experiment (http://water.chemistry2011.org/web/iyc) is just one of many activities getting students excited about chemistry in 2011, which the United Nations has designated the International Year of Chemistry (IYC). Teachers and students are encouraged to learn more about IYC (http://www.dow.com/about/iyc/).
SEED (Schlumberger Excellence in Educational Development) is a volunteer-based, nonprofit education program that empowers Schlumberger employee volunteers and educators to share their passion for learning and science with students aged 10 to 18. The SEED “learning while doing” methodology draws on the technology and science expertise of volunteers to engage students in global issues such as water, energy, and climate change.
SEED’s School Network Program invites qualified underserved schools to apply for grants that provide various resources, typically including funding for computer hardware and software, and Internet connectivity. Educational programs offer students and educators in SEED network schools hands-on workshops and online activities and projects using a project-based approach.
The Online Science Center provides educational resources and opportunities to learners and educators in seven languages: Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish. Learning materials include ready-to-go SEED experiments, activities, and articles from the Online Science Center. Find out more at https://www.planetseed.com.
The New Mexico Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources’ Spring 2011 Lite Geology publication explores the theme of “magnification” and includes several features of special interest to teachers, including a classroom lesson on the magnification of sands, and a gallery of images from various types of microscopes (http://geoinfo.nmt.edu/publications/periodicals/litegeology/current.html).
The publication is always available online (http://geoinfo.nmt.edu/publications/periodicals/litegeology). Lite Geology also can be found through the Earth Science Week homepage (http://www.earthsciweek.org) under “What’s New.”
Concerned about the heartbeat of Earth science education in your area? Check “The Pulse of Earth Science Education,” a regularly updated database tracking Earth science trends nationwide. For each state, AGI provides the most recent available data on:
* teacher certification requirements and numbers teaching related subjects
* relevant courses that middle and high school students must take
* K-12 enrollment levels in Earth science and related subjects
* coverage of Earth science within state science standards
* state assessment of students in Earth science
* textbooks adopted and relevance to Earth science
* contact information for state education agencies
The web site (http://www.agiweb.org/education/statusreports/) offers detailed information on the status of geoscience education in every state, as well as guidance for advocates. Information presented is based on available data collected from numerous sources. Viewers are invited to help update information by contacting AGI at email@example.com.
NASA Explorer Schools (NES) has teamed with the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) to offer a series of web-based seminars that feature NASA educational resources. NSTA Web Seminars are free, 90-minute, live professional development experiences that use online learning technologies to allow participants to interact with nationally acclaimed experts, NSTA Press authors, and scientists, engineers, and education specialists from NSTA partner organizations (http://learningcenter.nsta.org/products/webseminars.aspx).
Seminars run through June 1 and cover diverse topics such as “Earth Climate,” “NASA’s Eyes on the Earth,” “Satellite Meteorology,” and “On the Moon Educators Guide.” As NASA’s classroom-based gateway for middle and high school, NES provides free teaching and learning resources that promote student engagement in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics and opportunities for teachers and students to participate in inquiry-based experiences directly related to the work of NASA scientists and engineers. Learn more about the NES (http://explorerschools.nasa.gov).
The National Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) operates a soil education web site (http://soils.usda.gov/education/) where teachers can dig up a treasury of resources designed for both science educators and K-12 students.
Resources for the elementary level include lesson plans, links to soil education web sites, and even soil songs. Sing along to classics in the classroom such as “Mud, Mud, Mud” and “I Love Dirt.” To get lyrics for these songs and find other educational items for grades K-6, visit http://soils.usda.gov/education/resources/k_6/index.html.
NRCS also offers a CD-ROM titled “Soils - Tools for Educators,” which includes soil facts, state-specific soil information, lesson plans, and more. The CD is designed for middle and high school instructors who are teaching Earth science, environmental science, or soil science. For more about the disk and free online resources for grades 7-12, visit http://soils.usda.gov/education/resources/7_12/index.html.
The American Geosciences Institute is a nonprofit federation of 49 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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