Great Ideas and Themes

Here are a few ideas for how to celebrate Earth Science Week. If you have any of your own ideas, please submit them on our reply form.


Earth Scientists in the Classroom

Volunteer to visit a classroom, lead an Earth science activity, conduct a demonstration, or talk about your career.

Earth Scientists at Work

Invite local high school and university Earth science students to attend an open house at an Earth science related company, association, or agency.


Sponsor a workshop that gives educators the opportunity to perform Earth science activities under the guidance of experienced demonstrators.


Adopting a school is one great way to celebrate Earth Science Week and is also a valuable contribution to the community and an investment in the future. P. E. LaMoreaux & Associates (PELA), a consulting firm in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, has "adopted" Rock Quarry Elementary School, a math and science magnet school. Activities that PELA helps carry out throughout the year include setting up a science display in the school's main entrance, sponsoring a child for a field trip, sending professional scientists to speak to classes, and passing curriculum ideas to the school's media specialist.

Film Festival

Arrange to have a film festival at a local school - advertise, get sodas and popcorn, and showcase some films with Earth science themes. Check out videos from a local geological society or the geoscience department of a university, or show some big screen blockbusters to examine how Earth science is a part of popular culture and entertainment. (Examples: "Jurassic Park," "Twister," "Dante's Peak," "Volcano," "Deep Impact," "The Abyss.")

Earth Science Essays

Organize an essay contest on the topic "How Earth science affects our community." Get local businesses and companies to donate prizes or scholarship awards for the contest. Make the project interdisciplinary by having students illustrate their work.

Earth Science Career Fair/College Fair

Hold a career fair and invite geoscientists and college and university geoscience departments to participate.

Earth Science Fair

Host an Earth science fair at a local school. A science fair can be a great opportunity for students to practice Earth science, especially after hearing a geoscientist speak about his or her current research projects. Invite teachers and local geoscientists to be the judges. Encourage students to participate in the fair by offering awards such as posters, geoscience books, or even savings bonds to the top projects. Recognize the young Earth scientists by publishing the names of participating students in a local paper.

Shopping Mall Demo

Join with other geoscientist to set up a tabletop display at the local shopping mall. The display can be of local rocks, a fossil collection, or minerals and products. Include hands-on demonstrations.

Earth Science for Commuters

Hold an annual poster contest for area school students as part of Earth Science Week. Arrange for the winning entry to be displayed in buses and other public transportation during the month of October.

Local Field Trips

Conduct a field trip in a park or on a campus.

Understanding Resources

Hold a tour or open house at a mine, quarry, water works, or utility plant. Invite elementary, middle, and high school students to learn about natural resources and mining on-site.

A Day at the Beach

Visit beaches to watch erosion processes and wave energy in action, then pick up the trash washed ashore.

Earth Science and Earth Movers

Earth Science is important in construction - from digging foundations to tunneling, Earth science plays a role. Check with your local Chamber of Commerce about new construction projects in your area and plan a field trip to the site.

Building Stone Tour

Conduct an urban walking tour to observe the many different types of building stones in use. Create maps and corresponding descriptions of the building stones at each site.

Getting Earth Science on the Books

Arrange an Earth Science Week display at your local library, and create a book list of Earth science books available all year round. You can also have an Earth Science Book Fair at a school.

Picturing the Earth

Organize an Earth theme photo contest and display the photos at a local library, community center, or business. Prizes could be free photo equipment and/or processing.

Open House

During Earth Science Week a number of state geological surveys, geoscience societies, and businesses will host open houses for the general public.


Set up an Earth-related exhibit or display of minerals, rocks, or fossils in a public location such as a shopping center, museum, library, or building lobby.

Whole Earth Place Mats

Design educational place mats that feature information highlighting the importance of Earth science in everyday life and arrange to have area restaurants use the place mats throughout Earth Science Week.

Acting Out

Arrange with a local youth theater organization to prepare a skit about community issues relating to Earth science. The students can perform the skits during Earth Science Week at local museums or community centers.

Earth Science Artists

Artistically inclined volunteers, both young and old, may paint a mural on a building in town, showing how Earth science is integrated into the town landscape.

Earth Science Weekend

Devote a weekend of activities to Earth science. For example, the North Dakota Geological Survey and the North Dakota Historical Society hosted a two-day Earth Science Fair to celebrate Earth Science Week. Events will include lectures and demonstrations by geologists, video demonstrations, a walking tour, and slide presentations about geologic hazards and the prehistoric life of the area.

Scouts, Campfire, 4-H and Other Youth Leaders

Focus on the Earth and geoscience-related badges and projects to celebrate Earth Science Week. For example, the staff at Vulcan's Manassas, Virginia, quarry invite local Boy Scout troops to use the quarry property to work on three merit badges.

After School Activities

Organize after school activities at day care centers, schools, or YMCAs around an Earth Science theme. Students at Wesleyan University plan to conduct after school activities at YMCA-organized programs at five elementary schools.


Incorporate the national Earth Science Week theme of "Geoscience Is for Everyone" or use your own theme! A theme can provide a focal point for your Earth Science Week events and activities. You may want to use a broad theme, such as evolution in Earth history, or a specific theme, such as minerals in our lives. If you use a theme, please tell us where and how you used it to celebrate Earth Science Week.


  • Advances in Earth Science
  • Contributions of Earth Science
  • Earth Science is for Everyone
  • Earth Science Matters
  • Earth Science of the Season
  • Earth Science Everywhere
  • Earth Science in Daily Living
  • Earth Science Improves Our World
  • Earth Science in Our Community
  • Earth Science is All Around Us
  • Earth Science Benefits Our Lives
  • Earth Science in Your Backyard


  • Geologic Time
  • Fossils and Earth History
  • Local Quarrying Companies and their rocks
  • Building a Road: Rocks Needed!
  • Lakes, Rivers and Streams
  • Volcanoes
  • Earthquakes
  • What is Soil?
  • Karst and Caves
  • Erosion: Wind and Water vs. Rock