Earth Science Week Update June 2007

American Geosciences Institute
Vol. 5, No. 3: June 2007

* New Website to Take Pulse of Earth Science
* Order Earth Science Week Toolkit Now
* Earth Science TV Series Premieres July 23
* IPY Education Resources Continue Roll-Out

New Website to Take Pulse
Of Earth Science Education

AGI is reinstituting a data-collection initiative as part of Earth Science Week’s effort to monitor “the pulse of Earth science.” A website providing detailed information on the status of geoscience education, as well as guidance on advocating for Earth science at the state and local levels, is planned to debut before or during Earth Science Week 2007 (Oct. 14-20).

Preliminary findings reveal a “pulse” that many geoscience educators consider weak:

* Although every state but Iowa includes Earth science standards in middle and high school science education standards, currently, this priority seldom carries through to curriculum requirements or high school exit exams.

* North Carolina is the only state that requires an Earth science course for graduation. Only 11 states offer Earth science as an elective within overall science requirements; for example, if three credits in science are needed for graduation, and if biology and chemistry are required, then Earth science can be counted as the third credit.

* In a trend of increasing accountability, 25 states now require students to pass high school exit exams for graduation. However, only 13 of those states feature science components in exams, and only five of those include Earth science in test questions.

The information presented is based on available data collected from numerous sources. Viewers are invited to help update information by contacting AGI at For more information on the upcoming website, check regularly.

Earth Science Week Toolkits
Available for Order Now

Earth Science Week Toolkits will be released starting in late July. To ensure that you are among the first to receive these exciting educational resources, order yours today.

The Earth Science Week 2007 Toolkit includes:

* A 12-month school-year activity calendar, suitable for hanging
* The new Earth Science Week poster, including an activity
* A CD of geoscience fact sheets and other materials from USGS
* An Earth science CD-ROM, postcards, and more from NASA
* Education materials, cloud chart, and careers info from NOAA
* A CD on GIS technology and activities from ESRI
* A microfossils poster from JOI Learning
* A remote-sensing flyer from AmericaView
* Items from National Park Service, Smithsonian, IRIS
* And more materials for classroom and home use

In addition, copies of Earth Science Week Toolkits from some previous years are available for order. See the website for details.

Library Rate shipping and handling in the U.S. is included. After kits become available, allow 2-3 weeks for delivery. Faster shipping services are available at additional cost (phone 703-379-2480 for details). Orders outside of the United States will incur additional shipping charges. For special shipping, bulk orders, and more information, visit

Earth Science TV Series
Premieres on July 23

The four-part television series “Faces of Earth” debuts its first episode, “Assembling America,” at 9pm (ET/PT) July 23, on The Science Channel. View the press release at

“Faces of Earth,” produced by AGI and Evergreen Films in collaboration with The Science Channel, Discovery Communications, Inc., explores how Earth is constantly remade by the forces of nature. The series reveals the natural world around us through the perspectives of geoscientists, using computer-generated imagery to show how humans are both a force of nature and a product of our world.

The series employs state-of-the-art animations, aerial photography, and science in exploring Earth’s past, present and future geologic story. To learn more about “Faces of Earth” and watch trailers, go to

IPY Education Resources
Continue Roll-Out

If you are an Earth science educator aiming to involve students in International Polar Year (IPY), check out the official website at Here you’ll find a treasure trove of information about polar science and global impacts for educators, formal and informal, as well as learners, including students and citizens.

The current IPY, spanning from March 2007 to March 2009, builds on a 125-year legacy. And while it officially concludes after two full field seasons in each polar region, the momentum of this IPY will continue for years to come. With more than 200 diverse international projects involving tens of thousands of sciences from over 60 nations, this IPY is arguably the largest, intensive scientific study of the Earth system ever conducted. Each IPY project - whether tracking caribou in the Arctic, tracking sea ice changes in the polar oceans, examining the health of Arctic peoples, or looking at the dynamics of carbon in the climate system - is international in scope.

Through the IPY website and related efforts, researchers are sharing their experiences, describing how they collect data, and explaining why their research is important. For example, a "virtual balloon launch" including 250 schools, science centers, and geoscience enthusiasts kicked off IPY on March 1. More such events will be held on solstices and equinoxes, offering opportunities to become immersed in this international collaboration.

IPY is one of the major geoscience events being highlighted by Earth Science Week 2007. Visit the Earth Science Week Resources page online at for more information.

The American Geosciences Institute is a nonprofit federation of 44 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 and interaction with the environment.