Earth Science Week Update September 2007

American Geosciences Institute
Vol. 5, No. 6: September 2007

* Attention, Teachers! Earth Science Week Wants You
* Shine a Media Spotlight on Your Activities
* Two Weeks Left to Enter Earth Science Week Contests
* “Faces of Earth” to Air During Earth Science Week

Attention, Teachers!
Earth Science Week Wants You

During Earth Science Week (Oct. 14-20), students will explore mines and caves, sample groundwater, monitor the weather, visit museums and science centers, prepare science projects at home, and conduct scientific investigations in their classrooms. Leading them will be teachers just like you.

You’re encouraged to lead your own celebration. You can conduct an Earth science lab activity, using one of the activities recommended on the Earth Science Week website ( In the process, you can heighten awareness about the “pulse” of Earth science education - that is, the value placed by your school system on a subject that is vital to students’ informed decision making, responsible citizenship, and career success.

Remember, you’re not working alone. Talk with your school’s guidance counselor about how a schoolwide celebration can promote science literacy and achievement. Work with your science supervisor, coordinator, and fellow teachers to develop activities that will spread awareness. Communicate to your principal, superintendent, and school board members, and PTA representative the importance of sound education in Earth science. And collaborate with a nearby museum, science center, geoscience company, or civic group to organize local events.

For more ideas, see the website. Or order your Earth Science Week Toolkit, which includes a geoscience activity calendar, an overview of geoscience resources available from federal programs, posters, brochures, bookmarks, and more. To order, visit

Shine a Media Spotlight
On Your Activities

Energy! The environment! Natural hazards! Earth science is breaking news. Educators can take advantage of journalists’ interest in geoscience to promote awareness of local Earth Science Week efforts. Here are five effective strategies you can use:

* Plan a special event to draw attention to your Earth Science Week activities. Conduct an activity, invite a prominent geoscientist to talk with students, host a ceremony or a banquet, stage an event with a nearby museum or science center, give awards to volunteers, or recognize geoscience enthusiasts who make contributions to the community.

* Prepare a detailed press release to alert the media about your Earth Science Week activities. Answer important questions, such as who, what, where, when, and why. Include data and quotes from key players. Provide contact information for additional information from you, school leaders, or related sources. Print the release on your letterhead and fax it to editors and reporters at least three days before the event.

* Be persistent in pitching your story to local news organizations. Besides noting the “hook” of Earth Science Week, show how your activities address issues that are urgent, timely, and relevant to the community. Consider which news outlet is likely to cover your particular activity. Write a brief, compelling query letter to the appropriate editor. Follow up with a phone call or an e-mail.

* Write letters to the editor and op-ed pieces for print in local newspapers and magazines. You might respond to a recent geoscience-related article with a letter to the publication’s editor. If possible, schedule a meeting with the editorial board. Or instead of a letter, write an opinion editorial, or “op-ed,” to cite concerns and recommend solutions.

* Use the available Earth Science Week materials in promoting awareness. In the Earth Science Week Toolkit and on the event Website are a number of print and electronic materials - poster, calendar, logo, and more - that you can use to “brand” your activity. Link your local activity to the larger national and international celebration of Earth Science Week to emphasize its significance.

Two Weeks Left to Enter
Earth Science Week Contests

With entries due Friday, Oct. 5, science students and enthusiasts across the country are busy completing their submissions for the Earth Science Week 2007 essay, and photography contests. Send yours today!

The photography contest, open to all ages, focuses on “People Discovering Earth’s Treasures.” Participants are encouraged to think creatively and submit photos of people discovering the Earth science all around us. What is unique about your local area? What aspects of Earth science are most interesting to you?

The visual arts contest is titled “Changing Earth.” Students in grades K-5 are encouraged to draw, paint, or create a poster depicting the ways the Earth is constantly changing as a result of geologic forces. Artwork entries should be two-dimensional and no larger than 24-by-36 inches.

Students in grades 6-9 may enter the essay contest: “Earth Science in My Community.” Each one-page essay must be no longer than 300 words. What is being done in your community to study the Earth? Why is it important to study the Earth? What can we do to better understand the importance of studying the Earth?

The contests offer opportunities for students and the general public to participate in the celebration, learn about the Earth sciences, and compete for prizes. Each first-place winner receives $300 and a subscription to AGI’s Geotimes magazine. To learn more, visit

“Faces of Earth” to Air
During Earth Science Week

The new, four-part television series “Faces of Earth” is scheduled to air during Earth Science Week on The Science Channel. As Earth Science Week approaches, check the TV Schedules listed at

Produced by AGI and Evergreen Films in collaboration with The Science Channel of Discovery Communications, Inc., the series explores how the Earth is constantly remade by the forces of nature. “Faces of Earth” reveals the natural world 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. To learn more and watch trailers, go to

The “Faces of Earth” complete DVD set is now available for order online from the Discovery Channel Store at

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. For contact information, please visit