Earth Science Week Update December 2008

American Geosciences Institute
Vol. 6, No. 12: December 2008


Help AGI Make
Earth Science Week Better

Want to help improve next year’s Earth Science Week? Just fill out the 10-question survey that is being conducted by PS International, an independent evaluation firm.

From now until Monday, December 15, the survey invites you to weigh in on questions such as what resources, information, and activities are most useful. Please invest a few minutes to help strengthen Earth Science Week at

Park Service Supports
Geoscience Education

The National Park Service (NPS), which serves 400 natural, cultural, and recreational sites throughout the United States, is dedicated to teaching both the natural and cultural history of the country through programs designed for teachers and students.


NPS resources available to teachers include curriculum-based programs, field trip planning guides, “traveling trunks” of park information, videos and educational media, online galleries, guest speakers, distance learning, professional development courses, a teacher-ranger-teacher program, and field institutes for hands-on learning in the field. To learn more, visit


A major Earth Science Week partner, NPS has provided numerous materials, some of which promote its “Views of the National Parks” multimedia education program. “Views” includes interviews with resource experts, photography, and detailed information on resources. Also provided are ready-made lesson plans that compliment “Views” materials. For more information, see

NASA Earth Science Week
Video Online on YouTube

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) created a brief educational video about satellite monitoring of arctic sea ice for Earth Science Week 2008. In under two minutes, the video discusses global trends in climate change and the melting underway in polar regions.

NASA, a longtime Earth Science Week partner, offers geoscience perspectives that often are possible only from space. To view the video, go to

Teachers Listen to
‘Expert Voices’ on Science

Want to connect current events with classroom curricula? Expert Voices provides the latest science news straight from the source: scientists.

Expert Voices recently discussed Earth Science Week 2008 in a blog entry featuring information on activities and resources for teachers. To read the article, go to

Expert Voices is a Weblog site for experts in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) and a forum for educational discussion about the latest STEM news. To learn more about the National Science Digital Library (NSDL) Expert Voices site, go to

NOAA Teaches Teachers
About Oceans, Atmosphere

The U.S. National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) promotes education about oceanic and atmospheric science - and not only during Earth Science Week. NOAA offers resources and opportunities for students and teachers all year long.

On NOAA’s education site at you&rsqul;ll find lesson plans, interactive activities, educational games, videos, images, scholarships, career opportunities, and detailed information on weather, climate change, oceans, and satellites. Also, look for information on NOAA’s Teacher at Sea program, which allows a K-16 teacher to serve aboard a NOAA ship as a researcher. For information geared toward students, go to

In addition to online offerings, NOAA’s Office of Education conducts teacher development workshops throughout the year to help improve oceanic and atmospheric literacy among science teachers. To find out where a workshop is being held near you, see

NASA Online Community
Seeks High School Students

NASA’s INSPIRE project (Interdisciplinary National Science Project Incorporating Research and Education Experience) is accepting applications from students in grades 9-12 to join the INSPIRE online community.

Selected students who are selected will learn about science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields of study and careers. They also will be eligible to compete for unique summer experiences at a NASA facility.

Applications are due at the end of the month, December 31, 2008. For more information, including requirements and an online application, visit

Plan Early to Enter 2009
Ed Roy Award Competition

If you teach Earth science to students between kindergarten and eighth grade, you may be eligible to apply for the Edward C. Roy, Jr. Award for Excellence in K-8 Earth Science Teaching. Each year, this award recognizes one full-time U.S. classroom teacher for leadership and innovation in Earth science education.

The winner will receive a $2,500 prize and an additional grant of $1,000 to enable the recipient to attend the Geological Society of America 2009 Joint Meeting at the close of Earth Science Week 2009 to accept the award. To be eligible for the 2009 competition, applications must be postmarked by May 31, 2009.

This award is named in honor of Dr. Edward C. Roy, Jr., a past president of AGI, who was a strong and dedicated supporter of Earth science education. To learn more, visit

ESRI Helps Teachers
Map Out Education

Leading the charge to incorporate geographic information system (GIS) technology and mapping software in Earth science education, ESRI is one of the many corporate partners of Earth Science Week. GIS technology - which can illuminate features such as local geology, water sheds, and roads - can require some training before it can be used effectively. That’s why ESRI offers instructor-led training classes as well as “virtual campus” web-based training courses.


Instructor-led classes are held in small groups at ESRI’s training facilities worldwide, where attendees have access to knowledgeable staff and ample time to practice GIS skills. Virtual campus web-based training courses include software exercises, conceptual material, and instructional resources. For more information about training, go to To learn more about GIS and ESRI, see


Reaching Out to
Spanish-Speaking Students

Many geoscience organizations and educators distribute AGI’s “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 recently translated the publication into Spanish.


The geoscience community encourages minority participation. America’s 40 million Hispanics comprise the nation’s largest race or ethnic minority, a population that is rapidly growing. What’s more, three in four Hispanics ages five and up speak Spanish at home, says the U.S. Census Bureau.


“Why Earth Science?” explains the importance of Earth science education for success in school, careers, informed decision-making, and civic engagement. To receive copies, contact AGI’s Geoff Camphire at English and Spanish versions of the brochure also are available online as downloadable files at


The American Geosciences Institute is a nonprofit federation of 45 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


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