Earth Science Week Update March 2008

American Geosciences Institute
Vol. 6, No. 3: March 2008

* Plan Activities Now for Earth Science Week 2008
* Check Out Upcoming Movie’s Trailer and Educator Guide
* Earth Science Teachers Get Professional Development Online
* Free CD Explores “Earth Observations from Space”

Plan Activities Now for
Earth Science Week 2008

Earth Science Week (Oct. 12-18) won’t take place for months - so now is the perfect time to start planning your activities. Don’t wait until the hectic first weeks of the next school year. Take this opportunity to make a wish list: How would you like your students celebrate Earth Science Week 2008?

You can promote this year’s theme - “No Child Left Inside” - by planning outdoor activities to help your students learn Earth science firsthand. Whether you schedule a fieldtrip or simply explore the playground, you can find Earth science anywhere there’s earth, water, and sky. Maybe your students can record observations of cloud patterns or dig up fossil evidence of past life. Conduct activities featured on the Earth Science Week website at

Last year, Arizona’s Petrified Forest National Park organized special events on the park’s geology, including hands-on exhibits and guided tours. The Illinois State Geological Survey took students on a Geological Science Field Trip at Pere Marquette State Park. And a “Rock Hounds Unite!” Geology Day was held at the North Branch Nature Center in Montpelier, Vermont, including mini-fieldtrips led by professional geologists. For more ideas, read about successful past events at or see recommendations at

Check Out Upcoming Movie’s
Trailer and Educator Guide

Would your students follow movie star Brendan Fraser to the center of the Earth? Many of them, no doubt, will do just that when “Journey to the Center of the Earth 3D” hits theaters on July 11.

You can help prepare them for the journey with the upcoming Educator Guide, a free booklet of exciting activities and information using the movie as a touchstone for exploration of “science fact and science fiction.” The Educator Guide is being crafted by Walden Media, which is producing this update of the Jules Verne classic, in collaboration with the American Geosciences Institute (AGI), organizer of Earth Science Week.

Additional details on “Journey 3D” educational opportunities, including the Educator Guide and possible related events, will be made available in the coming weeks. Meanwhile, to view the movie trailer, see online.

Earth Science Teachers Get
Professional Development Online

Looking for tailored professional development, made easy? Look no further than GeoScience Connections, a new set of online graduate courses offered by AGI and the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT).

GeoScience Connections is designed specifically to increases science teachers’ knowledge of Earth system science and inquiry-based science instruction. Focusing on interactions among Earth systems - geosphere, biosphere, atmosphere, hydrosphere, cryosphere, and exosphere - courses incorporate hands-on and technology-based teaching techniques. Available are courses on Fossils, Weather and Climate, and Soils and Landforms.

Each course provides 3 graduate credits from IIT. Visit to learn more.

Free CD Explores “Earth
Observations from Space”

Observations from space over the past 50 years have fundamentally transformed the way people view the Earth. The National Research Council report “Earth Observations from Space” describes how satellites have revolutionized Earth studies and ushered in a new era of multidisciplinary Earth sciences.

Since the launch of Sputnik I in 1957, thousands of satellites have been sent into space on missions to collect data about the Earth. Today, the ability to forecast weather, climate, and natural hazards depends critically on these satellite-based observations.

In particular, the ability to gather satellite images frequently enough to create “movies” of the changing planet is improving our understanding of Earth’s dynamic processes and helping society to manage limited resources and environmental challenges. To learn more or order free copies of the report’s companion CD while supplies last, see online.

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


To subscribe to this newsletter, visit and Submit your email address.