Earth Science Week Update September 2009

American Geosciences Institute
Vol. 7, No. 9: September 2009


‘No Child Left Inside’ Day
Comes to Your School

One of the highlights of last year’s Earth Science Week celebration was “No Child Left Inside” Day, an event that engaged hundreds of students in outdoor learning activities and received coverage by news media from NBC to NPR. This year, you’re invited to take part!

AGI’s new NCLI Day Guide provides everything you need to start planning your own NCLI Day event. The free guide provides 10 outdoor activities you can organize to help students discover Earth science in their own neighborhoods. Also included are recommendations for creating partnerships, planning logistics, reaching out to the local media, and following up in the classroom.

Plan your NCLI Day 2009 event for Tuesday, October 13, during Earth Science Week 2009 (October 11-17), when educators and young people across the country will be wading across creeks, climbing hills, and searching the skies to learn Earth science. You can find the NCLI Day Guide online at Have a great NCLI Day 2009!

Field Notebook for Students
Featured in 2009 Toolkit

Just one of dozens of educational materials in the Earth Science Week 2009 Toolkit - from posters and calendars to activity books and CDs - is the Field Notebook specially designed for “No Child Left Inside” Day (see above).

Rite in the Rain, which manufactures full-size notebooks for fieldwork by professional geoscientists, has created this miniature Field Notebook - with “all-weather writing paper” and charts on types of clouds, soils, and geological map symbols - for NCLI Day, Tuesday, October 13. By recording their observations and conclusions here, students get a taste of the work performed by professional geoscientists.

“No Child Left Inside” has become a rallying cry for a growing movement. Efforts by government agencies and nonprofit groups - from USGS to the National Park Service - are helping young people experience the joys of outdoor activity. For Earth Science Week 2009 Toolkit ordering, special shipping, bulk orders, and more information, visit

One Month Left to Enter
Earth Science Week Contests

With entries due near the end of Earth Science Week - Friday, October 16 - science students and enthusiasts across the country are busy completing submissions for the Earth Science Week 2009 essay, visual arts, and photography contests. Send yours today!

The photography contest, open to all ages, focuses on “How Climate Shapes My World.” If you were putting together a travel brochure about your local area, what image would best represent your climate? Show the world!

The visual arts contest is titled “The Climate Where I Live.” Students in grades K-5 are encouraged to draw, paint, or create a poster. Artwork entries should be two-dimensional and no larger than 24-by-36 inches. Show the typical climate where you live now and how it was 100,000 years ago.

Students in grades 6-9 may enter the essay contest: “Climate Connections.” Each one-page essay must be no longer than 300 words. Discuss the ways climate interacts with Earth’s systems in your area.

The contests offer opportunities for students and the public to participate in the celebration, learn about the Earth sciences, and compete for prizes. Each first-place winner receives $300 and a copy of AGI’s “Faces of Earth” DVD set. To learn more, visit

How to Put Your Event
On the Map - Online!

If you’re hosting an event for the public during Earth Science Week 2009 (October 11-17), you want to let people know about it. The best way is to post your event details on “Events in Your Area” ( This webpage provides information on events taking place through major program partners and in each state.

In addition, your event can be listed through “Earth Science Organizations” (, an online map that offers clickable links to Earth Science Week events taking place at parks, museums, science and technology centers, university geology departments, local geological societies, and other nearby locations. Anyone can find the map online, click on a nearby location, read a brief description - and even get driving directions!

To post your event, please contact AGI at Be sure to provide a brief description of the event, the time and date, the street address, a phone number, an e-mail address, and a URL. We’ll be happy to direct Earth Science Week participants to your event!

Shine a Media Spotlight
On Your Great Activities

Climate! Energy! Natural disasters! Earth science is breaking news. Educators can take advantage of journalists’ interest in geoscience to promote awareness of local Earth Science Week activities. Here are five effective strategies:

  • Plan a special event to draw attention to your Earth Science Week activities. Conduct an investigation or experiment, 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 have made a difference.
  • Prepare a 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 followup. 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. Write a brief, compelling query letter to the appropriate editor at each media outlet. Follow up with a phone call or an e-mail.
  • Write letters to the editor for print in local newspapers and magazines. You might respond to a recent geoscience-related article with a letter to the editor. If possible, schedule a meeting with the editorial board. Or instead of a letter, perhaps write an opinion editorial, or “op-ed,” to cite concerns and recommend solutions.
  • Use available Earth Science Week materials in promoting awareness. In the Earth Science Week Toolkit and on the event website are 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 celebration to emphasize its significance. For more ideas, see

Online Climate Change
Conference by Smithsonian

Want to discuss global climate with a Smithsonian researcher or curator? Take part in the Smithsonian Online Education Conference on Climate Change from September 29 through October 1, just in time for Earth Science Week 2009, which celebrates the theme “Understanding Climate.”

In addition to interacting with Smithsonian experts in both general interest sessions and sessions designed especially for teachers, you can explore Smithsonian research and collections related to the evidence, impact, and response to climate change. Alongside Smithsonian scientists and curators, you also can look at issues surrounding climate change from the perspectives of science, history, and art.

Registration is free and open to everyone. Conference sessions are recorded and archived so you can replay them at any time. To learn more or register, please visit

NASA Offers Educators
‘Eyes on the Earth’

NASA, a longtime partner and supporter of Earth Science Week, is offering educators an exciting, new Earth visualization tool. “Eyes on the Earth 3D” allows users to view the latest NASA satellite imagery within hours of it being photographed.

This resource brings real-time data to the user from all of NASA’s satellites currently monitoring Earth’s systems. Data include sea level height, concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, global temperature, and extent of sea ice in the Arctic.

The site also includes games, videos, and interactive programs with scientists. To get a unique view of Earth’s climate and more, visit

Women in the Geosciences
Day Coming in October

Join the Association for Women Geoscientists and AGI in celebrating the first annual Women in the Geosciences Day - Thursday, Oct. 15 - during Earth Science Week 2009! Women in the Geosciences Day offers you a chance to share the excitement and advantages of geoscience careers with women of all ages, especially those early in their education.

If you’re an educator, invite a female geoscientist to speak in your classroom or institution. If you’re a female geoscientist, visit a local school or volunteer at a science center. Organize a scout event for badges, lead a 4H field trip, or hold a special “Take Your Daughter to Work Day” focusing on the geoscience workplace. No matter who you are, you can help show young women what it means to be a geoscientist.

The Association for Women Geoscientists offers scholarships for women pursuing an education and career in the geosciences, as well as support for female geoscientist lecturers in classrooms. To learn more, please visit And have a great Women in the Geosciences Day!

PolarTREC Now Accepting
Applications for 2010-2011

PolarTREC (Teachers and Researchers Exploring and Collaborating) is accepting applications from teachers for teacher research experiences during the 2010 (Arctic) or 2010-2011 (Antarctic) field seasons.

PolarTREC, a program of the Arctic Research Consortium of the U.S. (ARCUS), pairs K-12 teachers with researchers for professional development through authentic polar research experiences. Through PolarTREC, teachers will spend two to six weeks in the Arctic or Antarctic, working closely with researchers as part of the science team. All major expenses associated with teacher participation in PolarTREC field experiences are covered by the program, including transportation, food, lodging, and substitute teacher costs.

Teacher applications are due Monday, October 5, 2009. More information and application forms are available at

You’re Invited: Geoscience
Outreach and Dinner

Gearing up for Earth Science Week 2009 in the DC/Northern Virginia area? “Earth Science in the Spotlight: Engaging the Public” will be the focus of an interactive talk given by AGI’s Dr. Ann Benbow at The Front Page Restaurant in Arlington, Virginia, at 6-7:30 p.m., Tuesday, October 6.

The news media routinely sound alarms about natural disasters, climate change, and the energy crisis. But who helps the public make sense of these issues? More and more, scientists are stepping up to help ordinary people, from school children to policy makers, understand the Earth science behind the headlines. Learn how AGI, an association of 45 member societies across the geosciences, is tapping the expertise of professional geoscientists to improve education and promote public awareness.

Join Benbow, AGI’s director of education and outreach, for a brief discussion, exciting video, hands-on activities showing how you can play a vital part, and optional dinner offerings. The event is part of the Cafe Scientifique speaker series of the Ballston Science and Technology Alliance/COPUS. To learn more and register, please visit

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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