Earth Science Week Update April 2010

American Geosciences Institute
Vol. 8, No. 4: April 2010


‘Understanding Climate’
Toolkits Available for Order

Teachers often find it difficult to discuss energy - the focus of Earth Science Week 2010 - without also discussing the related topic of climate. Packed with instructional materials on “Understanding Climate,” a limited supply of last year’s Earth Science Week Toolkits are still available.

Order now to ensure that you receive dozens of exciting educational resources, ideal for teaching throughout the year. This Earth Science Week Toolkit includes:

  • the Earth Science Week poster, including a climate activity
  • NASA climate resources, including a “Dynamic Earth” DVD
  • a special report on “Ecological Impacts of Climate Change”
  • USGS climate education resources, including volcano materials
  • a National Park Service poster on glaciers nationwide
  • a CD on GIS technology and activities from ESRI
  • a genuine geoscientist’s field notebook from Rite in the Rain
  • climate literacy materials provided by NOAA
  • activity sheets from the Association for Women Geoscientists
  • a 12-month school-year calendar, with an activity each month
  • brochures, bookmarks, fact sheets, postcards, and more

For ordering, special shipping, bulk discounts, and more information on the Earth Science Week 2009’s “Understanding Climate” Toolkit, visit

SPE’s Energy4me
Sparks Energy Education ****************************

Through its Energy4me program, the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) offers teachers of all grade levels tools for teaching about oil, gas, and other energy sources, including classroom activities, experiments, and presentations, as well as teacher workshops and energy education materials for the classroom.

Teachers are invited to request classroom speakers, science fair judges, and career fair exhibitors from the roughly 80,000 SPE members worldwide. Free one-day teacher workshops, held at select SPE conferences, cover grade-specific, hands-on energy lessons. The Energy4me Kit, available from SPE, offers teaching aids, speaker resources, sample presentations, and classroom activities for teaching about energy. Teachers are encouraged to visit the program website for PowerPoint presentations, career information, and more.

SPE, an Earth Science Week partner, is a nonprofit professional association whose members are energy professionals in 110 countries. Visit to learn more.

Apply to Set Sail With
Deep Earth Academy

All aboard! The 2010 School of Rock research expedition is scheduled for September 4-18, 2010, aboard the JOIDES Resolution (, a platform outfitted for state-of-the-art scientific exploration and education. This Cascadia ACORK (Advanced Circulation Obviation Retrofit Kit) expedition is designed to install a new permanent hydrologic observatory at Ocean Drilling Program (ODP) Site 889 (

During School of Rock research experiences, K-12, informal, and undergraduate educators have daily opportunities to conduct hands-on analyses of sediment and hard-rock cores with scientists and technicians who specialize in IODP research. This year’s workshop will focus on how cores and CORKS ( shed light on the hydrology and geology of the Cascadia subduction zone.

Sailing from Victoria, British Columbia aboard the JOIDES Resolution drill ship, participants may conduct investigations including the deep biosphere and methane hydrates, to paleoceanography, sedimentology, and biostratigraphy; seafloor spreading, composition and structure of the oceanic crust; and methods for sampling the subseafloor environment. The application deadline is May 5, 2010. For additional information, contact Jennifer Collins, Deep Earth Academy, at Applications are available at

Plant a SEED of
Earth Science Learning

SEED (Schlumberger Excellence in Educational Development) is a volunteer-based, nonprofit education program that empowers Schlumberger employee volunteers and educators to share their passion for learning and science with students aged 10 to 18. The SEED “learning while doing” methodology draws on the technology and science expertise of volunteers to engage students in global issues such as water, energy, and climate change.

SEED’s School Network Program invites qualified underserved schools to apply for grants that provide various resources, typically including funding for computer hardware and software, and Internet connectivity. Educational programs offer students and educators in SEED network schools hands-on workshops and online activities and projects using a project-based, approach. The Online Science Center provides educational resources and opportunities to learners and educators in seven languages: Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish. Learning Materials include ready-to-go SEED experiments, activities, and articles from the Online Science Center.

Find out more at For articles on science education topics, see For hands-on activities, visit

Website Monitors ‘Pulse’
Of Earth Science Education

Concerned about the heartbeat of geosicence education in your area? Check “The Pulse of Earth Science Education,” AGI’s newly updated database tracking Earth science education trends nationwide.

The website features findings that some find surprising. For example, did you know that an Earth science course is required for high school graduation in only three states - North Carolina, Kansas, and Kentucky? Or that 34 states have Earth science items on their state assessments? For each state, AGI provides the most recent available data on:

  • teacher certification requirements and numbers teaching related subjects
  • relevant courses that middle and high school students must take
  • K-12 enrollment levels in Earth science and related subjects
  • coverage of Earth science within state science standards
  • state assessment of students in Earth science
  • textbooks adopted and relevance to Earth science
  • contact information for state education agencies

The website ( offers detailed information on the status of geoscience education in every state, as well as guidance for advocates. Information presented is based on available data collected from numerous sources. Viewers are invited to help update information by contacting AGI at

NASA Offers Training to
Heliophysics Educators

Teachers in grades 6-8 should not wait to apply for the NASA Heliophysics Educator Ambassador Program, taking place July 6-8, 2010, at the Adler Planetarium in Chicago. The application deadline is Friday, April 30.

The Adler Planetarium invites middle school educators to apply for this professional development workshop and training program focusing on in-depth learning experiences in Earth, space, and physical science topics. An initial five-day intensive workshop will be followed by school year implementation of classroom activities and participant-led training workshops for other teachers.

The goal of the program is for participants to gain a better understanding of the science content areas and develop the capacity to train other teachers on NASA heliophysics science and educational resources. Lodging support for out-of-town participants and stipends for all participants are available. To learn more and apply online, go to

NRCS Offers Resources
For Soil Education

The National Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) operates a soil education website ( where teachers can dig up a treasury of resources designed for both science educators and students.

Resources for the elementary level include lesson plans, links to soil education websites, and even soil songs. Sing along to classics in the classroom such as “Mud, Mud, Mud” and “I Love Dirt.” To get lyrics for these songs and find other educational items for grades K-6, visit

NRCS also offers a CD-ROM titled “Soils - Tools for Educators,” which includes soil facts, state-specific soil information, lesson plans, and more. The CD is designed for middle and high school instructors who are teaching Earth science, environmental science, or soil science. For more about the disk and free online resources, visit

The American Geosciences Institute is a nonprofit federation of 46 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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