Earth Science Week Update August 2010

American Geosciences Institute
Vol. 8, No. 8: August 2010


Show Artistic Talent in
National Fossil Day Contest

A major focus of Earth Science Week 2010 will be National Fossil Day (October 13) - and one of the best ways for students nationwide to participate is by entering the National Park Service’s National Fossil Day Art Contest. Entries should address the theme “Paleontology: Preserving the Past for Our Future.”

Fossils - evidence of past life preserved in rock or sediment - tell stories about ancient animals and plants. Congress has passed laws to protect fossils in national parks and to promote scientific research and public education. Artwork – a photo, painting, drawing, or sketch - should focus on fossils’ importance, preservation, and effects on the past, present, and future.

The contest is open to any U.S. resident from age 5 up. Entries are due by 5pm EST, October 5, 2010. Complete contest guidelines will be posted this month on the National Fossil Day site at If you have questions, please email

Save With a Bulk Order of
Earth Science Week Toolkits

Thinking of buying multiple copies of the Earth Science Week 2010 Toolkit for local educators or organization members? Save money by placing a bulk order.

Get 12-25 kits for $6.70 each, 26-100 kits for $6.45 each, or over 100 kits for $6.20 each. At these prices, the savings add up. The 2010 kit, ordinarily $6.95 apiece, includes:

  • 12-month school-year activity calendar, suitable for hanging
  • New Earth Science Week poster, including an energy activity
  • USGS energy resources, including a booklet and online info
  • “What You Need to Know About Energy” booklet by NAS
  • National Park Service poster on fossils nationwide
  • NASA energy resources, including a flyer on climate interactions
  • Environmental science material from the Energy Department
  • “Energy Sources of the World” poster by SPE
  • Bookmark pointing to GIS education online from ESRI
  • Genuine field notebook from Rite in the Rain
  • “Energy Outlook” brochure from ExxonMobil
  • Educational material from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
  • Activity sheets from the Association for Women Geoscientists
  • Brochures, bookmarks, fact sheets, postcards, and more

The kit contains everything you need to prepare for Earth Science Week (October 10-16, 2010), which celebrates the theme “Exploring Energy.” For ordering, special shipping, bulk orders, and more information, visit

Electronic Field Trip
Explores Climate Change

Take your class on a “field trip” to learn about climate science. On October 13, 2010, the National Park Foundation’s Electronic Field Trip series will broadcast from North Cascades National Park, teaching students of grades 4-8 about climate change.

With its northerly location and high elevation, Washington’s North Cascades National Park is experiencing melting glaciers and loss of species. Given its efforts to understand climate change with science, management, and education, the park represents an important educational resource.

Educators and students can register for free to watch the show premiere and can gain access to a companion website, launching September 1, that features downloadable lesson plans and online activities. To learn more about this and other electronic field trips, see

Celebrate a Day Focusing
On Water Monitoring

Join geoscience students and others around the globe in celebrating World Water Monitoring Day in Washington, D.C., at 9am-12:30pm Thursday, September 16, 2010.

Following a short formal program, participants will conduct hands-on testing of the Potomac River and visit a variety of displays from program partners and other water quality stakeholder groups. Major partners include the U.S. Geological Survey and the Environmental Protection Agency.

Register by September 10 to;. For more information, visit

**************************** Offers News
And Info on Earth Science
****************************, a new Earth Science Week partner, provides a variety of geoscience materials including daily Earth science news, maps, an online dictionary of Earth science terms, and information on geoscience careers.

Also on ( are resources for teachers, including links to lesson plans from major Earth science organizations such as the U.S. Geological Survey, the Geological Society of America, and NASA. To view the teacher page, visit

EPA Has Climate Resources
For Teachers, Students

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), a new Earth Science Week partner, offers a climate education website for students, teachers, and school administrators, including information and activities related to reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

In one activity, for example, middle school and high school students estimate and conceptualize their schools’ emissions and explore ways to mitigate them. Also, teachers can learn from climate experts and search a database of lesson plans, videos, books, and tools. See the EPA website at

Blast Off for October’s
World Space Week

What better way to warm up for Earth Science Week than by zeroing in on the planet from space? Join educators and space enthusiasts around the world to celebrate World Space Week on October 4-10, 2010.

This international event commemorates the beginning of the Space Age with the launch of Sputnik 1 on October 4, 1957. To find NASA educational resources that can be used during World Space Week, visit

To learn more about World Space Week, search for events in your area, and find related educational materials, see

NASA Invites Projects
For Microgravity

NASA’s Dropping In a Microgravity Environment (DIME) allows students in high school and middle school to design and build an experiment that will be operated in a NASA research drop tower. This will put the students’ experiment in microgravity, just as if it were in space.

Again there will be two components for this school year, with separate competitions for high school teams and teams of students in grades 6-9. Four high school teams will be invited to visit NASA’s Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio, and operate their experiment in the drop tower. Four additional teams will send their experiment to NASA Glenn. Teams of students in grades 6-9 will compete to build an experiment to be operated in the same drop tower by the NASA staff.

Proposals are due November 1, 2010. Selections will be announced in early-December, and drop tower operations will be conducted in March 2011. See for more information about this opportunity. Learn about other NASA education initiatives at

Fossil Fair Coming Up
In North Carolina

Follow up the first annual National Fossil Day (October 13, 2010) with a visit to the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences’ Fossil Fair at 9am-5pm, Saturday, November 6. The Fossil Fair, held every three years, is billed as the country’s largest educational paleontology event.

Enjoy dozens of exhibits, activities, and presentations about fossils from North Carolina and around the world. For more information about the museum and its upcoming events, see

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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