Earth Science Week Update June 2010

American Geosciences Institute
Vol. 8, No. 6: June 2010


Contests Add Fun, Learning
To Earth Science Week 2010

AGI is sponsoring three exciting national contests for Earth Science Week 2010. The photography, visual arts, and essay contests - all focused on the theme of “Exploring Energy” - allow both students and the general public to participate in the celebration, learn about Earth science, and compete for prizes.

The photography contest, open to all ages, focuses on “We Depend on Energy.” The visual arts contest, titled “Energy on Earth,” is open to students in grades K-5. Finally, students in grades 6-9 are eligible to enter the essay contest: “How Energy Powers the Planet.” Essays of up to 300 words should describe how Earth system processes develop energy resources, how human use of energy affects the Earth system, and how people can be responsible stewards of Earth’s energy resources.

Entries may be submitted any time up to the Friday of Earth Science Week, Oct. 15, 2010. The first-place prize for each contest is $300 and a copy of AGI’s “Faces of Earth” 2-DVD package. To learn more about these contests, including how to enter, visit

Check Out AGI’s Collection
Of Award-Winning Videos

AGI is quickly emerging as a leading producer of educational video products for the geoscience community. Recently “Earth and You” won a Gold 2010 Questar Award. The DVD, available from Lab Aids (, features short video chapters that cover important concepts about Earth’s geosphere for grades 3-5. “Earth and You” also has won a Bronze Telly Award.

AGI, which organizes Earth Science Week, also recently won a Silver Telly Award for “Visions of Earth,” a 4-DVD set featuring video and animations designed to help high school students understand the connections among the Earth systems, available from Delmar Cengage Learning ( A Bronze Telly was awarded for the promotional video for “Visions of Earth.”

In addition, a Silver Telly Award recently went to AGI’s “Why Earth Science,” a brief overview of the importance of Earth science available for free viewing on YouTube ( Watch it today!

Go Online for Targeted
Professional Development

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

GeoScience Connections is designed specifically to increase 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.

The course being offered during Summer 2010 is “Energy Resources.” The course provides 3 graduate credits from IIT. To learn more, visit

Encourage Your Students
To Be Junior Paleontologists

The National Park Service has launched a new Junior Paleontologist program to engage young people in activities that allow them to discover the significance of fossils and the science of paleontology, introduces them to the national park system, and to the mission of the National Park Service.

What young person isn’t curious about Earth’s history, ancient plants and animals, and changes to past climate and environments? Besides learning about these topics, Junior Paleontologists explore the ways paleontologists work and protect fossils found in the 228 national park areas that preserve these scientific resources. This is a great way to prepare for the first annual National Fossil Day, taking place on October 13 during Earth Science Week 2010 (October 10-16).

The Junior Paleontologist Program is a part of the National Park Service Junior Ranger Program, which aims to connect young people to their national parks. Download the Junior Paleontologist Activity Booklet for children ages five to 12 at

Get Geoscience Community
News From ‘GeoSpectrum’

Last week AGI relaunched its geoscience profession newsletter, GeoSpectrum, a longtime source of news and information highlighting AGI’s programs. In addition, GeoSpectrum now enables all of AGI’s 47 member societies and related groups to share information with the broader Earth science community.

The is quarterly news source features geoscience society news, award announcements, scholarship postings, articles about Earth science education, classified ads and calendar postings, and more. GeoSpectrum is available as a free PDF at

Sign up for notification emails when new issues become available. And to stay up-to-date on the latest news, see the GeoSpectrum blog, featuring short notices on upcoming events, calls for nominations, and other time-sensitive postings at

Prepare for Second Annual
Women in Geosciences Day

Please join the Association for Women Geoscientists (AWG), an AGI Member Society, 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.

What can you do? 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.

Watch for additional information and resources online in the coming months at Earth Science Week ( and AWG ( Have a great Women in the Geosciences Day!

FEMA Offers Resources
On Earthquake Education

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency recently released several free earthquake education resources. The collection, “Earthquake Publications for Teachers and Kids,” includes posters, teacher packages, a storybook for children, hands-on activities, and guidance for teachers, students, and child care providers.

To download or order copies, go to To order copies of select items, phone 1-800-480-2520.

Explore Geophysics During
Earth Science Week 2010

The Society of Exploration Geophysicists (SEG), an Earth Science Week partner and AGI member society, offers programs for educators and students. For example, a distinguished lecturer series and an honorary lecturer series both enable students to meet professional geophysicists, learn about groundbreaking research in the field of seismic research, and obtain valuable career information.

Short courses offered through SEG not only enable seismologists to continue their education, but also help teachers to study seismology with introductory courses on seismic data processing. Meetings, forums, and workshops are also available.

SEG members have access to journals, an online digital library, reference publications, meetings, workshops, networking, and employment referral. To learn more, visit

‘Visiting Geoscientists’
Making an Impact on Students

Are you an Earth scientist who wants to help educate young people about the field - but you’re just not sure how to start? Check out “Visiting Geoscientists: An Outreach Guide for Geoscience Professionals,” a handbook recently co-produced by AGI and the American Association of Petroleum Geologists’ Youth Education Activities committee.

Professional geoscientists such as geologists and geophysicists who visit schools and lead field trips, especially at the K-12 level, can provide unique enrichment opportunities, based on their education, experience, and firsthand knowledge of the workplace. Whether you work in a resource or environmental company, a research institute, a state or federal agency, or a college or university, you can make a difference.

The handbook offers strategies and resources to enhance the experience. Various sections discuss how students learn science best, current issues in Earth science education, recommendations for volunteers, sample activities and resources, and more. To learn more or download a PDF version, 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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