Earth Science Week Update September 2010

American Geosciences Institute
Vol. 8, No. 9: September 2010


Earth Science Week 2010
Coming Soon: Get Ready!


Back to school? Now is the time to make plans for Earth Science Week, taking place October 10-16, 2010! The 13th annual Earth Science Week will celebrate the theme "Exploring Energy" with a wide range of exciting activities, programs, and resources designed to help young people understand the science of energy.

Pitch in to promote geoscience literacy. Conduct activities described on the Earth Science Week website at For more ideas, see recommendations at

This year's event is shaping up to reach even more people than last year's audience of over 40 million. For more than a decade, AGI has organized Earth Science Week to foster public and professional awareness of the status of Earth science in education and society. To learn more, visit the event website at

Energize Teaching With an
Earth Science Week Toolkit

Every year, Earth Science Week tackles a different topic in its toolkit of materials for educators. Choose the kit that best fits your instructional needs. Focusing on the theme "Exploring Energy," the 2010 kit includes:

  • 12-month school-year activity calendar with 12 energy lessons
  • 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
  • NASA energy resources, including a flyer on climate interactions
  • Environmental science material from the Energy Department
  • Energy Sources of the World poster by SPE
  • Energy Outlook brochure from ExxonMobil
  • Brochures, bookmarks, fact sheets, postcards, and more

Past years' kits address other topics: "Understanding Climate," the 2009 kit, includes activities, posters, a DVD, a CD, brochures, fact sheets, and additional resources on climate science. "No Child Left inside," the 2008 kit, features materials designed to help young people explore the geosciences outdoors. "Geoscientists Explore Our Earth," the 2005 kit, deals with careers in Earth science.

Each kit contains materials to help you prepare for Earth Science Week (October 10-16, 2010) and teach Earth science all year long. For ordering, special shipping, bulk order discounts, and more information, visit

AGI Seeks Intern for
Earth Science Outreach

AGI, the organizer of Earth Science Week, is inviting applications for its Outreach Internship, a paid, full-time, one-year position. A bachelor's degree in Earth science or Earth science education and computer skills (Microsoft Office, HTML, Dreamweaver) are required.

The Outreach Intern undertakes a variety of duties for the AGI Outreach and Education departments, including writing and editing, preparing electronic documents and updating web pages, and various clerical functions. A major responsibility is project support for Earth Science Week.

For more information, see Qualified candidates may submit a cover letter, resume, and three references to Geoff Camphire, AGI Outreach Manager, at Applicants are urged to learn more about AGI ( and Earth Science Week ( AGI is an equal opportunity employer.

Energy Science Fair Opens
Earth Science Week 2010

Earth Science Week 2010 kicks off on Sunday, October 10, with "Energy Day: An Earth Science Fair" from 12 noon to 2 p.m. at Baltimore's Maryland Science Center. In addition to the science center's many longstanding science offerings, special displays will highlight the science of energy.

Presenters such as NASA, the National Park Service, ExxonMobil, NEED (National Energy Education Development Project), and AGI will provide hands-on, interactive demonstrations and handouts.

For more information, visit the Maryland Science Center, 601 Light Street, Baltimore, MD 21230-3899 ( The event is just one of many taking place nationwide during Earth Science Week. To learn about more, keep reading!

'No Child Left Inside' Day
Comes to Your Area

A highlight of past years' Earth Science Week celebrations has been "No Child Left Inside" Day, an event that has engaged many 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 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 event for Tuesday, October 12, during Earth Science Week 2010, when educators and young people across the country will be wading into creeks, climbing hills, and searching the skies to learn Earth science. You can find the NCLI Day Guide online ( Have a great NCLI Day!

Visit DC's National Mall for
National Fossil Day Event

Join paleontologists and park rangers in kicking off the first annual National Fossil Day in Washington, D.C. The National Park Service and Smithsonian's Museum of Natural History are collaborating to host the National Fossil Day Celebration on the National Mall from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Wednesday, October 13, 2010.

You can learn how to become a Junior Paleontologist, study the history of life preserved in over 230 units of the National Park Service, hear "Fossil Talks" given by paleontologists, wash and screen through sediments to hunt for fossils that you can take home, bring your own fossils from your collection for identification by scientists from the Smithsonian, search for fossils in a Fossil Scavenger Hunt at the museum, and excavate fossils from blocks of sediment at the museum.

The event is free and open to the public. For more information, please see

Women in the Geosciences
Day Coming in October

How can you make a difference for young women? Join the Association for Women Geoscientists and AGI in celebrating the second annual Women in the Geosciences Day - Thursday, October 14 - during Earth Science Week 2010. 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 still 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 4-H 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 education and careers in the geosciences, as well as support for female geoscientist lecturers in classrooms. To learn more, visit And have a great Women in the Geosciences Day!

How to Put Your Event
On the Map - Online

If you're hosting an event for the public during Earth Science Week 2010 (October 10-16), 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 program partners in each state.

In addition, your event can be listed in "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, time and date, street address, phone number, email address, and URL. We’ll be happy to direct Earth Science Week participants to your event!

Shine a Media Spotlight
On Your Great Activities

Energy! Climate! 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 honor geoscience enthusiasts who make 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 and email.
  • 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

One Month Left to Enter
Earth Science Week Contests

With entries due near the end of Earth Science Week - Friday, October 15 - science students and enthusiasts across the country are busy completing submissions for the Earth Science Week 2010 essay, visual arts, and photography contests. Send yours soon!

The visual arts contest is titled "Energy on Earth." 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 energy's place in the way the planet works.

Students in grades 6-9 may enter the essay contest: "How Energy Powers the Planet." Each one-page essay must be no longer than 300 words. Discuss the ways the Earth's systems interact to produce energy.

The photo contest, open to all ages, focuses on the many ways "We Depend on Energy." If you wanted to explain how people in your local area rely on energy resources, what image would best illustrate this? Show the world!

The contests offer opportunities for students and the public to participate in the celebration, learn about Earth science, 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

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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