Earth Science Week Update March 2011

American Geosciences Institute
Vol. 9, No. 3: March 2011


Plot Activities Now for
Earth Science Week 2011

Don’t wait until fall to prepare for Earth Science Week 2011 (October 9-15)! Now is the perfect time to plan your activities. Take this opportunity to make a wish list: How would you like your students to celebrate Earth Science Week?

You can promote this year’s theme - “Our Ever-Changing Earth” - by planning activities to help your students learn about the natural processes that shape our planet over time. Consider geoscience links offered by leading Earth Science Week partners such as USGS, NASA, the U.S. Department of Energy, and ExxonMobil at And conduct activities featured on the Earth Science Week web site at

Leading up to the October celebration, you’ll see more and more Earth Science Week events, both local and nationwide, listed online at For more ideas, read about successful past events at or see recommendations on how to get involved at

Earth Science Teaching
Award Winner Announced

Greer Lynn Harvell, a teacher at Clifford C. Meigs Middle School in Shalimar, Florida, has been named the 2011 recipient of the Edward C. Roy, Jr. Award for Excellence in K-8 Earth Science Teaching. Harvell, who earned her bachelor’s degree in education from the University of West Florida, began her career teaching first grade, then went on to engage seventh- and eighth-graders with inquiry-based, hands-on learning in the Earth sciences.

“We were excited to read about the way in which Mrs. Harvell helps her students to generate and investigate their own questions about the world,” said AGI Education Director Ann Benbow on recognizing Harvell with the award. “This is the kind of learning that stays with students throughout their lives.”

Harvell was presented with the award at the National Science Teachers Association 2011 National Conference in San Francisco earlier this month. Finalists for the award were Amy Clapp of Salisbury Community School in Salisbury, Vermont, and Jan L. French of Cincinnati Country Day School in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Given annually, AGI’s Edward C. Roy, Jr. Award recognizes one classroom teacher from kindergarten to eighth grade for leadership and innovation in Earth science education. This award is named in honor of Dr. Edward C. Roy, Jr., who was a strong and dedicated supporter of Earth science education. To learn more, please see

Find New Ways to Ensure
‘No Child Left Inside’

Any day can be “No Child Left Inside” Day - a time for outdoor activities allowing young people to experience Earth science firsthand. And the NCLI Day Guide now offers several new learning activities to help you do just that!

This free online guide provides everything you need to start planning your own NCLI Day event, including activities designed specifically for elementary, middle, and high school students. Begin now to plan your NCLI Day event for Tuesday, October 11, during Earth Science Week 2011, when educators and young people nationwide will be wading into creeks, climbing hills, and searching the skies to learn Earth science. Or schedule your NCLI Day whenever it’s most convenient for you.

Find AGI’s new and improved NCLI Day Guide on the Earth Science Week web site at Have a great NCLI Day!

New NASA Offerings
Target Earth Science

NASA, a longtime Earth Science Week partner, recently announced a handful of educational resources perfect for Earth science classrooms:

* The WINDS Data Visualizer ( gives access to global ocean surface wind behaviors between 1999 and 2009. The visualizer allows users to select a region of the ocean and study changes. Each map has arrows showing the wind direction, and colors indicate the wind speed, direction, convergence, or vorticity.

* Check out the National Council for Science and the Environment’s NASA-based curricular package of nine self-contained modules on climate change ( Educators and students can use web portals that allow interactions with other instructors and students.

* Lab Out Loud is a National Science Teachers Association podcast and blog discussing science news and education with important figures in the field. “Episode 58: Exploring New Worlds with Kepler” ( features Dr. Natalie Batalha, co-investigator of NASA’s Kepler team, discussing the Kepler mission and the discovery of planet Kepler 10b.

Summer Science Camp
Locations Announced

ExxonMobil Foundation and Dr. Bernard A. Harris, Jr., the first African-American to walk in space, are partnering for the sixth consecutive year to provide more than 1,200 middle-school students with math and science experiences this summer at no cost to students. The ExxonMobil Bernard Harris Summer Science Camps will be hosted by 25 universities across the country.

The camps offer students an opportunity to take part in field work, experiments, and team-based competitions. Students live on campus during the two-week camp and participate in daily classes taught by university faculty and secondary teachers. The camp features a student-centered, inquiry-based curriculum with a focus on natural science, engineering, mathematics, and technology.

To be eligible, students must be entering 6th, 7th, or 8th grades in fall 2011. Learn more at

See 100 Activities on
Earth Learning Idea

Earth Learning Idea (ELI) - a leading web site for earth science education - recently celebrated the publication of its 100th activity online. Every two weeks, ELI publishes a new Earth-related teaching activity, designed to be a practical resource for teachers and teacher-trainers. Most activities require minimal cost and equipment.

Please visit to learn more about the Earth. Activities also are publicized on the ELI blog site at

Earth Science Week
Founder Releases Video

Ever wonder about the organization that has hosted Earth Science Week since launching the event more than a decade ago? Learn more about the American Geosciences Institute (AGI) through a video entitled “This Is AGI,” available now on the AGI web site.

See our involvement in ensuring that America’s students receive a quality Earth science education. Find out about AGI’s role in building a strong geoscience workforce. Learn about services we provide to the professional community, such as GeoRef and archives. Watch to see how AGI promotes the geosciences among policymakers.

This eight-minute video provides comprehensive information on AGI’s mission, history, and services. To view the video, please visit

During IYC 2011, Explore
Chemistry of the Earth

Already under way, the International Year of Chemistry 2011 (IYC 2011) is a worldwide celebration of the achievements of chemistry and its contributions to the well-being of humankind. IYC 2011 offers a range of interactive, entertaining, and educational activities for all ages, perfect for Earth Science Week participants.

Aiming to increase the public appreciation of chemistry in meeting world needs, IYC 2011 especially encourages interest among young people. Covering the calendar year 2011, the event will include activities such as lectures, exhibits, and hands-on experiments - and will explore how chemical research is critical for solving our most vexing global problems involving food, water, health, energy, transportation, and more.

Begin your exploration with the IYC Worldwide homepage ( or check out the American Chemical Society’s IYC 2011 Chemistry Calendar (

Environment Something
To ‘Shout’ About

Excited about environmental science? Grab your mouse and surf on over to the Smithsonian Shout Online Conference Series. “Shout” invites educators and students to connect online with experts in the field and collaborate with people around the world.

Online events hosted by the Smithsonian Institution feature some of the world’s leading scientists and environmental experts. Access to Microsoft’s Partners in Learning Network, a global community of educators, allows school partners to share environmental education resources, experiences, and best practices. TakingITGlobal’s online community provides students with resources, including content-rich virtual classrooms and collaboration spaces designed to deepen environmental understanding.

Learn how Shout connects students and teachers to live events, teacher networking, and student collaborations - and presents students with challenges designed to deepen their learning and engagement (

DC Festival Will Follow
Earth Science Week 2011

If you were one of the estimated 500,000 people who visited the first USA Science & Engineering Festival last year in Washington, D.C., then you know what success the event achieved in promoting awareness of science.

That’s why AGI is proud to announce that it will participate in the follow-up festival currently being organized for next year, on April 27-29, 2010. Once again, hundreds of leading science and engineering organizations will offer free events and presentations in Washington, D.C. Satellite events are expected to be held across the country by universities, student science clubs, national laboratories, and other groups.

AGI, founder and organizer of Earth Science Week, will be one of several groups representing the Earth sciences at the festival’s Science Expo. For more information, see


The American Geosciences Institute is a nonprofit federation of 49 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, resiliency to natural hazards, and interaction with the environment. For contact information, please visit


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