Earth Science Week Update September 2011

American Geosciences Institute
Vol. 9, No. 9: September 2011


Earth Science Week 2011
Coming Soon: Get Ready!

Back to school! Now is the time to make plans for Earth Science
Week, taking place October 9-15, 2011. The 14th annual Earth
Science Week will celebrate the theme “Our Ever-Changing Earth”
with a wide range of exciting activities, programs, and resources
designed to engage young people and the public in learning about the natural processes that shape our planet over time.

Pitch in to promote geoscience literacy. Conduct activities described
on the Earth Science Week web site 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 46 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 web site at

Under a Month Left to Enter
Earth Science Week Contests

With entries due near the end of Earth Science Week - Friday,
October 14 - science students and enthusiasts across the country are
busy completing submissions for the Earth Science Week 2011 essay, visual arts, and photography contests. Send yours soon!

The visual arts contest is titled “Picturing Our Ever-Changing 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 how Earth’s air, water, land, and living things change over time.

Students in grades 6-9 may enter the essay contest: “How Change
Shapes Our Planet.” Each one-page essay must be no longer than 300 words. Discuss how interactions among Earth systems - geosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere, and biosphere - change our planet.

The photo contest, open to all ages, focuses on “A World of Change in My Community.” We can see evidence of Earth’s many changes in our
back yards, around our neighborhoods, and in our travels. In a photo,
show how your area is influenced by long-term and short-term changes.

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

Change Education 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 “Our Ever-Changing Earth,” the 2011 kit includes:

* A 12-month school-year activity calendar, suitable for hanging
* The new Earth Science Week poster, including a learning activity
* A “Big Ideas of Earth Science” DVD linked to online activities
* American Chemical Society global water experiment materials
* National Park Service items on fossils, air, and geologic heritage
* NASA education resources examining Earth from space
* A GIS-in-science-education resource from ESRI
* A poster by SPE on renewable and nonrenewable energy
* A genuine field notebook from Rite in the Rain
* A USGS poster on the bicentennial of the New Madrid quake
* Activity sheets from the Association for Women Geoscientists
* Brochures, bookmarks, fact sheets, postcards, and more

Past years’ kits address other topics: “Exploring Energy” (2010) deals
with energy science. “Understanding Climate” (2009) covers climate
science. “No Child Left inside” (2008) features materials designed to
help young people explore the geosciences outdoors.

Each kit contains materials to help you prepare for Earth Science Week (October 9-15, 2011) and teach Earth science all year long. For
ordering, special shipping, bulk order discounts, and more information,

More Geoscience Resources
In Spanish and English

Nearly 30 educational activities and resources have been added to the newly updated SEED Earth Science Week Online Toolkit. If you’re
looking for Earth science education resources in both Spanish and
English, this is the web site for you.

The site - a partnership of Schlumberger Excellence in Educational Development (SEED) and AGI - has been created to provide educational materials, activities, and other resources for Spanish- speaking students and teachers, as well as English speakers, in U.S. and SEED schools around the world. The resources featured on the site have been developed by SEED, AGI, and other geoscience organizations.

Visitors can view 76 lessons, posters, fact sheets and other materials, each offered in both Spanish and English. Materials provide users with introductory information on Earth science, as well as in-depth items on earth, water, air, and life science. Find the free toolkit online (

'No Child Left Inside' Day
Comes to Your Area

On the Tuesday of Earth Science Week, you can make sure there’s
“No Child Left Inside” (NCLI). Dedicate a day to outdoor activities enabling young people to experience Earth science firsthand.

To help, the NCLI Day Guide is now available in PDF format for easy printing and outdoor use. This free guide provides everything you need to start planning your own NCLI Day event, including any of 17
outdoor learning activities recommended for elementary, middle, and
high school students.

Plan your NCLI Day event, where educators and young people
perhaps can wade into ponds, climb hills, and search the skies to learn Earth science. Find the NCLI Day Guide, including the new PDF
version, at Have a great NCLI Day!

Visit DC’s National Mall for
National Fossil Day Event

Join paleontologists and park rangers for the second 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 12, 2011.

The event will feature presentations and activities for all ages, including Jim Henson’s Dinosaur Train, digging for fossils, and activities exploring prehistoric life. Museum staff will oversee a fossil prep lab and displays dedicated to fossils of the area. On hand will be paleontologists and geologists from the National Park Service, American Geosciences Institute, the Bureau of Land Management, the National Science Foundation, Maryland Dinosaur Park, and NOAA.

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

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 third annual Womenin the Geosciences Day - Thursday, October 13 - during Earth Science Week 2011. Women in the Geosciences Day offers you
a chance to share the excitement and advantages of geoscience careers with young women.

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.

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!

Shine a Media Spotlight
On Your Great Activities

Natural disasters! Energy! Climate! 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 web site 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

NGWA Webinar Targets
Women in Geoscience

Female students contemplating career paths and professional women considering career changes can learn about opportunities in the
geosciences through a webinar hosted by the National Ground Water Association (NGWA) at noon EST, October 13, during Earth Science
Week 2011.

Four women working in various areas of the geosciences will discuss
their unique perspectives. While titled "Women in the Geosciences,"
this webinar will be presented at a level appropriate for all groundwater professionals, both men and women. The presentation will be informal,
and time will be allocated for questions.

NGWA, an AGI member society, is an Earth Science Week partner.
For information on the webinar, see

SMILE for Activities
Online for Science Teachers

Looking for activities? Those seeking new ways to teach young people
about math and science may need little more than SMILE. The nonprofit group aims to collect the best educational materials on the web and
create learning activities, tools, and services - all designed especially for those who teach school-aged kids in non-classroom settings.

SMILE is a national partnership of science and technology centers,
museums, community-based organizations, and out-of-school educators dedicated to making science, technology, engineering, and math exciting
and engaging for all learners.

SMILE is the Science and Math Informal Learning Educators pathway
of the National Science Digital Library. To learn more, see SMILE
online (

London Event Marks
Earth Science Week 2011

The Geological Society of London (GSL), an AGI member society, is organizing a special event - “Poetry and Geology: A Celebration” - to coincide with Earth Science Week and England’s National Poetry Day
on October 10, 2011.

From Shakespeare to Seamus Heaney, poets have long been inspired
by geology and landforms.  Likewise, geologists have been keen
readers and writers of poetry. GSL invites Londoners to celebrate
these links at a free event including talks, performances, discussions,
and a reading by contemporary poets.

To register, contact GSL’s Georgina Worrall at To learn more about GSL, see

How to Put Your Event
On the Map - Online

If you’re hosting an event for the public during Earth Science Week
2011 (October 9-15), let people know about it! The best way is to
post your event details on “Events in Your Area” ( This web page 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!

The American Geosciences Institute is a nonprofit federation of 50 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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