Earth Science Week Update June 2012

American Geosciences Institute
Vol. 10, No. 6: June 2012


Contests Add Fun, Learning
To Earth Science Week 2012

AGI is sponsoring three national contests for Earth Science Week 2012. The photography, visual arts, and essay contests - all focused on the event theme of “Discovering Careers in the Earth Sciences” - 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 “Earth Science Is a Big Job.” Open to students in grades K-5, the visual arts contest is titled “Imagine Me, an Earth Scientist!” Finally, students in grades 6-9 are eligible to enter the essay contest: “Geoscientists Working Together.” Essays of up to 300 words should describe how Earth scientists work together to deal with phenomena involving interactions of Earth systems.

Entries may be submitted any time up to the Friday of Earth Science Week, October 19, 2012. 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

Field Notebook for Students
Featured in 2012 Toolkit

Just one of dozens of educational materials in the Earth Science Week 2012 Toolkit - from posters and calendars to activities and a cloud chart - is the Field Notebook specially designed for young people who want a taste of real geoscientists’ fieldwork.

Rite in the Rain, which makes notebooks for fieldwork by professional geoscientists, has created this miniature Field Notebook - with “all-weather writing paper” and charts on types of clouds, soils, and geological map symbols - for students. By recording their observations and conclusions here, students get a taste of the work performed by professional geoscientists.

For information on Earth Science Week 2012 Toolkit ordering, special shipping, bulk orders, and more, please visit

Encourage Your Students
To Be Junior Paleontologists

The National Park Service’s Junior Paleontologist program seeks 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.

Besides learning about Earth’s history, ancient life, and past changes to climate and environments, Junior Paleontologists explore the ways paleontologists work and protect fossils found in more than 230 national park areas that preserve these scientific resources. This is a great way to prepare for the third annual National Fossil Day, taking place on October 17 during Earth Science Week 2012 (October 14-20).
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 5 to 12 at

Watch NASA eClips for
Educational Videos

Just go online for NASA eClips, short educational video segments designed to inspire and engage students. These video clips cover a wide range of topics.

“Mapping the Boundaries of Our Solar System (IBEX),” for example, answers big questions. What is the shape of our heliosphere? What lies beyond? How does interstellar medium affect the heliosphere? To find out, NASA launched the Interstellar Boundary Explorer, or IBEX, to map the boundaries of our solar system.

Another video, “The Fermi Gamma Ray Space Telescope,” provides an overview of the electromagnetic spectrum and how scientists are using the new Fermi Gamma Ray Space Telescope to look at the inconceivable amounts of energy produced by phenomena in space. To watch eClips, see

Professional Development
Available From NSTA

Apply now for the New Science Teacher Academy, a National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) program providing professional development and mentoring to second- and third-year secondary science teachers.

You could become a Fellow in the 2012-13 NSTA New Science Techer Academy, a program that offers consistent, online professional development activities. The Academy provides each teacher with mentoring experiences, web-based resources, membership in NSTA, and an opportunity to attend the NSTA National Conference.

The deadline for applications is August 24, 2012. Visit for more information.

Plant a SEED of
Earth Science Learning

SEED (Schlumberger Excellence in Educational Development) is a volunteer-based, nonprofit education program that empowers Schlumberger employee volunteers and educators to share their passion for learning and science with students aged 10 to 18. The SEED “learning while doing” methodology draws on the technology and science expertise of volunteers to engage students in global issues such as water, energy, and climate change.

SEED’s School Network Program invites qualified underserved schools to apply for grants that provide various resources, typically including funding for computer hardware and software, and Internet connectivity. Educational programs offer students and educators in SEED network schools hands-on workshops and online activities and projects using a project-based approach.

The Online Science Center provides educational resources and opportunities to learners and educators in seven languages: Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish. Learning materials include ready-to-go SEED experiments, activities, and articles from the Online Science Center. Find out more at

AIPG Aims to Educate
Next-Generation Geologists

The American Institute of Professional Geologists (AIPG), an AGI member society, was founded to advocate for geologists and certify their credentials. Today AIPG is reaching out to Earth science students and educators.

Available online for free download, AIPG offers several PowerPoint presentations presenting relevant career information for young, newly graduated geoscientists. These presentations also enable K-12 teachers to convey what geoscientists do for a living.

Students who become AIPG members can establish professional contacts, attend meetings and field trips, receive mentoring from professionals and potential employers, access undergraduate scholarships, tap resources on careers in geology, and submit papers to the journal “The Professional Geologist.” To learn more, visit

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 (

Online Videos Depict
‘Faces of Climate Change’

Three short online videos depict the dramatic changes in Alaska’s marine ecosystems through interviews with scientists and Alaska natives. The videos were produced by the Center for Ocean Sciences Education Excellence (COSEE) Alaska, the Alaska Sea Grant program, the Alaska Marine Conservation Council, and the Alaska Ocean Observing System.

To view “Introduction to Climate Change,” “Disappearing Sea Ice,” and “Life on the Ice,” visit To view more Alaska COSEE Resources, go to

Explore Geophysics During
Earth Science Week 2012

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

The American Geosciences Institute is a nonprofit federation of 50 geoscientific and professional associations that represents more than 250,000 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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