Earth Science Week Update March 2012

American Geosciences Institute
Vol. 10, No. 3: March 2012


Celebration Highlights
Report Now on Web

Last year’s Earth Science Week celebration was a record-breaking success. The program reached a documented 48 million people. Individuals in all 50 states and over five countries participated. Over 80,000 people visited the program web site. New partners joined the effort, new resources were introduced, and news of the event was carried by outlets ranging from The Washington Post and The Huffington Post to NBC and ABC.
Please see the report for ideas on how you can participate. To continually improve Earth Science Week, AGI annually tracks the program’s impact, compiles new clips, and commissions an independent evaluation. To view the full report on Earth Science Week 2011, please see

Earth Science Teaching
Award Winner Announced

Meg Town, a teacher at Redmond Junior High School in Redmond, Washington, has been named the 2012 recipient of the Edward C. Roy, Jr. Award for Excellence in K-8 Earth Science Teaching. Town, who earned her master’s degree in education from the University of Washington, has spent her career challenging middle and junior high school students with inquiry-based, hands-on learning in the Earth sciences. Earth science is, she says, “the most touchable science.”
“We were excited to learn how Ms. Town helps her students to generate and investigate their own questions about the natural world,” said AGI Education Director Ann Benbow on recognizing Town with the award. “This is the kind of learning that stays with students throughout their lives.”
Town will be presented with the award at the NESTA Friends of Earth Science Reception during the National Science Teachers Association 2012 National Conference in Indianapolis later this month. Finalists for the award were Nathan Shotwell of Holman Middle School in Richmond, Virginia, and Deborah Wickerham of Chamberlin Hill Intermediate School in Findlay, 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".

Earth Science Week at
NSTA 2012 Conference

Visit the organizers of Earth Science Week in the Exhibit Hall of the National Science Teachers Association Conference later this month in Indianapolis, Indiana. We’ll have materials and demonstrations dealing with Earth Science Week as well as additional curriculum, training, and other products and services available from AGI.
The conference expo takes place at the Indiana Convention Center on March 29-April 1, 2012. Please stop by our booth for activities, resources, and information from the American Geosciences Institute and AGI’s Earth Science Week partners. For more information on the conference, see

NASA Webinar Covers
Earth and Beyond

NASA’s Expedition Earth and Beyond (EEAB) program promotes student-led research investigations in the classroom using NASA data and resources. EEAB also provides opportunities to connect with NASA and university scientists.
Throughout the year, the program offers free online teacher trainings, plus classroom connection opportunities for teachers and students with scientists. Join in the next Classroom Connections Webinar, Grades 4-12, at 12:15-1:30pm ET, March 27, 2012.
This distance-learning event, “Viewing Aurora from Space,” will provide an interactive presentation connecting students with a scientist at the NASA Johnson Space Center. For information about aurora, including video and astronaut imagery of aurora on Earth, see

Offshore Energy Center
Offers Career Resources

The Offshore Energy Center (OEC) aims to expand awareness of the vast energy resources beneath the world's oceans - and chronicle the heritage and technological accomplishments of the industry that discovers, produces, and delivers these resources in a safe and environmentally responsible way.
Based in Houston, Texas, OEC offers educational resources that Earth science teachers might find useful, particularly as they explore Earth Science Week 2012’s theme of “Discovering Careers in the Earth Sciences.” OEC’s Education Outreach program offers several options ( For example, if you click on “Education” in the top banner and pull down the menu, you’ll find a Career Interest Profile that students can fill out to learn which energy careers dovetail with what they enjoy doing.
For hands-on exploration, check out OEC’s Ocean Star Offshore Drilling Rig Museum and Education Center, located near Houston. To learn more, visit OEC online (

Earth Science Resources
In Spanish and English

If you’re looking for Earth science education resources in both Spanish and English, look no further than the SEED Earth Science Week Online Toolkit.
The web 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 more than 70 lessons, posters, fact sheets and other materials 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 (

Find K-12 Earth Science
Workshop Resources Online

Did you miss the AGU-NESTA GIFT workshop for K-12 classroom teachers held during the AGU Meeting in San Francisco in December 2011? Go online now for presentations, classroom activities, supplementary materials, and videos made available at the event hosted by the American Geophysical Union and the National Earth Science Teachers Association.
The workshop included presentations and activities on tsunamis, clouds, climate science field campaigns, the Pine Island glacier in the Antarctic, and the dangers of airborne volcanic ash. Find related resources online at AGU Education ( and Windows to the Universe (

IRIS Reaches Students
At ‘Teachable Moments’

Want to delve into the science behind current events with your students? Start with a visit to the web site of Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology (IRIS), an Earth Science Week partner.
IRIS offers a set of online resources - Recent Earthquake Teachable Moments - dealing recently with the magnitude-7.1 earthquake that struck near Vanuatu in the southwest Pacific Ocean last month. View PowerPoint presentations, animations, and visualizations, as well as links to Spanish-language materials and USGS data. Additional resources address other quakes worldwide.
Founded in 1984 with National Science Foundation support, IRIS is a nonprofit consortium of over 100 universities engaged in the acquisition, management, and distribution of seismological data. To explore Teachable Moments, visit online.

Get Geoscience Community
News in ‘GeoSpectrum’

The winter issue of AGI’s GeoSpectrum, the geosciences newsletter, is now available online. This issue’s highlights include a full range of news and information from AGI’s 50 member societies, as well as several opinion pieces, public policy news, meeting announcements, and educational, scholarship and career opportunities in the geosciences.
The quarterly news source features geoscience society news, award announcements, scholarship postings, articles about Earth science education, classified ads, 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 Now for Week of
Environmental Education

National Environmental Education Week (EE Week) - the nation’s largest environmental education event, held April 15-21, 2012 - inspires environmental learning and stewardship. Focusing this year on the theme “Greening STEM: The Environment as Inspiration for 21st Century Learning,” EE Week connects educators with environmental resources to promote K-12 students’ understanding of the environment.
The environment is a compelling context for teaching STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) as it provides teachers with a diverse range of real-world challenges that engage students in meaningful hands-on opportunities to apply and reinforce STEM concepts across multiple subject areas, according to the event organizer, the National Environmental Education Foundation.
EE Week provides a range of resources at Register for EE Week at to receive educational materials and unique opportunities.

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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