Earth Science Week Update November 2012

American Geosciences Institute
Vol. 10, No. 11: November 2012


Earth Science Week 2012
A Worldwide Success

While figures are still being tallied, it is estimated that over 48 million people gained a new awareness of the geosciences through the 15th annual Earth Science Week ( last month. The event celebrated the theme “Discovering Careers in the Earth Sciences” by engaging young people and the public in learning how geoscientists gather and interpret data about the Earth and other planets.

Events ranged from classes conducting playground science projects to activities at federal agency facilities, state geological surveys, and national parks. National Fossil Day, October 17, reached millions with paleontology activities and resources. Women in the Geosciences Day, October 18, enabled professional geoscientists to share the excitement of their careers with young women. And the first-ever Geologic Map Day engaged students in learning about the vital uses of geologic maps (

If you conducted a special activity to celebrate Earth Science Week, please let us know. Your activity will be featured in the Earth Science Week 2012 Highlights Report, which will be posted online and used to help secure support for the program in the future. Email information, news clips, and images to

Earth Science Week Contest
Winners Announced

Vijeta Revankar of Seabrook, Texas, won first place in the visual arts contest with a colorful drawing of the 10-year-old collecting samples underwater as a marine biologist. Finalists were Mandy He, Cynthia Liu, Rohan Raman, and Arya Kailash Sasne. Students in grades K-5 made two-dimensional artworks illustrating the theme “Imagine Me, an Earth Scientist!”

Gurneet Kaur Chhabra of Dilsukhnagar, India, won first place in the photo contest with her image of various types of geoscientists studying ground fissures in India. Finalists were Alexis Bryant, Carolyn Forrester, Haley Gobla, and Trevor Salmon. Submissions illustrated the theme “Earth Science Is a Big Job.”

Aishani Sil of Plano, Texas, won first place in the essay contest with a piece about collaborations among geoscientists engaged in the process of hydraulic fracturing. Finalists were Parlin Escobar, Chelsea Frank, Shiva Saravanan, and Richard Yang. Students in grades 6-9 wrote essays of up to 300 words addressing this year’s theme, “Geoscientists Working Together.”

Congratulations to the winners, finalists, and hundreds of students and others who entered. Each first-place winner receives $300 and a “Faces of Earth” DVD set. Entries submitted by winners and finalists are being posted online for viewing at

Family Science Fun
At AGU Fall Meeting

The American Geophysical Union (AGU), an AGI member society and longtime Earth Science Week partner, will host three free events for students and families at the AGU Fall Meeting in San Francisco on Sunday, December 2, 2012.

Scientists working with the rover Curiosity will discuss Mars exploration and the latest activities of the most sophisticated explorer ever sent to another planet. Families are invited to visit the Exploration Station, featuring 30 hands-on exhibits on topics such as the electromagnetic spectrum, Mars, oceans, and the poles. Also, Catherine Morley will read her new book, “Where Do Mountains Come From, Momma,” which answers children’s questions about mountains in a fun way.

All three events will take place at the Moscone Center South rooms 102-104 in San Francisco. For more information, see and

Earth Science Week
Thankful for Support

Here at AGI, we are thankful for your support for Earth Science Week. At a time of public concern about energy, climate, natural disasters, and jobs, the importance of Earth science education is growing. Earth Science Week plays a leading role as the geoscience community’s premier public awareness campaign.

While much of the program’s budget is generated from grants, individual donations represent a significant source of support. Your tax-deductible contribution makes a big impact.

For additional information plus AGI’s online donation form, see On the form, please be sure to check the box to ensure your donation is applied to Earth Science Week. Thank you for your support of the geosciences!

National Parks’ Web Rangers
Explore Geoscience

The National Park Service, a longtime Earth Science Week partner, wants you to become a Web Ranger! The interactive Web Ranger program helps people of all ages learn about the national parks. For example, enter White Sands National Monument in New Mexico from your desktop and identify animal tracks left in the 275 square miles of gypsum dunes that give the park its name.

“Rock Around the Park,” another geoscience activity for Web Rangers, shows how erosion has shaped the landscapes of national parks such as Arches National Park in Utah and Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona. Or you can explore over 220 national parks with fossils, including dinosaur fossils. Learn about what dinosaurs munched on millions of years ago in “Dino Diets.”

Find all this and more on the Web Rangers site. Play more than 50 games, invent a Web Ranger name, create a personalized ranger badge, and start learning about Earth science in the national parks at today!

Earth Science Week
Is Now on Twitter

For all kinds of geoscience news, resources, and opportunities, follow Earth Science Week on Twitter! To sign up for instant updates from Earth Science Week, please log-in to your Twitter account and follow us on @earthsciweek.

If you don’t have a Twitter account, you can sign-up on All you need is your name and email address to get started!

New Online Resource
Available from NASA

NASA has a new online science resource for teachers and students to help bring Earth, the solar system, and the universe into their schools and homes. Called NASA Wavelength, the site features hundreds of resources organized by topic and audience level from elementary to college, and out-of-school programs that span the extent of NASA science.

Educators at all levels can locate educational resources through information on educational standards, subjects and keywords and other relevant details, such as learning time required to carry out a lesson or an activity, cost of materials and more.

Teachers can identify resources relevant to specific themes and current events, such as Mars-related activities and lessons for educators interested in teaching about NASA's Curiosity rover or using Earth science resources to celebrate Earth Science Week all year. For access to NASA Wavelength, visit To learn more about NASA education programs, see

Get Benefits, Become an
Earth Science Week Fan

Earth Science Week reaches more people every year through the Earth Science Week Fan Page on Facebook, the Internet’s most popular social networking site. Facebook enabled us to connect geoscience educators, students, and others with people who work, study, and live around them. Now we’re taking that group to a new level.

When you become an Earth Science Week Fan, you instantly gain access to geoscience videos, begin receiving important updates and information, and help spread the word about Earth Science Week.

You can join the group by creating or using your own Facebook account. To become an Earth Science Week Fan, go to

Borrow a DIG Box,
Teach Earth Science

.Would you like to use instructional resources emphasizing the scientific method, geology, and paleontology? Through the Discoveries in Geosciences (DIG) program - a collaboration of Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture and the University of Washington - teachers are invited to borrow a DIG Box including fossil specimens and lesson plans.

Founded in 2010, the DIG Field School was developed by Dr. Gregory Wilson, assistant professor of biology at the University of Washington and adjunct curator of vertebrate paleontology at the Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture, and UW Graduate Student Lauren Berg. To learn more about obtaining a DIG Box on loan, visit or email

Earth Science Week Toolkit
A Great Holiday Gift

Looking for a gift for a geoscientist friend or Earth science teacher? The Earth Science Week Toolkit provides dozens of materials - from a calendar to posters and learning activities - that can be used all through the year!

Choose the kit that best fits your needs. Focusing on the theme “Discovering Careers in the Earth Sciences,” the 2012 kit includes:

* A 12-month school-year activity calendar, suitable for hanging
* The new Earth Science Week poster, including a learning activity
* National Park Service items on geologic time and careers
* A genuine field notebook from Rite in the Rain
* NASA education resources on climate, careers, and contests
* An activity poster on geologic mapping from USGS and AASG
* A geoscience careers poster from Soil Science Society of America
* A detailed cloud chart by GLOBE
* Educational material from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
* A temporary tattoo of the JOIDES Resolution research ship
* A GIS-in-science-education resource from Esri
* Activity sheets from the Association for Women Geoscientists
* Brochures, bookmarks, fact sheets, postcards, and more

Still available for a limited time, past years’ kits address other topics: “Our Ever-Changing Earth” (2011) investigates change processes. “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. For ordering, special shipping, bulk order discounts, and more information, 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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