Earth Science Week Update September 2012

American Geosciences Institute
Vol. 10, No. 9: September 2012


See New Webcast for Intro
To Earth Science Week 2012

Go online today to view the first-ever webcast promoting participation in Earth Science Week, the annual worldwide celebration of the geosciences! The webcast, entitled “Introduction to Earth Science Week,” now is available online for viewing at your convenience.

This free webcast, narrated by AGI Outreach Manager Geoff Camphire, provides an overview of learning activities, instructional materials, career resources, upcoming events, networking opportunities, contests, videos, and other programs available through Earth Science Week. The tutorial includes a wealth of online links, which viewers can click during the presentation to review available resources.

The roughly 10-minute webcast focuses on Earth Science Week 2012 (October 14-20), which celebrates the theme “Discovering Careers in the Earth Sciences.” To view the webcast, please visit In the coming months, look for additional webcasts on topics such as promoting activities through media, the status of Earth science education nationwide, and AGI’s geoscience teacher award competition.

Earth Science Week 2012
Coming Soon: Get Ready

Now is the time to make plans for Earth Science Week, taking place October 14-20, 2012. The 15th annual Earth Science Week will celebrate the theme “Discovering Careers in the Earth Sciences” with a wide range of exciting activities, programs, and resources designed to promote awareness of the many exciting career opportunities available in the geosciences.

Pitch in to teach young people about the important work of Earth scientists. 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 48 million. For the past 15 years, 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

Science Readiness Rates
Low But Rising, says ACT

College and career success are at risk for the majority (60 percent) of likely college-bound 2012 U.S. high school graduates, according to the nonprofit ACT’s recent report, “The Condition of College & Career Readiness 2012.”

Focusing on graduating seniors who took the ACT college and career readiness exam, the study shows, however, that the percentages meeting or surpassing college-readiness benchmarks in science and mathematics have risen for the third straight year. Nearly a third (31 percent) achieved the benchmark in science in 2012.

“Over the years, we’ve seen the impact that inadequate college and career readiness has had on the U.S. economy,” said ACT Workforce President Martin Scaglione. “Employers have said it is becoming increasingly difficult to match their job openings with workers who have proven skills. We must connect academic skill development in K-12 education to the skills these students will need to get a good job.” For the full report, go to

Make Science Work 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 “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

Past years’ kits address other topics: “Our Ever-Changing Earth” (2011) focuses on 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.

Each kit contains materials to help you prepare for Earth Science Week (October 14-20, 2012) and teach Earth science all year long. For ordering, special shipping, bulk order discounts, and more information, visit

Under a Month Left to Enter
Earth Science Week Contests

With entries due near the end of Earth Science Week - Friday, October 19 - science students and enthusiasts across the country are busy completing submissions for the Earth Science Week 2012 essay, visual arts, and photography contests. Send yours soon!

The visual arts contest is titled “Imagine Me, an Earth Scientist!” 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. Use artwork to show yourself as an Earth scientist.

Students in grades 6-9 may enter the essay contest: “Geoscientists Working Together.” Each one-page essay must be no longer than 300 words. Identify an example of interacting systems, and explain how Earth scientists work together to improve our lives.

The photo contest, open to all ages, focuses on ways that “Earth Science Is a Big Job.” In a photo, capture evidence to show the important work that Earth scientists do in your community.

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

NASA Highlights Three
Geoscience Opportunities

NASA, a longtime Earth Science Week partner, is promoting awareness of three upcoming opportunities for geoscience educators and students:

* Lifelines for High School Climate Change Education is offering two webinars for high school teachers this fall. On September 25, a webinar will show how MovieTracker software can make digital images into movies, including applications for classroom use. An October 30 webinar will cover PicturePost, part of the Digital Earth Watch network that supports monitoring of environmental change by students and others through digital photography and satellite imagery. For more information, visit

* This year’s Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES) art contest invites science students in grades 2-4 to explore biodiversity. Learn about all the forms of life in a particular place and create a piece of artwork to show what you have learned. Winners will have their artwork featured on the IGES web site and will receive a Visa gift card. Entries are due November 5, 2012. To find out more, see

* is soliciting articles on environmental awareness. The online magazine seeks contributions addressing theory and practices related to creating and expanding awareness of the Earth’s environment. Though Earthzine seeks to publish articles from around the globe, all submission must be in English. Submissions are due by December 1, 2012. For full details and how to submit, visit

‘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 17 outdoor learning activities recommended for elementary, middle, and high school students.

Plan your own 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 third 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 17, 2012.

The event will feature presentations and activities for all ages, including a mock fossil dig, casts of fossil bison, and presentations showcasing the diversity of 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, the American Geosciences Institute, the Bureau of Land Management, the National Science Foundation, and Maryland Dinosaur Park.

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

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 fourth annual Women in the Geosciences Day - Thursday, October 18 - during Earth Science Week 2012. 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, 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

Jobs! Energy! Climate! Natural disasters! 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

How to Put Your Event
On the Map - Online

If you’re hosting an event for the public during Earth Science Week 2012 (October 14-20), 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 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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