Earch Science Week Update April 2013

American Geosciences Institute
Vol. 11, No. 4: April 2013


Plan Activities Now for
Earth Science Week 2013

Don’t wait until fall to prepare for Earth Science Week 2013 (October 13-19)! Now is the perfect time to plan your activities. Take this opportunity to make a wish list: How would you like your students to celebrate Earth Science Week?

You can promote this year’s theme - “Mapping Our World” - by preparing activities to help your students learn about the many uses of mapping in Earth science. Start with resources provided on the web page for Geologic Map Day, which will be celebrated this year on October 18 (http://www.earthsciweek.org/geologicmap/index.html). In addition, check out some of the other exciting classroom activities featured on the Earth Science Week web site at http://www.earthsciweek.org/forteachers/classroomactivities.html.

Leading up to the October celebration, you’ll see more and more Earth Science Week events, both local and nationwide, listed online at http://www.earthsciweek.org/eventsnearyou/index.html. For more ideas, read about successful past events at http://www.earthsciweek.org/highlights/index.html or see recommendations on how to get involved at http://www.earthsciweek.org/forplanners/index.html.

Show Artistic Talent in
National Fossil Day Contest

A major focus of Earth Science Week 2013 will be National Fossil Day (October 16), and one of the best ways for you or your students to participate is by entering the National Park Service’s National Fossil Day Art and Photography Contest. Entries should address the theme “Your Nomination for Our National Fossil.”

The contest will kick off a nationwide election to determine what fossil might best represent the United States as our “National Fossil.” Six top candidate fossils will be selected from 2013 contest submissions and announced on National Fossil Day 2013. The candidate fossils will move forward as part of a nationwide vote by school children in 2014. The election winner will be announced on National Fossil Day 2014.

Your artwork can be a sketch, painting, watercolor, photograph, or computer-generated image. You must include, either on the artwork or submission form, a sentence or two explaining why you think the fossil you nominate would be a good “National Fossil.”

The contest is open to any U.S. resident. Entries must be postmarked by 5 p.m., Friday, October 4, 2013. Learn more at http://nature.nps.gov/geology/nationalfossilday/art_contest.cfm. If you have questions, please email National_Fossil_Day@nps.gov.

NRCS Offers Resources
For Soil Education

The National Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) operates a soil education web site (http://soils.usda.gov/education/) where teachers can dig up a treasury of resources designed for both science educators and K-12 students.

Resources for the elementary level include lesson plans, links to soil education web sites, and even soil songs. Sing along to classics in the classroom such as “Mud, Mud, Mud” and “I Love Dirt.” To get lyrics for these songs and find other educational items for grades K-6, visit http://soils.usda.gov/education/resources/k_6/index.html.

NRCS also offers a CD-ROM titled “Soils - Tools for Educators,” which includes soil facts, state-specific soil information, lesson plans, and more. The CD is designed for middle and high school instructors who are teaching Earth science, environmental science, or soil science. For more about the disk and free online resources for grades 7-12, visit http://soils.usda.gov/education/resources/7_12/index.html.

IGES Earth Day Contest
Spurs Activity in April

The 2013 IGES Earth Day Photo & Essay Contest will soon be underway! Students are encouraged to rediscover their world through the lens of a camera, taking note of dynamic changes occurring around them this month.

Students in grades 5-8 are invited to take a photo between April 15 and April 26, 2013. The photo should capture something changing in their local natural environment - in their backyard or neighborhood, near their school or local park, or anywhere they happen to be. Students then should research and write an essay answering a series of questions on changes taking place in the photo.

Top entries will receive Visa gift card awards of $150 for first place, $100 for second place, and $75 for third place, along with a photo book featuring the top 10 photos. For additional information, visit http://strategies.org/education/student-contests/photo-contest/earth-photo-essay-contest/.

Selected Earth Science
Kits on Sale for $5 Each

Earth Science Week participants know that the program provides educational toolkits perfect for leading instruction on timely topics like energy and climate. Five kits are now on sale for a limited time:

* Discovering Careers in the Earth Sciences
* Our Ever-Changing Earth (Change Processes)
* Exploring Energy
* Understanding Climate
* No Child Left Inside (Outdoor Activities)

Each kit contains dozens of items ranging from informational brochures and posters to activity booklets and disks. Select kits are on sale for $5.00 each. This price includes Library Rate shipping to U.S. addresses via the U.S. Postal Service, allowing 2-3 weeks for delivery.

Faster shipping services are available. Please contact AGI Publications for details and pricing by phone at 703-379-2480 or by email at pubs@agiweb.org. Or go to http://www.earthsciweek.org/materials/index.html to order online.

Partners Teach Kids About
Science of Conservation

Partners in Resource Education (PRE), a new Earth Science Week partner, provides programs and activities to get young people excited about the geoscience of conservation. Focusing on national resource priorities such as pollinators, wetlands, oceans, invasive species, endangered species, fire, and climate change, PRE teaches people about sustaining and safeguarding living resources in their own backyards.

PRE is a consortium of seven federal agencies: Bureau of Land Management, Fish and Wildlife Service, Forest Service, National Park Service, Natural Resources Conservation Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and Environmental Protection Agency. By combining staffs and resources, the agencies educate young people, introduce them to natural resource careers, and cultivate the next generation of land and water stewards.

PRE’s signature project, Hands on the Land, connects students, teachers, and parents to public lands and waterways. Education specialists work closely with teachers to develop programs that meet state standards and engage students in hands-on activities. Students to take part in environmental monitoring and other activities through distance learning and the project web site (http://handsontheland.org).

Find New Ways to Ensure
‘No Child Left Inside’

Any day can be “No Child Left Inside” Day - a time for outdoor activities allowing young people to experience Earth science firsthand. And the NCLI Day Guide now offers lots of learning activities to help you do just that!

This free online guide provides everything you need to start planning your own NCLI Day event, including activities designed specifically for elementary, middle, and high school students. Begin now to plan your NCLI Day event for Tuesday, October 15, during Earth Science Week 2013 - when educators and young people nationwide will be wading into creeks, climbing hills, and searching the skies to learn Earth science - or plan your own NCLI Day whenever it’s most convenient for you!

Find AGI’s NCLI Day Guide on the Earth Science Week web site at http://www.earthsciweek.org/ncli/index.html. Have a great NCLI Day!

SPE’s Energy4me
Sparks Energy Education

Through its Energy4me program, the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) offers teachers of all grade levels tools for teaching about oil, gas, and other energy sources, including classroom activities, experiments, and presentations, as well as teacher workshops and energy education materials for the classroom.

Teachers are invited to request classroom speakers, science fair judges, and career fair exhibitors from roughly 80,000 SPE members worldwide. Free one-day teacher workshops, held at select SPE conferences, cover grade-specific energy lessons. The Energy4me Kit, available from SPE, offers teaching aids, speaker resources, sample presentations, and activities for teaching about energy. Teachers are encouraged to visit the program’s web site for PowerPoint presentations, career information, and more.

SPE, a longtime Earth Science Week partner, is a nonprofit professional association whose members are energy professionals in 110 countries. Visit http://www.energy4me.org to learn more.

View ‘Why Earth Science’
Online With Your Students

AGI’s “Why Earth Science” video is now available for free viewing online on YouTube and TeacherTube. For an exciting introduction to the geosciences, you can’t do better than this six-minute clip, featuring eye-popping cinematography and computer-animation highlights from AGI’s “Faces of Earth” mini-series on The Science Channel.

The video, which won a Silver Telly Award, is ideal for illustrating the importance of Earth science to not only students, but also local education decision makers who may be weighing the subject’s place in the your curriculum. To view the clip on YouTube, go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jxbIJH4fTYo, or on TeacherTube, go to http://www.teachertube.com/viewVideo.php?video_id=47669.

See 100 Activities on
Earth Learning Idea

Earth Learning Idea (ELI) - a leading web site for Earth science education - has published more than 100 activities online. Every two weeks, ELI publishes a new Earth-related teaching activity, designed to be a practical resource for teachers and teacher-trainers. Most activities require minimal cost and equipment.

Please visit http://www.earthlearningidea.com to learn more about the Earth. Activities also are publicized on the ELI blog site at earthlearningidea.blogspot.com.

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 http://www.earthsciweek.org/contactus/index.html.

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