Earth Science Week Update March 2013

American Geosciences Institute
Vol. 11, No. 3: March 2013


Celebration Highlights
Report Now on Web

Last year’s Earth Science Week celebration was a record-breaking success. The program reached a documented 50 million people. Individuals in all 50 states and over eight countries participated. Over 197,000 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 Scientific American to NBC and ABC.

Please see the Earth Science Week 2012 Highlights Report for details on last year’s success stories - and ideas on how you can participate this year. To continually improve Earth Science Week, AGI annually tracks the program’s impact, compiles new clippings, and commissions an independent external evaluation. To view the full report on Earth Science Week 2012, please see

AAG Offers Geography
Resources for Teachers

The Association of American Geographers (AAG), an AGI member society, offers an array of web resources for K-12 and college-level instruction. Reinforcing this year’s Earth Science Week theme of “Mapping Our World,” these materials support geographic approaches to Earth science education:

* The Geographic Advantage (, an educational companion for the National Research Council’s “Understanding the Changing Planet,” outlines teaching strategies and geographic investigations that show student how geographers explore environmental change and sustainability.

* AAG’s Center for Global Geography Education (, offers online modules for undergraduate courses in geography and related social and environmental sciences. All modules feature a conceptual framework, regional case studies, and collaborative projects.

* Teaching About Global Climate Change ( provides free, online professional development for geography and social studies teachers at the middle and high school levels. Modules target instructors preparing to teach about climate change.

* GeoSTART helps middle- and high-school students develop geography, Earth science, and spatial thinking skills using NASA Earth Observing Missions remote sensing imagery and related data. Go online (
) for free activities and materials.

Earth Science Week at
NSTA 2013 Conference

Visit the organizers of Earth Science Week in the Exhibit Hall of the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) Conference later this month in San Antonio, Texas. We’ll have materials and demonstrations dealing with Earth Science Week as well as additional curriculum, training, and other products and services available from the American Geosciences Institute.

The NSTA conference expo takes place at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center on April 11-14, 2013. Please stop by our booth for activities, resources, and information from AGI and our Earth Science Week partners. For more information on the conference, see

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 (

Young Meteorologist
Program Targets Learning

PLAN!T NOW’s Young Meteorologist Program takes students on a severe weather preparedness adventure where they encounter lightning, hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, and winter storms - all while learning about severe weather science and safety.

Developed in partnership with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Weather Service and the National Education Association, the program shows young people how to prepare for severe weather. A digital evolution of the National Weather Service’s Owlie Skywarn initiative, the program features an interactive online game starring a 21st-century Owlie, who helps young people learn about preparing for real-life severe weather and natural hazards.

Players who complete the game earn a Young Meteorologist Certificate. Young Meteorologists are shown opportunities to put their knowledge to work in hands-on activities and community service projects. Explore online (

AGI’s ‘Faces of Earth’
Series in HD on YouTube

AGI, the international organizer of Earth Science Week, has released its award-winning “Faces of Earth” series on YouTube in full High Definition to promote wider use in K-12 classrooms. From the cacophony that originated Earth 4.6 billion years ago to the changes that shape it today, “Faces of Earth” explores the many facets of planet Earth.

“Building the Planet,” episode one in the four-part series, travels back in time and strips away layers of Earth to witness the explosion that formed the planet. Earthquakes rumble, volcanoes explode, and lands transform as viewers explore the science behind plate tectonics in “Shaping the Planet,” the second episode. In “Assembling America,” the third installment, viewers explore how time and natural forces have shaped the United States. Finally, in “A Human World,” viewers learn how Earth has shaped human evolution and how humans, in turn, are shaping the world.

Experience spectacular imagery, exclusive interviews, and captivating commentary from distinguished geoscientists. See the series online (

IRIS Reaches Students
At ‘Teachable Moments’S

Want to delve into the science behind current events with your students? Start with a visit to a web site operated by the Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology (IRIS), an Earth Science Week partner.

IRIS offers a set of online resources - Recent Earthquake Teachable Moments - dealing recent events of particular interest to seismologists, such as the magnitude-5.1 earthquake that struck North Korea 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 opinion pieces, public policy news, meeting announcements, and educational, scholarship, and career opportunities.

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

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 a range of educational resources for Earth science teachers ( 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 (

Prepare Now for Week of
Environmental Education

National Environmental Education Week (EE Week), the nation’s largest environmental education event, inspires environmental learning and stewardship. Focusing this year on the theme “Greening STEM: Taking Technology Outdoors,” EE Week (April 14-20, 2013) 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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