Earth Science Week Update August 2014

American Geosciences Institute
Vol. 12, No. 8: August 2014


Save With Discounts on
Earth Science Week Toolkits

Thinking of buying more than one Earth Science Week 2014 Toolkit (regularly $7.95) for local educators or organization members? Save money by placing a bulk order!

Order a 2014 2-Pack for $15.20. Get a 2014 5-Pack for $32.85. Or order a 2014 10-Pack for $48.45. Discounts for other quantities are available. The more you buy, the more you save per kit!

This year’s kit is perhaps our best ever. The kit contains everything you need to prepare for Earth Science Week 2014 (October 12-18), which celebrates the theme “Earth’s Connected Systems.” The 2014 kit includes:

* A 12-month school-year activity calendar, suitable for hanging
* The new Earth Science Week poster, including a learning activity
* Material on geoscience education and resources from USGS
* NASA education materials on Earth system science
* A genuine field notebook from Rite in the Rain
* GLOBE activity material from NOAA
* National Park Service poster on caves of the national parks
* Soil science resource from Soil Science Society of America
* Planetary change material from Howard Hughes Medical Institute
* Educational material from U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
* Energy4Me poster on energy science
* A poster explaining aggregates from SME
* Material on climate from the Department of Energy
* A “Geographic Groceries” poster from National Geographic
* Dinosaurs flyer from Bureau of Land Management
* Brochures, bookmarks, fact sheets, postcards, and more

Or get a special 3-Pack of the 2013 kit (on mapping), the 2012 kit (on science careers), and the 2011 kit (on change processes) for $18.00 while supplies last. At these prices, the savings add up! For ordering, special shipping, bulk orders, and more information, visit or phone AGI Publications at 703-379-2480.

New Earth Science Week
Site Targets Citizen Science

Go online today to use a new educational resource of the Earth Science Week website, the “Be a Citizen Scientist” page, which features information and links for recommended “citizen science” programs focusing on Earth science.

Citizen science initiatives invite ordinary citizens to participate in scientific research by making observations and contributing to large data sets. Such projects offer great ways to become actively involved in the scientific process. The “Be a Citizen Scientist” page spotlights initiatives inviting students and others to participate in research on earthquakes, coastal erosion, flooding, landslides, and other geoscientific phenomena.

The page is supported the by the U.S. Geological Survey, a longtime Earth Science Week partner, which sponsors or has partnerships with many citizen science programs. The aim, explains USGS National Education Coordinator Robert Ridky, is “moving from informing to engaging.” To view the citizen science page, visit

Earth Science Week Begins
With EarthCache Day

Earth Science Week 2014 will begin with the seventh annual International EarthCache Day on Sunday, October 12. The public is invited to explore this exciting and educational geoscience experience along with the Geological Society of America (GSA), which runs the global EarthCache program, and AGI, which coordinates Earth Science Week.

International EarthCache Day is a time when EarthCachers around the globe learn about the Earth. Each of these individuals hunts for an EarthCache, a place that can be found with a GPS device. EarthCachers participate in a kind of “treasure hunt” called geocaching. “The treasure you find at an EarthCache is a lesson about the Earth itself,” says EarthCaching Director Gary Lewis of GSA, a longtime Earth Science Week partner.

EarthCache events are being held around the world on October 12. To view the locations for EarthCaching events, go to For more information, contact Lewis, Senior Director of GSA Education and Outreach, at 720-201-8132.

Find New Resources at
National Fossil Day Online

To help you prepare for the fifth annual National Fossil Day (October 15) during Earth Science Week 2014, the National Park Service offers a website full of educational resources and information designed specifically for students and teachers (

On the site’s NPS Fossil Park Highlights page, for example, you’ll find lesson plans developed to reflect select state standards, fossil trading cards, videos about pygmy mammoths, special brochures, a virtual museum exhibit on dinosaurs, and more (

Also see the site’s Useful Resources and Links page, which features a trove of educator resources (

Earth Science Week 2014
Contest Extends Globally

Earth Science Week has expanded eligibility for its annual photography contest to allow international members of all AGI Member Societies to participate. Previously open only to residents of the United States and members of AGI’s three International Associate Societies, the photo contest has always been a major part of Earth Science Week, which this year is being celebrated October 12-18.

International members of AGI Member Societies are encouraged to enter this year’s Earth Science Week photography contest, “Connections in My Community.” These individuals are invited to use a camera to show how earth systems interact in their communities. Learn more at

Show Artistic Talent in
National Fossil Day Contest

A major focus of Earth Science Week 2014 will be National Fossil Day (October 15), 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 “Fossil Neighborhoods.”

Imagine you could travel back in time with any fossil, and have it show you around its neighborhood. What might that have looked like? What other ancient organisms did it live with? Use your knowledge of the fossil you choose to reconstruct the ancient ecosystem - its home - in which it thrived. Use your detective skills as a paleontologist to piece together what your fossil's neighborhood might look like.

The contest is open to any U.S. resident. Entries must be received by October 8, 2014. For full contest guidelines, see If you have questions, please email

NAGT Ramps Up for
Earth Science Week

The National Association of Geoscience Teachers (NAGT), an AGI member society, is getting ready for Earth Science Week’s 2014 theme of “Earth’s Connected Systems” with a variety of offerings. For example, teachers can find geologic mapping lessons online for kindergarten through grade 12.

NAGT’s Outstanding Earth Science Teacher Awards are given for “exceptional contributions to the stimulation of interest in the Earth Sciences at the pre-college level.” Any K-12 educator who covers a significant amount of Earth science content with students is eligible.

NAGT also offers Dorothy Stout Professional Development Grants. Dottie Stout, the first female president of NAGT, was a strong supporter of Earth science education. In honor of her work, NAGT awards grants of $750 to faculty and students at two-year colleges and K-12 teachers in support of participation in classes or workshops, attendance at scientific or science education meetings, participation in Earth science field trips, and purchase of Earth science materials.

NAGT strives to educate all people on the importance of geoscience to communities. The association runs the technical program at Geological Society of America Annual Meetings and publishes the “Journal of Geoscience Education.” To learn more, visit the Science Education Resource Center at Carleton College at

SMILE for Activities
Online for Science Teachers

Looking for activities? Those seeking new ways to teach young people about math and science may need little more than SMILE. The nonprofit group aims to collect the best educational materials on the web and create learning activities, tools, and services - all designed especially for those who teach school-aged kids in non-classroom settings.

SMILE is a national partnership of science and technology centers, museums, community-based organizations, and out-of-school educators dedicated to making science, technology, engineering, and math exciting and engaging for all learners.

SMILE is the Science and Math Informal Learning Educators pathway of the National Science Digital Library. To learn more, see SMILE online (

SPE’s Energy4me
Sparks Energy Education

Through its Energy4me program, the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) offers teachers a collection of 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 website 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 to learn more.

EPA Has Climate Resources
For Teachers, Students

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) offers a climate education website for students, teachers, and school administrators, including information and activities related to reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

In one activity, for example, middle school and high school students estimate and conceptualize their schools’ emissions and explore ways to mitigate them. Also, teachers can learn from climate experts and search a database of lesson plans, videos, books, and tools. See the EPA website at

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

To subscribe to this newsletter, visit and Submit your email address.