Earth Science Week Update March 2014

American Geosciences Institute
Vol. 12, No. 3: March 2014


Webcast Details ‘Focus Days’
Of Earth Science Week

What does Earth Science Week 2014 have in store for you? Each day during the week, you can focus on a different area of Earth science. Go online today to view a new webcast about “Focus Days” of this year’s celebration:

* International EarthCache Day (October 12)
* Earth Science Literacy Day (October 13)
* No Child Left Inside Day (October 14)
* National Fossil Day (October 15)
* Geoscience for Everyone Day (October 16)
* Geologic Map Day (October 17)

This free webcast, narrated by AGI Outreach Assistant Katelyn Murtha, provides an overview of opportunities, activities, and resources available. The roughly four-minute tutorial includes a wealth of online links, which viewers can click during the presentation to review available resources.

To view the webcast, visit In the coming months, look for additional webcasts on Earth Science Week 2014: “Earth’s Connected Systems.” To learn more about Focus Days, go to

Earth Science Teaching
Award Winner Announced

Laura Finney, a teacher at Chamberlin Hill Intermediate School in Findlay, Ohio, has been named the 2014 recipient of the Edward C. Roy, Jr. Award for Excellence in K-8 Earth Science Teaching. Finney, who earned her master’s degree in curriculum and teaching from Bowling Green State University, has spent her career challenging students in kindergarten through ninth grade with what she calls “authentic experiences” and inquiry-based learning in the Earth sciences.

“Ms. Finney’s use of local scientists, field trips and the land lab allows her students to develop and test hypotheses in the Earth sciences using actual data and modern information technologies,” said AGI Executive Director Dr. P. Patrick Leahy on recognizing Finney with the award. “This type of instruction not only builds student understanding, but also fosters the workplace skills and builds a lifelong love of Earth science.”

Finney will be presented with the award at the NESTA Friends of Earth Science Reception during the National Science Teachers Association 2014 National Conference in Boston in April. Finalists for the award were Brian McDowell of Mason County Middle School in Germantown, Kentucky, and James Christopher Spiegl of Montgomery Bell Academy in Pegram, Tennessee.

Given annually, AGI’s Edward C. Roy, Jr. Award recognizes one classroom teacher from kindergarten to eighth grade for leadership and innovation in Earth science education. This award is named in honor of Dr. Edward C. Roy, Jr., who was a strong and dedicated supporter of Earth science education. To learn more, please see

HHMI Provides Resources
With PBS Science Series

How did the human body evolve? Paleobiologist Neil Shubin uncovers the answers in “Your Inner Fish,” a three-part series airing on PBS, starting on April 9, 2014. The series reveals how our bodies are the legacy of fish, reptile, and primate ancestors.

To accompany the series release, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) provides free classroom resources on subjects ranging from evolution to human health to the workings of the biosphere. In a partnership with PBS Home Video, HHMI offers educators a discount on the DVD, as well as materials to help educators use elements of the series in classes.

For more on the PBS series, go to Visit to learn more about educational opportunities.

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. 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 students 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.

* 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 2014 Conference

Visit the organizers of Earth Science Week in the Exhibit Hall of the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) Conference next month in Boston. 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 Boston Convention & Exhibition Center on April 3-5, 2014. 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 science targeting land, water, air, and living things. 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’

Six thousand members strong, the Soil Science Society of America (SSSA) is a scientific organization that aims to support geoscience teaching and learning about soils. This AGI member society provides online educational resources tailored for teachers ( and for students ( Included are lessons, activities, fun facts, sites of interest organized by soil topic and grade level, and soil definitions for the novice soil scientist.

And you can visit the online version of “Dig It,” an SSSA-sponsored exhibition on soil from the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History. The exhibit includes interactive displays, hands-on-models, videos, and monoliths representing soils from each state, territory, and the District of Columbia. Check online for viewing times (

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. Highlighting the theme “Greening STEM: Engineering a Sustainable World,” EE Week (April 13-19, 2014) 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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