Earth Science Week Update September 2014

American Geosciences Institute
Vol. 12, No. 9: September 2014


Earth Science Week
Website Redesign Unveiled
Just in time for Earth Science Week 2014, AGI has launched a redesigned website for the program! The new site offers a more attractive presentation, streamlined functionality, and user-friendly interface. All the vital resources that you count on Earth Science Week to provide are here:
* Hundreds of Earth science lessons
* Video clips illustrating core concepts
* Webcasts detailing program opportunities
* Spanish- and English-language resources
* Art, essay, and photo contest guidelines
* Focus Days throughout the week
* Links to Citizen Science initiatives
* Research projects open for participation
* Citywide Celebration details
* Local event and organization listings
* Teaching award application guidelines
* Geoscience career information
* Tips for planning your own event
* Toolkit-ordering details
Check out the fresh, new look of Earth Science Week at today!
‘Citywide Celebrations’
Add Local Focus to Event
Two city-specific celebrations will serve as major centers of public awareness activities during Earth Science Week 2014, taking place October 12-18. “Earth Science Week Houston” and “Earth Science Week Denver” both will extend and deepen the reach of the successful Earth Science Week campaign with special events, educational materials, online resources, and activities in schools and other settings.
In Houston, major partners include the Houston Geological Society, the Houston Museum of Natural Science, and the Consumer Energy Alliance. In the Denver area, partners include the Colorado Scientific Society, the Colorado School of Mines, and the Society for Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration.
To support these celebrations, AGI is donating hundreds of Earth Science Week Toolkits to schools in the Houston Independent School District and Denver Public Schools. Each kit contains dozens of study guides, posters, disks, and other resources for Earth science education, which school officials are working with teachers to use in inspiring activities in the classroom.
In addition, AGI recently launched the official Citywide Celebrations website to provide educators, students, and families with links to additional educational resources as well as other offerings in participating cities. Why not partner with local geoscience organizations to launch a Citywide Celebration in your area? For more information, visit
Earth Science Week 2014
Coming Soon: Get Ready
Now is the time to make plans for Earth Science Week, taking place October 12-18, 2014. The 17th annual Earth Science Week will celebrate the theme “Earth’s Connected Systems” with a wide range of exciting activities, programs, and resources designed to promote awareness of the dynamic interactions of the planet’s natural systems.
Pitch in to teach young people about Earth system science. Conduct activities described on the Earth Science Week website 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 50 million. For the past 17 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 website at
Get Connected 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 “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 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
Past years’ kits address other topics: “Mapping Our World” covers maps. “Discovering Careers in the Earth Sciences” targets careers. “Our Ever-Changing Earth” focuses on change processes. “Exploring Energy” deals with energy science.
Each kit contains materials to help you prepare for Earth Science Week (October 12-18, 2014) and teach Earth science all year long. For ordering, special shipping, bulk order discounts, and more information, visit
Only a Month Left to Enter
Earth Science Week Contests
With entries due near the end of Earth Science Week - Friday, October 17 - science students and enthusiasts across the country are busy completing submissions for the Earth Science Week 2014 essay, visual arts, and photography contests. Send yours soon!
The photography contest, open to all ages, focuses on “Connections in My Community.” Open to students in grades K-5, the visual arts contest is titled “Earth’s Connected Systems and Me.” Finally, students in grades 6-9 are eligible to enter the essay contest: “Earth System Science in Today’s World.” Essays of up to 300 words should describe how the study of Earth’s connected systems is helping to improve the world today.
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 “The Geoscience Handbook.” To learn more, visit
Explore ‘Big Ideas’ in
Videos, Classroom Activities
AGI now offers award-winning videos and related classroom activities to help students, educators, and others explore the “big ideas” of Earth science during Earth Science Week 2014 (October 12-18) and all year long. Recently added are dozens of additional activities selected specifically to help educators teach about core concepts of Earth science.
Big Ideas videos are brief video clips that bring to life the big ideas of Earth science - the nine core concepts that everyone should know. The Earth Science Literacy Initiative, funded by the National Science Foundation, has codified these underlying understandings of Earth science which form the basis of the Big Ideas videos.
View the Big Ideas videos on YouTube ( or TeacherTube (

. The Earth Science Week website provides related resources. Educators can find a total of more than 100 classroom activities online to help students build understanding of the “big ideas” (
Geoscience for Everyone
Day: We Want You
Join the Earth Science Week team in encouraging everyone - including women, minorities, and people with a range of abilities - to explore geoscience careers on “Geoscience for Everyone Day,” Thursday, October 16, 2014.
If you’re an educator, invite a geoscientist to speak in your classroom. If you’re a geoscientist, visit a school or volunteer at a science center. Organize a scout event, lead a field trip, or hold a special “Take Your Child to Work Day.” You can make a real difference during Earth Science Week 2014 by opening a young person’s eyes to the world of Earth science.
Doing so, you’ll be supporting the efforts of AGI Member Societies such as the Association for Women Geoscientists and the National Association of Black Geoscientists in raising awareness of the remarkable opportunities available to all young people in the Earth sciences. To learn more about Geoscience for Everyone Day, go to
Are you a geoscientist who’s not sure where to start? See “Visiting Geoscientists: An Outreach Guide for Geoscience Professionals,” a handbook co-produced by AGI and the American Association of Petroleum Geologists’ Youth Education Activities Committee. Professional geoscientists can provide unique enrichment opportunities, based on their education, experience, and firsthand knowledge of the workplace. To download the handbook, see
How to Put Your Local
Event on the Map - Online
If you’re hosting an event for the public during Earth Science Week 2014 (October 12-18), 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 organization can be listed in “Earth Science Organizations” (, a site that offers clickable links to geoscience organizations such as parks, museums, science and technology centers, university geology departments, local geological societies, and other nearby locations.
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!
Shine a Media Spotlight
On Your Great Activities
Energy! Climate! Natural disasters! Jobs! 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 website 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
‘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 the geosciences firsthand - during Earth Science Week or any time throughout the year.
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 can wade into ponds, climb hills, or search the skies to learn Earth science. Find the NCLI Day Guide, including the PDF version, at Have a great NCLI Day!
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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