Earth Science Week Update April 2015

American Geosciences Institute
Vol. 13, No. 4: April 2015

* Contests Add Fun, Learning to Earth Science Week
* Energy Science Sparkles in Online Visualizations
* Celebration Highlights Report Now on Website
* NRCS Offers Resources for Soil Education
* Seeing Sounds: Check Out Park Service Resources
* Selected Earth Science Kits on Sale for $6 Each
* Partners Teach Kids About Science of Conservation
* Find New Ways to Ensure 'No Child Left Inside'
* View 'Why Earth Science' Online With Your Students
* NSTA Provides Links to Free Science Resources

Contests Add Fun, Learning
To Earth Science Week

AGI is sponsoring three national contests for Earth Science Week 2015. The photography, visual arts, and essay contests - all focused on the event theme of "Visualizing Earth Systems" - allow both students and the general public to participate in the celebration, learn about Earth science, and compete for prizes.

The photography contest, open to all ages, focuses on "Earth Systems Interacting." Open to students in grades K-5, the visual arts contest is titled "Picturing Earth Systems." Finally, students in grades 6-9 are eligible to enter the essay contest: "EarthScience Visualization Today." Essays of up to 300 words should describe how geoscientists' use of cutting-edge visualization is advancing Earth science today.

Entries may be submitted any time up to the Friday of Earth Science Week, October 16, 2015. The first-place prize for each contest is $300 and a copy of AGI's "The Geoscience Handbook." To learn more about these contests, including how to enter, visit

Energy Science Sparkles
In Online Visualizations

Looking for ways of exploring the Earth Science Week 2015 theme of "Visualizing Earth Systems"? You could start with the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) website.

NREL's spectacular collection of renewable energy maps, which depict solar, wind, water, biomass and geothermal energy ( In addition, the Energy Information Administration ( and Open Energy Information ( provide stunning visual representations to help students and others understand our energy use.

Recommending these online resources is Joshua Sneideman, an Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellow with 10 years experience as a middle school science teacher. Sneiderman himself is co-author of "Climate Change: Discover How It Impacts Spaceship Earth," a new book on climate science written especially for young readers (

Celebration Highlights
Report Now on Website

Last year's Earth Science Week celebration was a huge success. The program reached more than 50 million people. Individuals in all 50 states and over six countries participated. The program website received over 200,000 hits. New partners joined the effort, new resources were introduced, and news of the event was carried by outlets ranging from Discover Magazine, Smithsonian Science, and The Huffington Post to NBC, ABC, and the BBC.

Please see the Earth Science Week 2014 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 2014, please see

NRCS Offers Resources
For Soil Education

The National Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) operates an Educational Resources page featuring a treasure trove of teaching materials dealing with natural resources - including backyard conservation lesson plans, a database of standardized information about plants, and links to agricultural education sites (

For example, check out NRCS's soil education website (, where teachers can dig up a treasury of resources designed for both science educators and K-12 students. Also, teachers can order the "Dig In! Hands-On Soil Investigations" book. Dig in when you're ready!

Seeing Sounds: Check Out
Park Service Resources

We are a noisy nation. That's just one of the conclusions that can be drawn from "A Coast-to-Coast Picture of America's Cacophony of Sounds," a recent article in ScienceNews.

The article describes - and shows - a new National Park Service map illuminating the decibels of sound produced nationwide during a typical summer day ( Is the East louder? Or the West? Why? Your students might have fun exploring the topic.

For further visualizations of the same phenomena, see Western Soundscape Archive's treatment ( Spectrograms offer a different perspective. How many ways are there to visualize sound?

Selected Earth Science
Kits on Sale for $6 Each

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

* Mapping Our World
* Discovering Careers in the Earth Sciences
* Our Ever-Changing Earth (Earth Systems)

Each kit contains dozens of items ranging from informational brochures and posters to activity booklets and disks. Select kits are on sale for $6.00 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 Or go to to order online.

Partners Teach Kids About
Science of Conservation

Partners in Resource Education (PRE), an 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 website (

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 sciencefirsthand. 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 13, during Earth Science Week 2015 - 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 website at Have a great NCLI Day!

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, or on TeacherTube, go to

NSTA Provides Links to
Free Science Resources

Looking for teaching resources? Check out a page called "Freebies for Science Teachers" on the National Science Teachers Association website.

Updated periodically, this searchable "array of free resources for you and your classroom" frequently features online links to publications, CD-ROMs, DVDs, videos, kits, and other materials for Earth science education. For more, go to

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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