Earth Science Week Update August 2015

American Geosciences Institute
Vol. 13, No. 8: August 2015


* Visualize Learning With an Earth Science Week Toolkit
* Innovation Is Nothing New to Earth Science Week
* Earth Science Week Begins With EarthCache Day
* AGI's District Visit Days Link You to Lawmakers
* Earth Science Week 2015 Contest Extends Globally
* Show Artistic Talent in National Fossil Day Contest
* NAGT Ramps Up for Earth Science Week
* SMILE for Activities Online for Science Teachers
* SPE's Energy4me Sparks Energy Education
* EPA Has Climate Resources for Teachers, Students

Visualize Learning 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 "Visualizing Earth Systems," the 2015 kit includes:
* 12-month school-year activity calendar, suitable for hanging
* New Earth Science Week poster, including a learning activity
* Material on geoscience education and resources from USGS
* NASA visualization DVD and booklet on Earth science
* National Park Service posters on geologic and air resources
* GPS Adventures material from NOAA
* Soil science resource from Soil Science Society of America
* Anthropocene poster from Howard Hughes Medical Institute
* Educational material from U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
* Unavco resource on Earth's shape, gravity field, and rotation
* Mining, exploration, and reclamation resources from SME
* Material on climate science from U.S. Department of Energy
* Esri material on Global Positioning System technology
* Geologic Map Day poster with geologic mapping activity
* Brochures, bookmarks, fact sheets, postcards, and more!
Past years' kits address other topics: "Earth's Connected Systems" illuminates natural systems' interactions. "Mapping Our World" covers maps. "Discovering Careers in the Earth Sciences" targets careers. "Our Ever-Changing Earth" focuses on change processes.
Each kit contains materials to help you prepare for Earth Science Week (October 11-17, 2015) and teach Earth science all year long. For ordering, special shipping, bulk order discounts, and more information, visit or phone AGI Publications at 703-379-2480.

Innovation Is Nothing New
To Earth Science Week

What's new with Earth Science Week? It's always something! This year the program brings you a new Visualizing Earth Systems resource, Citywide Celebration Stakeholder Receptions, an Earth Science Week video, materials from partners including Google and Student Energy, and much more.

But that's nothing new. Each year, Earth Science Week has added to the bursting clearinghouse of educational resources, activities, and initiatives available to participants. "Earth science is always progressing, and so is Earth Science Week," says AGI's Geoff Camphire, who manages the program. "We are continually experimenting, expanding, and improving to serve our audience effectively."

For instance, a new webpage outlines new features and links that have been added, year by year, over the past decade. To learn more, see Earth Science Week Innovations online (

Earth Science Week Begins
With EarthCache Day

Earth Science Week 2015 will begin with the eighth annual International EarthCache Day on Sunday, October 11. 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 11. To view the locations for EarthCaching events, go to Learn more at For more information, contact Lewis, Senior Director of GSA Education and Outreach, at 720-201-8132.

AGI's District Visit Days
Link You to Lawmakers

Want to talk with your congressional representative about the importance of the geosciences? Meet with your senator or representative in your local area during Earth Science Week, October 11-17, 2015!

AGI encourages participants to talk with lawmakers while they are in their home districts to let them know how Earth science is relevant - at the local, national, and global levels - to issues such as natural hazards, resources, energy, the economy, and the environment.

AGI and partner geoscience organizations offer materials to help you contact your legislators and explain the importance of geoscience understanding. To learn more about District Visits, please visit

Earth Science Week 2015
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. Once 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 11-17.

International members of AGI Member Societies are encouraged to enter this year's Earth Science Week photography contest, "Earth Systems Interacting." 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 2015 will be National Fossil Day (October 14), 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 "Postcards from the Past."

Imagine you just received a postcard from a fossil living in an ancient environment. What might that fossil tell you about its day or its surroundings? How would the picture on the postcard compare to what we see on the earth today?

Rocks and fossils contain clues of what ancient landscapes looked like and how ancient life lived. Use your creative skills as a paleontologist and as an artist to imagine what your "Postcard from the Past" might look like.

The contest is open to any U.S. resident. Entries must be received by October 7, 2015. For full contest guidelines, see If you have questions, please

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 2015 theme of " Visualizing Earth 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 and

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

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