Earth Science Week Update March 2015

American Geosciences Institute
Vol. 13, No. 3: March 2015

* Webcast Details 'Focus Days' of Earth Science Week
* Earth Science Teaching Award Winner Announced
* ExxonMobil, AGI Offer Training Opportunities
* AAG Offers Geography Resources for Teachers
* Earth Science Week at NSTA 2015 Conference
* Earth Science Resources in Spanish and English
* Young Meteorologist Program Targets Learning
* AGI's 'Faces of Earth' Series in HD on YouTube
* IRIS Reaches Students at 'Teachable Moments'
* Prepare Now for Week of Environmental Education

Webcast Details 'Focus Days'
Of Earth Science Week

What does Earth Science Week 2015 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 the "Focus Days" of this year's celebration:

* International EarthCache Day (Sunday, October 11)
* Earth Science Literacy Day (Monday, October 12)
* No Child Left Inside Day (Tuesday, October 13)
* National Fossil Day (Wednesday, October 14)
* Geoscience for Everyone Day (Thursday, October 15)
* Geologic Map Day (Friday, October 16)
* International Archaeology Day (Saturday, 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 2015: "Visualizing Earth Systems." To learn more about Focus Days, go to

Earth Science Teaching
Award Winner Announced

John Russell, a teacher at Columbia Secondary School for Math, Science, and Engineering in New York City has been named the 2015 recipient of the Edward C. Roy, Jr. Award for Excellence in K-8 Earth Science Teaching. Russell, who earned his master's degree in adolescent education from Pace University, has spent his career challenging students in eighth through twelfth grade by integrating research into authentic experiences for students in Earth sciences.

"Mr. Russell's uses of current research and in-person and historical interviews with scientists allow his students to understand Earth processes and the mechanics of scientific discovery," said AGI Executive Director Dr. P. Patrick Leahy on presenting the award. "This type of instruction not only builds student understanding and personalizes the learning experience, but also fosters workplace skills and builds a lifelong love of Earth Science."

Russell will be presented with the award at the NESTA Friends of Earth Science Reception during the National Science Teachers Association 2015 National Conference in Chicago this week. Finalists for the award were James Christopher Spiegl of Montgomery Bell Academy in Pegram, Tennessee, and Mary Jean Tykoski of Cooper Junior High School in Wylie, Texas.

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

ExxonMobil, AGI Offer
Training Opportunities

ExxonMobil Exploration and AGI are pleased to announce that they will be holding a K-5 Earth Science/STEM Teacher Leadership Academy in Houston, Texas, June 15-19, 2015. In addition, a Middle School Earth Science/STEM Teacher Leadership Academy will be held in Houston on July 20-24, 2015.

Each academy will provide teachers with Earth science content, hands-on activities, resources and field experiences that they can use with their students in the classroom and with their colleagues in professional development settings. Also, each academy has space for 28 participants and encourages participation in teams of three to four educators.

Learn more online at Scroll down to "Earth Science Teacher Leadership Academy" and click on the appropriate option.

For each academy, science supervisors and principals are encouraged to nominate teachers by March 16. Please send names and e-mail contact information for nominees to Laura Rios, Education Specialist, American Geosciences Institute, at A link to the downloadable application form will be sent to each applicant.

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

You're invited to visit the organizers of Earth Science Week in the Exhibit Hall of the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) Conference this week in Chicago! We'll have materials and demonstrations dealing with Earth Science Week as well as information about additional curriculum, training, and other products and services available from the American Geosciences Institute.

The NSTA conference expo takes place at Chicago's McCormick Place West on March 12-15, 2015. 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 website - 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

Just in time to celebration the Earth Science Week 2015 theme of "Visualizing Earth Science," the event organizer 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, AGI's "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'

Want to delve into the science behind current events with your students? Start with a visit to a website operated by the Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology (IRIS), an Earth Science Week partner.

IRIS offers a set of online resources - Recent Earthquake Teachable Moments - dealing with recent events of particular interest to seismologists, such as the magnitude-7.0 earthquake that shook southern Indonesia on February 27, 2015. View PowerPoint presentations, animations, and visualizations, as well as links to Spanish-language materials and USGS data. Additional resources address other quakes worldwide.

Founded in 1984 with National Science Foundation support, IRIS is a nonprofit consortium of over 100 universities engaged in the acquisition, management, and distribution of seismological data. To explore Teachable Moments, visit online.

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: Surrounded by science," EE Week (April 19-25, 2015) 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