Earth Science Week Update November 2015

American Geosciences Institute
Vol. 13, No. 11: November 2015


* Earth Science Week 2015 a Worldwide Success
* Earth Science Week Contest Winners Announced
* More Classroom Activities Now Searchable Online
* National Parks' Web Rangers Explore Geoscience
* Earth Science Week Posting on Twitter
* Cool Online Resource Available from NASA
* Find Your Photos Online for Earth Science Week
* Get Benefits, Become an Earth Science Week Fan
* Answering the Question: Why Earth Science?
* Earth Science Week Toolkit a Great Holiday Gift

Earth Science Week 2015
A Worldwide Success

Exact figures are still being counted, but it is estimated that once again more than 50 million people gained a new awareness of the geosciences through the 18th annual Earth Science Week ( last month. The event celebrated the theme "Visualizing Earth Systems" by promoting awareness of the many ways scientists monitor and represent information about Earth systems.

Events ranged from students conducting classroom science projects to activities at science centers and museums on special Focus Days during the week ( National Fossil Day, October 14, reached millions with paleontology activities and resources. Geoscience for Everyone Day, October 15, enabled geoscientists to share the excitement of their careers with communities underrepresented in the field. And the fourth annual Geologic Map Day engaged students in learning about the vital uses of geologic maps.

In addition, two Citywide Celebrations served as major centers of public awareness activities ( "Earth Science Week Houston" and "Earth Science Week Denver" both extended and deepened the reach of the campaign with special receptions, events, educational materials, online resources, and activities. To support these celebrations, AGI donated hundreds of Earth Science Week Toolkits and additional materials to schools in the cities' public school systems.

If you conducted a special activity to celebrate Earth Science Week, please let us know. Your activity will be featured in the Earth Science Week 2015 Highlights Report, which will be posted online and used to help secure support for the program in the future. Email information, news clips, and images to

Earth Science Week Contest
Winners Announced
Anna Lee of Suwanee, Georgia, won first place in the visual arts contest with a creative painting showing colorful connections among Earth systems in her community. Finalists were Akhshith Rengaraju, Swetha Karthikeyan, Nia Maheshwari, and Ava Chang. Students in grades K-5 made two-dimensional artworks illustrating the theme "Picturing Earth Systems."

Mary Lide Parker of Chapel Hill, North Carolina, won first place in the photo contest with her image of hiking along a frigid cliffside. Finalists were Simon Lucas Taylor, Orion Martin, Ezra Hanlin, and James Saunders. Submissions illustrated the theme "Earth Systems Interacting."
Henry Harris of Virginia Beach, Virginia, won first place in the essay contest with his paper on "Soil Moisture and Its Importance to Society." Finalists were Cayden Martin, Leif Darnall, Alexandra Perez, and Omar Khan. Students in grades 6-9 wrote essays of up to 300 words addressing this year's theme, "Earth Science Visualization Today."
Congratulations to the winners, finalists, and hundreds of students and others who entered. Each first-place winner receives $300 and a "Geoscience Handbook." Entries submitted by winners and finalists are posted online at

More Classroom Activities
Now Searchable Online

Ever wish you could go online to search for a classroom activity tailor-made to match the Earth science topic you're teaching? Visit the Earth Science Week Classroom Activities page - continually updated and recently redesigned - for more than 120 free learning activities, most of them contributed by the leading geoscience agencies and groups that are Earth Science Week partners.

Activities are organized and searchable by various criteria, including specific Earth science topics. To find the perfect activity for your lesson, just click on "Search Classroom Activities." Search by grade levels and Next Generation Science Standards. Maybe most useful, you also can search among 24 categories of Earth science topics, from energy and environment to plate tectonics and weathering.

This database-driven resource is ideal not only for supplementing a prepared curriculum, but also for generating activities that address in-the-news events such as fossil discoveries and volcanic eruptions. See the Classroom Activities page at

National Parks' Web Rangers
Explore Geoscience

The National Park Service, a longtime Earth Science Week partner, wants you to become a Web Ranger! The interactive Web Ranger program helps people of all ages learn about the national parks. For example, enter White Sands National Monument in New Mexico from your desktop and identify animal tracks left in the 275 square miles of gypsum dunes that give the park its name.

"Rock Around the Park," another geoscience activity for Web Rangers, shows how erosion has shaped the landscapes of national parks such as Arches National Park in Utah and Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona. Or you can explore over 220 national parks with fossils, including dinosaur fossils, including ones in your area. Learn about what dinosaurs munched on millions of years ago in "Dino Diets."

Find all this and more on the Web Rangers site. Play more than 50 games, invent a Web Ranger name, create a personalized ranger badge, and start learning about Earth science in the national parks at!

Earth Science Week
Posting on Twitter

For all kinds of geoscience news, resources, and opportunities, follow Earth Science Week on Twitter! To sign up for instant updates from Earth Science Week, please log-in to your Twitter account and follow us on @earthsciweek.

If you don't have a Twitter account, you can sign-up on All you need is your name and email address to get started!

Cool Online Resource
Available from NASA

NASA has a new online science resource for teachers and students to help bring Earth, the solar system, and the universe into their schools and homes. Called NASA Wavelength, the site features hundreds of resources organized by topic and audience level from elementary to college, and out-of-school programs that span the extent of NASA science.

Educators at all levels can find educational resources through information on standards, subjects, keywords, and other details, such as learning time required to carry out a lesson or an activity, cost of materials and more.

Teachers can identify resources relevant to specific themes and current events, such as lessons dealing with NASA's Curiosity rover or using Earth science resources. For access to NASA Wavelength, visit To learn more about NASA education programs, see

Find Your Photos Online
For Earth Science Week

Want to see yourself and your students on the Earth Science Week website? Simply send us photos from your Earth Science Week celebrations and activities (along with any required permission forms). We'll post selected images on the Earth Science Week Photo Gallery (

By submitting a photo, you agree to allow AGI to post the image on the Earth Science Week website, without compensation unless prohibited. All submissions and all rights of ownership in and to the images including all rights to use, reproduce, publish, modify, edit, and distribute the same will become the exclusive property of AGI and will not be returned.

You can snap shots with your digital camera or cell phone, or scan regular photos for electronic transmission. JPEG files are preferred. Download permission forms from the website and send your photos to See you online!

Get Benefits, Become an
Earth Science Week Fan

Earth Science Week reaches more people every year through the Earth Science Week Fan Page on Facebook, the Internet's most popular social networking site. Facebook has enabled us to connect geoscience educators, students, and others with people who work, study, and live around them. And now we've taken that group to a new level.

When you become an Earth Science Week Fan, you instantly gain access to geoscience videos, begin receiving important updates and information, and help spread the word about Earth Science Week.

You can join the group by creating or using your own Facebook account. To become an Earth Science Week Fan, go to

Answering the Question:
Why Earth Science?

AGI's "Why Earth Science?" brochure promotes awareness of the importance of Earth science in K-12 education. In clear, concise language, this publication explains to students why they should study this significant discipline.

The brochure, long out of print, is back in limited quantities. If you're a science teacher or guidance counselor who would like to share this publication with students, request your free copies now. "Why Earth Science?" explains the importance of Earth science education for success in school, careers, informed decision-making, and civic engagement.

To view the brochure (also available for download), visit To request 50 or more print copies, email your request and address to
Earth Science Week Toolkit
A Great Holiday Gift

Looking for a gift for an Earth science teacher or geoscientist friend? Each and every Earth Science Week Toolkit provides dozens of materials - from a calendar to posters and learning activities - that can be used all through the year!

Choose the kit that best fits your 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
* Google material on online mapping and other topics
* Brochures, bookmarks, fact sheets, postcards, and more!
Still available for a limited time, additional kits address other topics: "Earth's Connected Systems" covers interactions of natural systems. "Mapping Our World" pinpoints maps in the classroom. "Discovering Careers in the Earth Sciences" targets jobs. "Our Ever-Changing Earth" focuses on change processes.

For ordering, special shipping, bulk order discounts, and more, visit or phone AGI Publications at 703-379-2480.

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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