Earth Science Week Update March 2018

American Geosciences Institute
Vol. 16, No. 3: March 2018


Earth Science Teaching Award Winner Announced

Kenneth L. Huff, a sixth-grade teacher at Mill Middle School in Williamsville, New York, has been named the 2018 recipient of the Edward C. Roy, Jr. Award for Excellence in K-8 Earth Science Teaching. Huff earned his master's degree in education from the State University of New York College at Buffalo and is National Board certified in Early Adolescence/Science. In addition to teaching, Huff was the co-chair of the Teacher Advisory Council for the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine.

"Mr. Huff is an exceptionally accomplished earth and space science teacher," said Allyson Anderson Book, executive director of the American Geosciences Institute. "His demonstrated strength for connecting his students with professional geoscientists and his thoughtful lesson plans have earned the admiration of his colleagues and national recognition in the teaching community."

Huff received the award this month at the National Earth Science Teachers Association (NESTA) Friends of Earth Science Reception during the 2018 National Science Teachers Association Conference in Atlanta. This year's finalists were Anica Brown of Pound Middle School in Lincoln, Nebraska, and Chris Spiegl of Montgomery Bell Academy in Nashville, Tennessee.

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. The 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 the Roy Award website.

Bring 'One Strange Rock' to Your School

From award-winning filmmaker Darren Aronofsky, National Geographic's new docu-series "One Strange Rock" is a mind-bending, thrilling journey that explores the fragility and wonder of planet Earth - one of the most peculiar, unique places in the universe. This Earth science series is narrated by actor Will Smith and features perspectives from eight astronauts on the wonders of Earth as seen from space. The series debuts at 10 p.m. Eastern tonight, March 26.

What's more, National Geographic's "One Strange Rock" Educator Resources are now available, including a curriculum guide with resources to extend themes and topics from "One Strange Rock" into meaningful discussions. These resources include activities to conduct with student groups, as well as an interactive quiz to assess learning. Go online for the curriculum.

National Geographic is making the first episode available for free screenings this spring in high schools, colleges, and after-school programs nationwide. Sign up to request a free preview screening of "One Strange Rock." Also, the Association of Space Explorers will be hosting a Twitter chat with some of their astronaut members during the broadcast 10-11 p.m. Eastern tonight, and National Geographic Channel will retweet posts throughout the conversation.

GLOBE Connects You With ... Mosquitoes?

Want to get involved in citizen science? Through the Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment (GLOBE) program, you can take part in GLOBE Observer, an international network of professional scientists and citizen scientists collaborating to promote education about environment and climate.

On the GLOBE Observer website, you'll find teaching activities and resources on soil, air, oceans, weather, and other topics. The Mosquito Habitat Mapper page, for instance, provides materials on mosquito prevention and control, such as a guide to retrieving precipitation data, an educational activity, and lists of resources to learn more about properly identifying and eliminating potential mosquito breeding sites.

GLOBE Observer invites you to make environmental observations that complement NASA satellite observations to help scientists studying Earth and the global environment. By using the GLOBE Observer app, you are joining the GLOBE community and contributing important scientific data to NASA and GLOBE, your local community, and students and scientists worldwide.

To begin, all you need to do is download the GLOBE Observer app and use it to observe the environment wherever you are. Visit online for more information.

The 'Critical Zone': Explore with CZOs

For an eye-opening view of our planet, check out the K-12 Education page of the Critical Zone Observatories (CZOs) program, a longtime Earth Science Week partner.

The CZOs program is a National Science Foundation-supported interdisciplinary effort that serves the international scientific community through research, infrastructure, data, and models. The aim is to enhance scientific understanding what happens in the "critical zone" where chemical, physical, geological, and biological processes shape Earth's surface and support terrestrial life.

On the CZO Education and Outreach site, you'll find educational activities coordinated by the CZO National Office to engage K-12 educators and students. Many additional K-12 Education and Outreach activities are run by the CZO program, mostly led by individual observatories. To see examples of those efforts, select an observatory from the "Move laterally" menu online.

Intel ISEF and AGI Look for Stellar Students

The Intel International Science & Engineering Fair (Intel ISEF) is the world's largest international pre-college science competition. Held annually in May, the Intel ISEF brings together some 1,800 high school students from more than 75 countries, regions, and territories to compete for scholarships, tuition grants, internships, scientific field trips and the grand prize - a trip to attend the Nobel Prize Ceremonies in Stockholm, Sweden.

In recognition of excellence among Earth science students AGI has sponsored the Special Award for Outstanding Performance in Earth Science at Intel ISEF since 2002 with prizes for the first-, second-, and third-place winners.

This year, Intel ISEF will be held May 13-18, 2018 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Learn more about how to participate in the Intel ISEF with your own science project online.

Webcast Details 'Focus Days' of Earth Science Week

What does Earth Science Week 2018 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 14)
  • Earth Science Literacy Day (Monday, October 15)
  • Earth Observation Day (Tuesday, October 16)
  • National Fossil Day (Wednesday, October 17)
  • Geoscience for Everyone Day (Thursday, October 18)
  • Geologic Map Day (Friday, October 19)
  • International Archaeology Day (Saturday, October 20)

This free webcast 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 2018: "Earth as Inspiration." Learn more about Focus Days online.

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.

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.

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-7.5 earthquake that shook Papua, New Guinea, on February 25, 2018. 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. Explore Teachable Moments online.

Examine Natural Systems in 'Windows on Earth'

Science teachers and students might want to gaze through "Windows on Earth," an online educational project that features photographs taken by astronauts on the International Space Station. Each day, astronauts take hundreds of photos - many focusing on "Earth and human activity" - for science research, education, and public outreach.

This website provides free public access to virtually all of these photos, updated at least weekly. The site is operated by TERC, an educational nonprofit, in collaboration with the Association of Space Explorers (the professional association of flown astronauts and cosmonauts), the Virtual High School, and CASIS (Center for Advancement of Science in Space). Technical support is provided by NASA's Crew Earth Observation Program.

Windows on Earth also operates software on the International Space Station, as a window-side aide to help astronauts identify priority targets for photography. The images help show Earth from a global perspective. All images are in the public domain, credited to NASA. Visit online.

The American Geosciences Institute is a nonprofit federation of 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 online. To subscribe to this newsletter, visit online and submit your email address.