Earth Science Week Update October 2018

American Geosciences Institute
Vol. 16, No. 10: October 2018


Earth Science Week 2018 Resolution Introduced in House 

Earth Science Week, organized annually by AGI, was formally recognized in a resolution introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives. The resolution, introduced by Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO), alongside Reps. Barbara Comstock (R-VA), Daniel Lipinski (D-IL), and Ryan Costello (R-PA) would designate the week of October 14-20, 2018, as Earth Science Week.

The resolution reads, in part:

     "[...] the Earth sciences provide the basis for mitigating natural hazards such as droughts, earthquakes, fires, floods, coastal erosion, landslides, hurricanes, volcanic eruptions, space weather, and other hazards."

     "[...] Earth and space sciences include geologic mapping and remote sensing technologies which provide the foundational knowledge of Earth's natural systems that is integral to the discovery, development, and conservation of natural resources, such as energy, water, and minerals, and to the safe disposal of waste products."

     "[...] Earth and space science researchers and educators drive creativity and passion for the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields among students of all ages through diverse and innovative education and public outreach efforts."

Read the full text of the resolution.

The theme for Earth Science Week 2018, "Earth as Inspiration," emphasizes artistic expression as a unique, powerful opportunity for geoscience education and understanding in the 21st century.

"This resolution demonstrates the importance of engaging young people and others in exploring and understanding our Earth," said AGI Executive Director Allyson Anderson Book. "The arts are a special lens through which to view geoscience — whether it's thinking about the natural processes that formed a beautiful landscape or the sense of wonder you get when you look up into the sky and into the stars. 

"We need to do everything possible to get students excited about learning about the sciences — that's why I'm proud to champion top-notch STEAM education for all students," said Polis. "Now more than ever, we have to rely on science as we adapt and attempt to reverse the consequences of climate change. We must challenge ourselves to discover and innovate, as is our American tradition."

Earth Science Week is a nonpartisan educational event that provides learning opportunities and activities to K-12 educators and the general public. For more information on Earth Science Week, please visit the Earth Science Week website.

Water Footprint Calculator Estimates Water Usage 

Are you a water waster? Earth Science Week 2018 is using a new tool to estimate our water-usage habits with the GRACE Communications Foundation's Water Footprint Calculator. This tool illustrates how activities we do every day impact water use. 

Do you drive to work? Do you prefer showers or baths, and how long do you take them for? Do you eat meat? Everything we do, from shopping to dishwashing, uses water. The Water Footprint Calculator asks a series of questions about your day-to-day life, calculating the number of gallons used after each question. Watch a background water graphic rise (or fall) as you answer each question. The site also provides facts about water usage and tips to lower your footprint. 

Whether you're a water waster or water warrior, The Water Footprint Calculator is a fun tool to learn more about sustainability. The Water Footprint Calculator is available on desktop computers, as well as mobile and tablets.

Watch Exciting Video on Earth Science Week

To kick off Earth Science Week 2018 in style, watch the promotional video produced by AGI to trumpet the importance of the Earth sciences and the celebration’s role in promoting public awareness.

Why is Earth science a big deal? How does Earth Science Week help promote learning and teaching about the subject? And what can you do to get involved? Find out in this brief, exciting, eye-popping video.

View the “Earth Science Week” video. To see additional AGI videos relating to Earth Science Week, check out our Videos page.

Citywide Celebrations Add Local Focus to Event

How is your town celebrating Earth Science Week? AGI is pleased to announce city-specific celebrations of its annual geoscience awareness campaign, Earth Science Week, taking place October 14-20, 2018. Major American cities such as Houston, Denver, and Washington, D.C., will serve as major centers of public awareness activities.

In select cities, AGI is collaborating with geoscience organizations and public schools to extend and deepen the reach of the successful Earth Science Week campaign with special events, educational materials, online resources, and activities in schools and other settings.

To support these “Citywide Celebrations,” AGI is donating hundreds of Earth Science Week Toolkits to schools and educators. Each kit contains dozens of study guides, posters, disks, and other resources for Earth science education, which will be used to inspire activities in the classroom. Many materials focus on this year’s theme of "Earth as Inspiration."

In addition, AGI has launched the official Citywide Celebrations website to provide educators, students, and families with links to additional educational resources as well as other offerings in participating cities. Why not partner with local geoscience organizations to launch a Citywide Celebration in your area? Find more information online at the Earth Science Week Citywide Celebrations website.

Earth Science Week 2018 Contest Extends Globally

Earth Science Week continues to offer eligibility for its annual photography and video contests to international audiences. Members of all AGI Member Societies and members of AGI’s International Associate Societies are eligible to participate in the photography contest, while the Video contest is open to everyone. Though previously open only to residents of the United States, the contests have always been a major part of Earth Science Week, which this year is being celebrated October 14-20.

International members of AGI Member Societies and members of AGI International Associate Societies, as well as U.S. residents, are encouraged to enter this year’s Earth Science Week photography contest, “Inspired by Earth." The video contest, "Earth Expressions," is open to national and international audiences of any age. These individuals are invited to use a camera to show the many ways earth and the arts interact. Learn more at

Don’t Delay: Order Your Earth Science Week Toolkit

Earth Science Week 2018 Toolkits are flying off the shelves! The kit contains everything you need to celebrate Earth Science Week (October 14-20) and explore Earth science education throughout the year.

The Earth Science Week 2018 Toolkit focuses on the theme “Earth as Inspiration,” including:

  • 12-month school-year activity calendar, suitable for hanging
  • New Earth Science Week poster, including a learning activity
  • NASA materials on school resources and planetary exploration
  • National Park Service posters on caves, plants, and geology
  • Geologic Map Day poster dealing with artistic inspiration
  • Mineral Education Coalition’s “Quarry to Crop” postcard
  • IRIS material on seismology and earthquakes
  • AmericaView poster on exploring America through LandSat
  • Howard Hughes Medical Institute poster on global change
  • UNAVCO materials on Geodesy and websites to explore
  • Fact sheet from Critical Zones Observatories
  • Switch Energy Project information on energy science
  • Bureau of Land Management dinosaur coloring page
  • Material on Constructing the Rock Cycle from GSA
  • Water Footprint Calculator information on water science
  • EarthScope material on what it means to be an Earth scientist
  • CLEAN, AMS, TERC, and GPS information and more

Under a new price structure, copies of the toolkit are free and available for the cost of shipping and handling ($8.50 for the first kit, $2.25 for each additional kit in the United States). For ordering, special shipping, bulk orders, and more, visit or phone AGI Publications at 703-379-2480.

‘No Child Left Inside’ Day Comes to Your Area

On the Tuesday of Earth Science Week, October 16, you can make sure there’s “No Child Left Inside” (NCLI). Dedicate a day to outdoor activities enabling young people to experience the geosciences firsthand - during Earth Science Week or any time throughout the year.
To help, the NCLI Day Guide is now available in PDF format for easy printing and outdoor use. This free guide provides everything you need to start planning your own NCLI Day event, including 17 outdoor learning activities recommended for elementary, middle, and high school students.
Plan your own NCLI Day event, where educators and young people can wade into ponds, climb hills, or search the skies to learn Earth science. Find the NCLI Day Guide, including the PDF version, at . Have a great NCLI Day!

Explore ‘Big Ideas’ in Videos, Classroom Activities

AGI now offers award-winning videos and related classroom activities to help students, educators, and others explore the “big ideas” of Earth science during Earth Science Week 2018 (October 14-20) and all year long. Recently added are dozens of additional activities selected specifically to help educators teach about core concepts of Earth science.

Big Ideas videos are brief video clips that bring to life the big ideas of Earth science - the nine core concepts that everyone should know. The Earth Science Literacy Initiative, funded by the National Science Foundation, has codified these underlying understandings of Earth science which form the basis of the Big Ideas videos.

View the Big Ideas videos on YouTube. The Earth Science Week website provides related resources. Educators can find more than 100 classroom activities online to help students build understanding of the “big ideas."

Act Now to Win Award for Earth Science Teaching

Earth Science Week 2018 (October 8-14) wouldn’t be so successful without the efforts of amazing Earth science teachers. That’s why AGI is announcing details for its upcoming award competition, the 2019 Edward C. Roy, Jr. Award for Excellence in K-8 Earth Science Teaching.

Given annually, this award is presented to one teacher of grades K-8 in the United States or Key Stages 1-3 in the United Kingdom each year. The award recognizes leadership and innovation in Earth science education.

The winner of the Roy Award will receive a cash prize and an additional travel grant to attend the National Science Teachers Association Annual Conference in St. Louis in April 2019. To be eligible, applications must be submitted by January 18, 2018.

The Award is given in honor of Dr. Edward C. Roy, Jr., a strong and dedicated supporter of Earth science education. For more information on requirements, application procedures and deadlines, please visit

Contest Winners to Be Announced Next Month

Friday, October 19, is the deadline to email and mail your submissions! AGI thanks the many hundreds of students, educators, and others who are entering this year’s Earth Science Week photo, visual arts, essay, and video contests.

Winners will be announced in November 2018. AGI will contact winners directly and recognize their success both on the Earth Science Week website and in this electronic newsletter.

Geologic Map Day Boosts Mapping Education

You’re invited to take part in the seventh annual Geologic Map Day by conducting learning activities along with teachers and students across the country on Friday, October 19. New online are this year’s geologic mapping activites, entitled “Getting Creative,” “Inspirational Feature Near You,” “Fossils Tell a Bigger Story,” and “Create Your Own Map."

Check out the Geologic Map Day poster included in the Earth Science Week 2018 Toolkit. The poster provides a geologic map, plus step-by-step instructions for the classroom activities. 

Hosted by the U.S. Geological Survey, Association of American State Geologists, National Park Service, Geological Society of America, and NASA in partnership with AGI, this special event promotes awareness of the study, uses, importance of geologic mapping for education, science, business, and a variety of public policy concerns. Additional resources for learning about geologic maps can be found on the Geologic Map Day web page.


Thanks to Earth Science Week’s Generous Sponsors

Thanks to the generosity of our sponsors, Earth Science Week is able to promote awareness and appreciation of the geosciences among over 50 million people every year. AGI would like to express its appreciation to the many government agencies, nonprofit groups, and corporations that make the program possible.

Earth Science Week couldn’t do its important work without the support of organizations such as the U.S. Geological Survey; National Park Service; AAPG Foundation; NASA; American Geophysical Union; Society for Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration; Geological Society of America; Association of American State Geologists; Howard Hughes Medical Institute; Archaeological Institute of America; Schlumberger; Grace Communications Foundation; TGS; Equinor; Keystone Policy Center; Consumer Energy Education Foundation; and AmericaView. In addition, year after year, Earth Science Week Toolkits are purchased in bulk for distribution to educators by organizations such as NASA and Schnabel Engineering.

To learn how your organization can become an Earth Science Week Sponsor, visit online. To order Earth Science Week Toolkits for teachers in your area, go to

Earth Science Week Closes With Day of Archaeology

Earth Science Week 2018 reaches its climax with International Archaeology Day on Saturday, October 20. The event is a celebration of archaeology and the thrill of discovery!

Every October, the Archaeological Institute of America (AIA) - an Earth Science Week partner - and archaeological organizations across the United States, Canada, and elsewhere present archaeological programs and activities for people of all ages and interests. Whether it is a family-friendly archaeology fair, a guided tour of a local archaeological site, a simulated dig, a lecture or a classroom visit from an archaeologist, the interactive, hands-on International Archaeology Day programs provide the chance to indulge your inner “Indiana Jones.”

Check out educational resources on the International Archaeology Day website. In addition, see the “Earth and Ancient Architecture” learning activity in this year’s Earth Science activity Calendar, included in the Earth Science Week 2018 Toolkit.

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 . To subscribe to this newsletter, visit online and submit your email address.