Earth Science Week Update September 2018

American Geosciences Institute
Vol. 16, No. 9: September 2018


Earth Science Week 2018 Coming Soon: Get Ready!

Now is the time to make plans for Earth Science Week, taking place October 14-20, 2018. The 21st annual Earth Science Week will celebrate the theme "Earth as Inspiration" with a wide range of exciting activities, programs, and resources. All are designed to promote awareness of the special role of creativity, innovation, critical-thinking, and problem-solving skills in the geosciences.

Pitch in to teach young people about Earth system science. Conduct activities described on the Earth Science Week website. For more ideas, see recommendations online.

This year's event is shaping up to reach even more people than last year's audience of over 50 million. For the past 21 years, AGI has organized Earth Science Week to foster public and professional awareness of the status of Earth science in education and society. To learn more, visit the event website.

Sally Jewell and Teachers Inspire in New Video

As the organizer of Earth Science Week, AGI is proud to announce the second chapter of its original film series, "Earth as Inspiration." The series - narrated by AGI Earth Science Education Ambassador and former U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell - underscores the importance of Earth science learning and understanding for young and old audiences alike. View the new video now.
While the first chapter of the film series showcased young people who have a passion for studying the Earth, this next chapter focuses on an equally important part of the educational equation: the teachers who inspire students.

In her second engagement as Education Ambassador, Jewell attended AGI-ExxonMobil K-5 Teacher Leadership Academy in June 2018. Partially funded by ExxonMobil Exploration Company and hosted at the state-of-the-art ExxonMobil headquarters in The Woodlands, Texas, two Earth Science Teacher Leadership Academies are facilitated by AGI each year.
Jewell joined and participated alongside the group of elementary school teachers, marveling at their unrestrained passion for the science. "Teachers come alive like their elementary school kids will when they do these hands-on experiments that relate to geosciences in the world around them," said Jewell.
Since their launch in 2008, the Teacher Leadership Academies have served nearly 400 elementary and middle school teachers, with this year's programs uniting educators from 15 states. Now in their 10th year, the Teacher Leadership Academies benefit from AGI's exceptional Earth science curricula and online resources.
"You want your employees to be curious, you want them to think for themselves, you want them to be able to question - to take you to the next level. If that's not unlocked in a child, it's very hard to get back as an adult, so this is important for the future of our economy and the future of our planet," said Jewell.

Webinar: Teach Using NGSS Storyline Approach

The NGSS-ESS Working Group is pleased to announce a free webinar, "Designing Instructional Units Using the NGSS Storyline Approach to Support Student Sensemaking," on Thursday, September 13 at 4 p.m. ET, 3 p.m. CT, 2 p.m. MT, 1 p.m. PT.

As discussed by presenter Abraham Lo, Ph.D., implementing the NGSS (Next Generation Science Standards) calls for students to use disciplinary norms and practices to construct explanatory knowledge. Critical to this goal is shifting the source of epistemic agency from the teacher to the students.

This webinar will describe the NGSS Storyline Approach, which organizes units of instruction around students' iterative investigation and explanation of an anchor phenomenon. This webinar will also discuss tools and routines that teachers can use to design instruction using this approach.

Recommended for all teachers of ESS (Earth system science), the webinar is free, but registration is required. To register, please visit online.

You will receive webinar access information a day or two before the webinar. Organizers will also post a recording of the webinar on the NGSS-ESS webinar page, where you are invited to view archived videos of all of the previous webinars.

Find New Resources at National Fossil Day Online

To help you prepare for the seventh annual National Fossil Day (October 17) during Earth Science Week 2018, the National Park Service offers an event website full of educational resources and information designed specifically for students and teachers.

On the site's Art Contest page, for example, you'll find details of the competition, which focuses on the theme of "The Age of Reptiles - More Than Just Dinosaurs." This theme allows us to recognize some of the incredible non-dinosaur reptiles of the Mesozoic that are sometimes incorrectly referred to as dinosaurs, and more frequently overshadowed by the dinosaurs.

On the Frequently Asked Questions page, you can learn the fundamentals of fossils. And it is never too early to send your event information. Get the news out by using the event information form.

Just a Month Left to Enter Earth Science Week Contests

With entries due near the end of Earth Science Week - Friday, October 19 - science students and enthusiasts across the country are busy completing submissions for the Earth Science Week 2018 essay, visual arts, photography, and video contests. Submit yours soon!
Teams and individuals of any age are invited to submit brief videos that tell viewers about artistic expression that stems from the natural world for the video contest, "Earth Expressions." The photography contest, also open to all ages, explores how people are "Inspired by Earth." Open to students in grades K-5, the visual arts contest is titled "Earth and Art." Finally, students in grades 6-9 are eligible to enter the essay contest, "Finding 'Art' in Earth."

For the contests, entries may be submitted any time up to the Friday of Earth Science Week, October 19, 2018. These contests allow both students and the general public to participate in the celebration, learn about Earth science, and compete for prizes. To learn more about these contests, including how to enter, visit online.

Plan for Upcoming Earth Observation Day

Earth Science Week 2018 invites you once again to take part in Earth Observation Day during this weeklong celebration of the geosciences! Earth Observation Day (Tuesday, October 16, 2018) aims to engage students and teachers in remote sensing as an exciting and powerful educational tool.

The event is a STEM educational outreach event of AmericaView and its partners. AmericaView is a nationwide partnership of remote sensing scientists who support the use of Landsat and other public domain remotely sensed satellite data through applied remote sensing research, K-12 and higher STEM education, workforce development, and technology transfer.

For lessons and activities by AmericaView and other organizations, as well as additional Earth Observation Day resources, please see the program website.

New Website Locates Geoheritage in Your State

Did you know that in the roughly 30-mile-wide Rio Grande Rift, running from Colorado through New Mexico, the continental crust is thinning as it stretches to the east and west at a rate of a few millimeters per year?

Or that West Virginia, Kentucky, and Ohio preserve fossil-rich reefs, remnants life that once thrived in shallows seas spanning eastern North America throughout the Paleozoic?

There may be no better way to appreciate the inspirational quality of the Earth than to consider the places that people deem important enough to study, use, and protect in various ways. To learn about the ways people interact with geoheritage where you live, explore the Our Shared Geoheritage page of the Earth Science Week website and unearth the geologic history of your state. This new page on the program website also links educators and students to recommended resources including downloadable reports, articles, blogs, geoheritage locations, and learning activities.

View Geoheritage by State today. And learn more about Our Shared Geoheritage.

National Natural Landmarks Offer Education Resource

The National Park Service's National Natural Landmarks (NNL) program - which recognizes and encourages the conservation of sites that contain outstanding biological and geological resources - provides teachers and students with unique opportunities to study and experience geoscience in their part of the country.

NNL sites are designated by the U.S. Secretary of the Interior for their condition, illustrative character, rarity, diversity, and value to science and education. Many of the nearly 600 sites across the country have been given this designation for their significant geological resources.

Each site tells a piece of the story of the nation's natural history, from various geological processes to characteristic landforms to evidence of plants and animals that lived thousands to millions of years ago. Find out more about the NNL program.

Earth Science Week Toolkit Explores Scientific Inspiration

Earth Science Week 2018 Toolkits are available now! For the 21st annual Earth Science Week, AGI and key program partners are offering many new materials, tools, and other resources for participants.

The Earth Science Week 2018 Toolkit contains everything you need to prepare for Earth Science Week (October 14-20), which celebrates the theme "Earth as Inspiration." The toolkit includes:

  • 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 "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

The Earth Science Week 2018 Toolkit is free and available for the cost of shipping and handling. Pay just $8.50 for the first toolkit and $2.25 for each additional toolkit in the United States. For ordering, special shipping, bulk orders, and more information, visit online or phone AGI Publications at 703-379-2480.

Shine a Media Spotlight On Your Great Activities

Energy! Climate! Natural disasters! Jobs! Earth science is breaking news. Educators can take advantage of journalists' interest in geoscience to promote awareness of local Earth Science Week activities. Here are five effective strategies:

  • Plan a special event to draw attention to your Earth Science Week activities. Conduct an investigation or experiment, invite a prominent geoscientist to talk with students, host a ceremony or a banquet, stage an event with a nearby museum or science center, give awards to volunteers, or honor geoscience enthusiasts who make a difference.
  • Prepare a press release to alert the media about your Earth Science Week activities. Answer important questions, such as who, what, where, when, and why. Include data and quotes from key players. Provide contact information for followup. Print the release on your letterhead and fax it to editors and reporters at least three days before the event.
  • Be persistent in pitching your story to local news organizations. Besides noting the "hook" of Earth Science Week, show how your activities address issues that are urgent, timely, and relevant to the community. Write a brief, compelling query letter to the appropriate editor at each media outlet. Follow up with a phone call and email.
  • Write letters to the editor for print in local newspapers and magazines. You might respond to a recent geoscience-related article with a letter to the editor. If possible, schedule a meeting with the editorial board. Or instead of a letter, perhaps write an opinion editorial, or "op-ed," to cite concerns and recommend solutions.
  • Use available Earth Science Week materials in promoting awareness. In the Earth Science Week Toolkit and on the event website are print and electronic materials - poster, calendar, logo, and more - that you can use to "brand" your activity. Link your local activity to the larger national celebration to emphasize its significance. For more ideas, see the Event Planning site.

Geoscience for Everyone Day: We Want You

Join the Earth Science Week team in encouraging everyone - including women, minorities, and people with a range of abilities - to explore geoscience careers on "Geoscience for Everyone Day," Thursday, October 18, 2018.

If you're an educator, invite a geoscientist to speak in your classroom. If you're a geoscientist, visit a school or volunteer at a science center. Organize a scout event, lead a field trip, or hold a special "Take Your Child to Work Day." Open a young person's eyes to the world of Earth science.
In doing so, you'll be supporting the efforts of AGI member societies such as the Association for Women Geoscientists and the National Association of Black Geoscientists in raising awareness of the remarkable opportunities available in the Earth sciences. Learn more about Geoscience for Everyone Day online.
Are you a geoscientist who's not sure where to start? See "Visiting Geoscientists: An Outreach Guide for Geoscience Professionals," a handbook co-produced by AGI and the American Association of Petroleum Geologists' Youth Education Activities Committee. You can provide unique enrichment opportunities, based on your education and experience. Download the handbook.

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.