Earth Science Week Update August 2020

American Geosciences Institute
Vol. 18, No. 8: August 2020


Help Ensure That Geoscience Is for Everyone

AGI, the organizer of Earth Science Week, values inclusiveness and supports efforts to address issues of intolerance and prejudice. Promoting learning activities that stimulate experiential learning and mobilize conceptual thinking in the geosciences, Earth Science Week celebrates the inclusive potential and importance of the geosciences in the lives of all people, inviting people of all descriptions to explore studies and careers in the geosciences.

On the Earth Science Week website is a selection of strategies designed to support inclusive educational activities. They are organized under headings given in Appendix D of the Next Generation Science Standards, which you can visit for a more detailed discussion of each approach. Each strategy is also accompanied by an example of a related geoscience-focused learning experiences. To learn more, see Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Strategies online.

AGI's 'Geoscience Currents' Explores New Issues

How are geoscientists grappling with the current pandemic? Where do they work? What do they earn? Find out with Geoscience Currents, a free online information channel covering research and issues facing geoscience professionals today.

This longtime AGI publication, which has always provided vital insights into the latest data and statistics on the geoscience workforce, was recently revamped to encompass a broader range of topics significant to the geoscience profession, from energy and space exploration to agriculture and infrastructure.

In addition, Geoscience Currents is providing frequent updates on findings from AGI's Geoscience COVID-19 study, a year-long study to capture the nature and extent of impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the geoscience workforce and academic programs. The study explores how geoscience employers and educational institutions are changing workplace and instructional environments and what changes might become permanent.

Geoscience Currents is designed to support well-informed public policy and decision making with expert, impartial geoscience information. Learn more and subscribe now for free at Geoscience Currents.

Study Plate Tectonics, Rock Cycle Online at GSL

The Geological Society of London (GSL), an international Earth Science Week partner, offers a pair of online resources for learning about key geoscience topics.

Electronic map-based resources are the focus of GSL's Plate Tectonics page. In addition, a site recently has been launched to accompany GSL's Rock Cycle online module. Founded in 1807, GSL is the oldest geological society in the world. Learn more about GSL, the United Kingdom's national society for geoscience, online.

How to Put Your Event on the Map – Online

If you're hosting a virtual or safe live public event during Earth Science Week 2020 (October 11-17), let people know about it! The best way is to post your event details on Events in Your Area. This web page provides information on events taking place through program partners across the country.

The Earth Science Week Event Registry enables you to promote your event more effectively than ever. To register your event, simply provide a few key details . Fill out the easy-to-use online form, and let the Earth Science Week team and the world know about your event.

In addition, your organization can be listed in Earth Science Organizations, a site that offers clickable links to geoscience organizations such as parks, museums, science and technology centers, university geology departments, local geological societies, and other nearby locations.

To post your event, please email Earth Science Week at Be sure to provide a brief description of the event, time and date, street address, phone number, email address, and URL. We'll be happy to direct Earth Science Week participants to your event!

Art Contest Spotlights National Fossil Day

Calling all Earth science and fossil artists! The National Park Service is looking for submissions for the National Fossil Day 2020 Art Contest.

The theme is "Life of the Paleozoic Oceans!" Contest participants are invited to depict aquatic organisms from the Paleozoic oceans, particularly those found in the United States of America.

Art can be in the form of a photograph, a painting, a drawing, or a sketch. All art must be 2D and flat. Don't wait until National Fossil Day – October 14, during Earth Science Week 2020 – to create your artwork!

All submissions must be received by mail by 5 p.m. ET Friday October 2, 2020. For more information, visit the National Fossil Day Art Contest webpage.

Earth Science Week Begins With EarthCache Day

What a great time to learn outdoors! Earth Science Week 2020 will begin with the 13th annual International EarthCache Day on Sunday, October 11. The public is invited to explore this exciting and educational geoscience experience along with the Geological Society of America, which runs the global EarthCache program, and AGI, which coordinates Earth Science Week. 

International EarthCache Day is a time when EarthCachers around the globe learn about the Earth. Each of these individuals hunts for an EarthCache, a place that can be found with a GPS device.

EarthCachers participate in a kind of "treasure hunt" called geocaching. The treasure that is found at an EarthCache is a lesson about the Earth science. Learn more at EarthCache.

Order Your Earth Science Week 2020 Toolkit Now

You can order an Earth Science Week 2020 Toolkit today. The toolkit contains everything you need to prepare for Earth Science Week 2020 (October 11-17), which celebrates the theme "Earth Materials in Our Lives." This year's toolkit includes:

  • 12-month school-year activity calendar, suitable for hanging
  • New Earth Science Week poster, including a learning activity
  • Factsheet on minerals in cellphones and Navy gear from USGS
  • NASA materials on water science and a poster on agriculture
  • National Park Service resource on paleontology in our parks
  • Factsheet from the Soil Science Society of America
  • Geologic Map Day poster dealing with Earth materials
  • Mineral Education Coalition material on mineral science
  • IRIS flyer dealing with seismology and earthquakes
  • AmericaView Earth materials board-game poster
  • Geothermal Resources Council poster on energy science
  • American Geophysical Union poster on environmental science
  • UNAVCO sticker and poster on geoscience measurement
  • Switch Energy Project sticky notes about energy science
  • Hydrology flyer from Nutrients for Life Foundation
  • Bureau of Land Management dinosaur coloring page
  • National Science Foundation worksheets on rocks and water
  • GemKids poster from Gemological Institute of America
  • Water Footprint Calculator information on water science
  • Forest Service, Paleontological Society, AIPG items and more

Perfect for homeschoolers as well as classroom teachers looking for resources to guide instruction in Earth system science, this year's kit features dozens of materials supporting high-quality geoscience education.

Order the Earth Science Week 2020 Toolkit today. The 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. See the AGI Store for special pricing on a multi-pack of toolkits addressing different topics. For ordering, special shipping, bulk orders, and more information, email AGI Publications at

NAGT Ramps Up for Earth Science Week

The National Association of Geoscience Teachers (NAGT), an AGI member society, is getting ready for Earth Science Week's 2020 theme of "Earth Materials in Our Lives" with a variety of relevant offerings. For example, teachers can find lessons online for kindergarten through grade 12.

NAGT's Outstanding Earth Science Teacher Awards are given for "exceptional contributions to the stimulation of interest in the Earth Sciences at the pre-college level." Any K-12 educator who covers a significant amount of Earth science content with students is eligible.

The association also offers Dorothy Stout Professional Development Grants. These grants of $750 go to faculty and students at two-year colleges and K-12 teachers in support of participation in classes or workshops, attendance at scientific or science education meetings, participation in Earth science field trips, and purchase of Earth science materials.

NAGT strives to educate all people on the importance of geoscience to communities. Learn more at NAGT Teaching Resources and NAGT's Journal of Geoscience Education

AGI Factsheets Show Geoscience in Your State

What does Earth science mean to your state? AGI, organizer of Earth Science Week, now offers 50 factsheets, which quantify the tangible contributions of geoscience – that is, Earth science – to the economy, environment, public health and safety of every U.S. state.

In addition to providing decisionmakers with facts about the role of geoscience and the government agencies that fund geoscience in their states, the factsheets offer educators and students information to help frame Earth science studies in terms of real-world concerns.

Importantly, the factsheets frame geoscience as a discipline that brings benefits to every state. Water, minerals, and petroleum – all natural resources that many of us take for granted – would not be safely available without geoscience. Further, geoscience brings jobs, attracts students and faculty to universities, and spurs research and innovation, while helping mitigate the risks of natural hazards. Find the factsheet for your state.

SPE's Energy4Me Sparks Energy Education

Through its Energy4Me program, the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) offers teachers a collection of tools for teaching about oil, gas, and other energy sources, including classroom activities, experiments, and presentations, as well as teacher workshops and energy education materials for the classroom.

Teachers are invited to request classroom speakers, science fair judges, and career fair exhibitors from roughly 80,000 SPE members worldwide. Free one-day teacher workshops, held at select SPE conferences, cover grade-specific energy lessons. The Energy4Me Kit, available from SPE, offers teaching aids, speaker resources, sample presentations, and activities for teaching about energy. Teachers are encouraged to visit the program's website for PowerPoint presentations, career information, and more.

SPE, a longtime Earth Science Week partner, is a nonprofit professional association whose members are energy professionals in 110 countries. Visit Energy4Me online to learn more. 

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.