Earth Science Week Update May 2020

American Geosciences Institute
Vol. 18, No. 5: May 2020


Geoscience Women Website Debuts With Webinar

AGI, organizer of Earth Science Week, unveiled its completed Geoscience Women in STEM website last week with a free webinar for educators on providing Earth science teaching and learning resources inspired by the work of leading women in science and engineering, with generous support from Lyda Hill Philanthropies.

AGI's Geoscience Women in STEM site is designed to strengthen geoscience education through exploration of the stories of four women scientists, including three who were recently selected as American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) IF/THEN Ambassadors by IF/THEN®, an initiative created by Lyda Hill Philanthropies to promote the participation of girls and women in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields.

The site, originally launched in January 2020 with a focus on just one scientist, now encompasses education experiences and activities inspired by the careers of four trailblazing STEM leaders. The Geoscience Women in STEM site provides curriculum connections that concentrate on the Next Generation Science Standards in Earth and Space Science (NGSS-ESS) and illustrate ways that STEM topics can be explored across traditional disciplinary boundaries and in relation to all students' experiences.

AGI recently debuted the completed website with an NGSS-ESS Working Group webinar, "Promoting Diversity in the Geosciences: Meet the Geoscience Women in STEM." The webinar introduces participants to curriculum modules developed around the inspirational stories of leading women geoscientists. The webinar is available for free viewing online. In addition, AGI and its publishing partner Nautilus are producing a limited run of print booklets featuring profiles of all four scientists featured on the Geoscience Women in STEM website, which will be made available to AGI's education partner organizations.

Hosted on the Earth Science Week website, the Geoscience Women in STEM site supports an ongoing area of emphasis for AGI's Earth Science Week program, spearheaded by its "Geoscience Is for Everyone" campaign, which provides information, materials, and activities emphasizing both the inclusive potential and the importance of the geosciences in the lives of all people.

Plan Activities Now for Earth Science Week 2020

At a time when pandemic conditions are causing confusion in many areas of life, one thing remains certain: Earth Science Week will take place October 11-17, 2020! Now is the time to plan and prepare. How would you like your students to enjoy, explore, and learn about geoscience during Earth Science Week?

You can promote this year's theme - "Earth Materials in Our Lives" - by preparing activities that help all students explore Earth science in the classroom or at home. Start with the exciting classroom activities featured on the Earth Science Week website.

Leading up to the October celebration, you may see Earth Science Week events, both local and nationwide, listed online. But even if remote learning is still in effect this fall, you can find great ideas for education in reports on successful past events and recommendations for other ways to get involved.

AGI's 'Faces of Earth' Series in HD Educates

AGI has released its award-winning "Faces of Earth" series on YouTube in full High Definition allowing wider use in K-12 classrooms. From the cacophony that originated Earth 4.6 billion years ago to the changes that shape it today, AGI's "Faces of Earth" explores the natural processes of planet Earth - and humans' relation to those processes.

"Building the Planet," episode one in the four-part series, travels back in time and strips away layers of Earth to witness the explosion that formed the planet. Earthquakes rumble, volcanoes explode, and lands transform as viewers explore the science behind plate tectonics in "Shaping the Planet," the second episode. In "Assembling America," the third installment, viewers explore how time and natural forces have shaped the United States.

Finally, in "A Human World," viewers learn how Earth has shaped human evolution and how humans, in turn, are shaping the world - including concepts central to this year's Earth Science Week theme of "Earth Materials in Our Lives." Experience eye-popping imagery, exclusive interviews, and captivating commentary from distinguished geoscientists. See the series online.

Look to CLEAN for Climate, Energy Science

The Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness Network (CLEAN) Portal is designed to steward a major collection of climate and energy science educational resources and to support a community of professionals committed to improving climate and energy literacy. The three key components are:

1. The CLEAN Collection of Climate and Energy Science Resources - high-quality, digital resources (learning activities, visualizations, videos, short demonstrations/experiments) geared toward educators of students in secondary through undergraduate levels.

2. Guidance in Teaching Climate and Energy Science - pages designed to help educators understand and be equipped to teach the big ideas in climate and energy science.

3. The CLEAN Network - a community of professionals committed to improving climate and energy literacy.

Funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the National Science Foundation, and the Department of Energy, CLEAN was launched in 2010 as a National Science Digital Library (NSDL) Pathways project. It is led by the science education expertise of TERC, the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Science (CIRES) at the University of Colorado Boulder, and the Science Education Resource Center (SERC) at Carleton College. As of 2012, CLEAN has been syndicated to NOAA's portal.

NSTA Provides Links to Free Science Resources

Looking for teaching resources? Check out a page called "Freebies for Science Teachers" on the National Science Teaching Association website.

Updated periodically, this searchable "array of free resources for you and your classroom" frequently features online links to publications, CD-ROMs, DVDs, videos, kits, and other materials for Earth science education. Learn more online.

Power Up Education With Energy Resources

What is energy? From what Earth materials do we derive energy? How much energy do humans use? Free, interdisciplinary education materials and videos are available to answer important questions like these - and to foster a more energy literate nation.

AGI's Center for Geoscience & Society has produced corresponding education materials, including videos in English and Spanish, student and teacher guides, a "quick start" guide to energy literacy, lesson connections, and guidance on aligning energy literacy lessons with the Next Generation Science Standards. Also, AGI provides links to many resources available through AGI member societies and partners.

Essential Principles and Fundamental Concepts for Energy Education resources are available on the U.S. Department of Energy website. For more information and resources, visit AGI's Center for Geoscience & Society.

Local Event Registry Improves Your Visibility

Are you planning to host an Earth Science Week 2020 event, such as an exhibit, tour, lecture, or open house? As health safety guidelines evolve over the coming months, you likely will want to communicate information about your event effectively to relevant audiences. The Earth Science Week Event Registry enables you to promote your event just the way you want.

To register your event, simply provide a key details online. Fill out the online form to let the Earth Science Week team and the world know about your event. Each registered event will be listed on Earth Science Week's Events In Your Area and acknowledged in the Earth Science Week Highlights Report.

BLM Helps Schools Explore Solar Energy

Does the need for carbon-free renewable energy outweigh the potential risks to wildlife habitats, cultural and historical resources, and recreation areas? Middle school teachers can explore this question with their students through "Solar-Generated Electricity," just one of the teaching guides in the Classroom Investigation Series of the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM).

The unit describes how solar facilities on public lands work, examines the tradeoffs in detail, and illuminates the factors that affect decisions about where to build solar electricity plants. Each activity includes learning objectives and teacher preparation steps, background information, lesson procedures, adaptations to consider, assessment, and student handouts. Find the PDF on the BLM website.

You're an Earth Educator? Rendezvous With Peers

The sixth annual Earth Educators' Rendezvous on July 13-17, 2020, will be a virtual experience. Events include workshops, oral and poster sessions, teaching demonstrations, panel discussions, and plenary talks.

The program is designed to appeal to everyone working in all aspects of undergraduate Earth education, including a mix of college faculty, graduate students, K-12 teachers, informal educators, practitioners, administrators, and researchers. Participants can learn about new teaching approaches, discover opportunities in research programs, prepare for an academic career, or discuss how to approach teaching and learning challenges. Learn more and register on the conference website.

Learn Geoscience With Fish and Wildlife Service

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, a longtime Earth Science Week partner, offers lots of resources for Earth system science teaching and learning, even for those who can't venture out to the public lands managed by the agency.

"Nature learning needn't stop when you're stuck inside," as the website points out. "Even indoors, you can deepen your knowledge of the natural world and entertain yourself in the process. Stories about environmental challenges and successes, lessons about animal behavior, wildlife webcams, puzzles, videos, podcasts, activities and coloring books all can be fun resources to inspire wonder and build nature knowledge at any age."

On the website, young people can find fun reads, games, and videos. A collection of teacher resources includes lesson plans and activity guides. Find more 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.