Earth Science Week Update February 2021

American Geosciences Institute
Vol. 19, No. 2: February 2021


Webinar: Link Earth Science to NGSS With PBS

Join us on March 11, 2021, for a Next Generation Science Standards in Earth and Space Science (NGSS-ESS) Working Group webinar titled "Inspiring ALL Geoscience Learners Nationwide with PBS." Listen as Public Broadcasting Service stations from across the country talk about free, ready-to-use resources and services to inspire Earth science students.

With a focus on resources grounded in the science inquiry process, NGSS Science and Engineering Practices (SEPs), Cross Cutting Concepts (CCCs), and locally relevant and authentic phenomena, this session connects teachers with resources and strategies to ensure that these standards are accessible to all students. The webinar is free, but registration is required.

World Water Day Offers Resources Online

How can you celebrate the Earth Science Week 2021 theme of "Water Today and for the Future"? One way to start is by making connections around World Water Day, March 22, 2021. 

Post on social media #Water2me with a note and a photo about how water is important to you. And build understanding of water science for World Water Day. Tap resources online.

What Do Geophysicists Do? Find Out With SEG

Geophysicists are making a difference in the world with innovations such as improving tsunami safety in Indonesia, revealing a forgotten tunnel dug by Jews trying to escape a Nazi camp in Lithuania, and discovering a gigantic freshwater aquifer just off the eastern coast of the United States.

These are just a few examples of the impact geophysicists are making on problems facing humanity, as illustrated on the "What Do Geophysicists Do?" website of the Society of Exploration Geophysicists (SEG), an Earth Science Week partner.

Today, geophysics has a major role to play in addressing three of the planet's most pressing challenges — energy, water, and climate. "The world needs more geophysicists," according to SEG. "Are you ready to help save the world?" Learn more online.

Help NGWA Promote Groundwater Awareness

National Groundwater Awareness Week (March 7-13, 2021) will shed light on one of the world's most important resources — groundwater. Groundwater is essential to the health and wellbeing of humanity and the environment, according to the National Groundwater Association.

Learn more about National Groundwater Awareness Week 2021 online, and visit Groundwater Fundamentals to learn more about the importance of groundwater.

SSSA Offers Riches of Soil Science Education

Over 6,000 members strong, the Soil Science Society of America (SSSA) is a scientific organization that aims to support geoscience teaching and learning about soils.

This AGI member society provides online educational resources tailored for teachers and for students. Included are lessons, activities, fun facts, sites of interest organized by soil topic and grade level, and soil definitions for the novice soil scientist.

You can also visit the online version of "Dig It," an SSSA-sponsored exhibition on soil from the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History. The exhibit includes interactive displays, hands-on-models, videos, and monoliths representing soils from each state, territory, as well as the District of Columbia. Check online for viewing times.

Resources Available Online Throughout the Year

Come and take a look! Earth Science Week is more than one week of the year. If you've got Internet access, you can teach and learn about Earth science all year long.

The Earth Science Week website presents videos, webcasts, classroom activities, Spanish-language resources, research projects, local events and organizations, and careers information.

Most importantly, the site features hundreds of recommended lessons that teachers and parents can conduct with children. Explore Earth Science Week today!

AAPG Offers Access to Distinguished Lecturers

With members ranging from professional geologists and corporate executives to students and academics, the American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG) has plenty to offer Earth science educators. AAPG, a longtime AGI member society and a major Earth Science Week partner, aims to foster scientific research and promote the science of geology.

Check out, for example, AAPG's Distinguished Lecture Program, which allows colleges, universities, and geological societies to arrange for a geoscientist to make a presentation.

Explore 'Critical Issues' in the Geosciences Online

AGI's Critical Issues website provides useful information on issues including energy, climate, water, natural hazards, and mineral resources.

Designed as a source of decision-ready information on state and local issues, this web portal is growing steadily in popularity among students, educators, and the science-interested public. Sample pages include:

Explore the geosciences on the Critical Issues website.

NOAA Boosts Teaching on Oceans, Atmosphere

The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) promotes education about oceanic and atmospheric science — and not only during Earth Science Week! NOAA offers resources and opportunities for students and teachers all year long.

At NOAA Education Resources you'll find teaching tools and materials on oceans and coasts, climate, weather and atmosphere, marine life, freshwater, and other special topics. The Water Cycle page, for instance, offers multimedia resources, lessons and activities, real-world data, background information, and career profiles of water science professionals.

The portal similarly provides a wealth of resources on a wide variety of subjects. Whether you're looking for science-based news coverage of recent extreme weather events or a social networking link to reinforce learning activities, NOAA is your source for oceanic and atmospheric science education resources.

College Students Explore Geothermal Energy

Students at the higher-education level are invited to be part of the free, semester-long U.S. Department of Energy Geothermal Collegiate Competition. Student teams design direct-use concepts leveraging geothermal energy to heat and cool buildings, campuses, districts, or entire communities. 

Participation is free and offers students the chance to win national recognition and earn cash prizes. In addition, competitors will gain real-world renewable energy industry experience conceiving a use case, performing resource and usage assessments, and developing plans alongside community stakeholders. 

The competition invites participation by teams of at least three students enrolled in accredited U.S.-based collegiate institutions or U.S. citizens enrolled at non-U.S. based collegiate institutions. Progress submissions are due March 9. Final competition submittals are due May 4. Learn 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.