Earth Science Week Update March 2021

American Geosciences Institute
Vol. 19, No. 3: March 2021


Nominations Invited for Teacher Leadership Academy

AGI, the organizer of Earth Science Week, and ExxonMobil Exploration are recruiting teachers for the 13th annual national Geoscience and STEM Teacher Leadership Academy for K-8 teachers. The 2021 academy will begin with an introductory webinar in early July, with the main academy experience taking place virtually July 19, 20, 21, 26, 27, and 29.

As in past years, during the Teacher Leadership Academy, teachers will be provided with activities to refresh and enhance Earth science content knowledge, access to and guides for hands-on STEM activities, resources to develop professional development workshops, opportunities to network with other educators, and experiences that they can use with their students in the classroom and with their colleagues in professional development.

Academy organizers will select up to 30 participants, each of whom is recognized by their school and/or school system as having potential as a teacher leader. Funding from ExxonMobil and AGI allow each selected participant to receive a $500 stipend, plus up to $200 for equipment and supplies upon completion of the academy.

AGI welcomes applications from teachers from all states and school systems serving U.S. students, including those that are part of the Department of Defense network. The application review process will begin April 1, 2021, and will continue until spaces are filled. Teachers can apply by completing the form. Learn more about the Teacher Leadership Academy.

Earth Science Week Adds Geoscience to Earth Day

Educators and young people worldwide will celebrate Earth Day 2021 on April 22 with activities, experiments, and investigations exploring how our world works — and those in the know will tap the wealth of education resources available through Earth Science Week.
Although Earth Science Week won't take place until October, the program offers education materials, information, and tools throughout the year. This year, for example, Earth Science Week provides education tools highlighting the theme of "Water Tody and for the Future," including learning activities focusing on water science.

The Earth Science Week website offers hundreds of free classroom activities, Spanish-language resources, videos, visualizations, webcasts, local events and organizations, competitions and awards, and careers information. Learn more about Earth Science Week.

And help us spread the word that there is no better way to honor Earth Day than by celebrating the geosciences. Share the crucial message of our #EarthScience4EarthDay hashtag campaign on social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram!

Get Involved With Art for National Fossil Day

To celebrate the 12th annual National Fossil Day during Earth Science Week 2021, the National Park Service is hosting an art contest celebrating fossil resources and paleontological heritage.

Open to U.S. residents of any age, the contest focuses on the theme "Prehistoric Life from our National Parks and Monuments." You will need to do a little research to learn about fossils from a particular national park. You can pick any fossil, specific prehistoric organism, prehistoric reconstruction, and/or a collage of the above from any of the 279 National Park Service areas that have fossils.

All submissions must be received by mail or email by 5 p.m. EST, October 1, 2021. The artwork will be judged by a panel on originality, creativity, quality and, most importantly, relevance to the topic. Winners are selected among entrants age 8 and under, 9-13, 14-18, and 18 and over. Four top entries in each age group will be selected including 1st Place, 2nd Place, 3rd Place and Honorable Mention. Read guidelines and download an entry form on the contest website.

Webcast Details 'Focus Days' of Earth Science Week

What does Earth Science Week 2021 have in store for you? Each day during the week, you can focus on a different area of Earth science. Go online today to view a webcast about the "Focus Days" of this year's celebration:

  • International EarthCache Day (Sunday, October 10)
  • Minerals Day (Monday, October 11)
  • Earth Observation Day (Tuesday, October 12)
  • National Fossil Day (Wednesday, October 13)
  • Geoscience for Everyone Day (Thursday, October 14)
  • Geologic Map Day (Friday, October 15)
  • International Archaeology Day (Saturday, October 16)

This free webcast provides an overview of opportunities, activities, and resources available. The roughly four-minute tutorial includes a wealth of online links, which viewers can click during the presentation to review available resources.

To view the webcast, visit online. In the coming months, look for additional webcasts on Earth Science Week 2021: "Water Today and for the Future." Learn more about Earth Science Week's Focus Days

NASA Engages You in Global Precipitation Measurement 

NASA's Global Precipitation Measurement Mission (GPM) uses satellites to measure Earth's rain and snowfall for the benefit of mankind. Launched by NASA and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency in 2014, GPM uses a network of satellites united by the GPM Core Observatory to provide high-quality estimates of Earth's rain and snowfall every 30 minutes.

Explore the Earth Science Week 2021 theme of "Water Today and for the Future" by delving into GPM's free online resources for students and teachers, including activities, information, and interactive features focusing on the water cycle, weather and climate, technology, and societal applications.

In addition, you can find out about missions, data sets, applications, relevant science, detailed articles, and upcoming events. Learn more about GPM.

Fregoe Wins Roy Award for Earth Science Teaching

Darcie Fregoe, a sixth-grade Earth science and social studies teacher at Madison Elementary School in Massena, New York, has been named the 2021 recipient of the Edward C. Roy Jr. Award for Excellence in K-8 Earth Science Teaching. Drawing on technology and emphasizing project-based and problem-based learning, Fregoe makes cross-curricular connections with what students are learning in mathematics, English language arts, and history.
"Darcie Fregoe is the sort of Earth science educator that every young person should have," said Sharon Tahirkheli, Interim Executive Director of the American Geosciences Institute. "Noted for the passion and excitement she brings to instruction, she leads her students in hands-on investigations and projects in their school, local community, and the wider world, engaging their curiosity and varied talents."
Fregoe will receive the award in April at the National Earth Science Teachers Association (NESTA) Friends of Earth Science Reception during the 2021 National Science Teaching Association Conference. This year's finalists were Caroline Little of Visitation School in Mendota Heights, Minnesota, and Martha McLeod of Fulton Learning Center in Rockport, Texas.
Given annually, AGI's Edward C. Roy Jr. Award recognizes one classroom teacher from kindergarten to eighth grade for leadership and innovation in Earth science education. The award is named in honor of Dr. Edward C. Roy Jr., who was a strong and dedicated supporter of Earth science education. Learn more online.

NGSS-ESS Webinar: Social Media in Education

Join colleagues on April 8 for the free NGSS-ESS Working Group webinar "Social Media: From the Chat Room to the Classroom" with leading experts David Thesenga, John-Henry Cottrell, Annie Scott, Wendy Bohon, and Adam Taylor.

Learn how to harness the power of social media as an educational tool. Find out how scientists and educators are using these platforms to teach critical thinking, be conscientious consumers of information, expose students to new concepts, follow breaking news in science for teachable moments, interact with scientists and experts, build communities of support, and dispel the fear of starting a social media account. Visit online to register and learn more.

AGI Releases Undergraduate Geoscience Education Report

A new AGI report — "Vision and Change in the Geosciences: The Future of Undergraduate Geoscience Education" — looks at drivers, needs, and strategies for preparing future generations of geoscientists for rapidly changing geoscience professions. The report addresses issues including key geoscience concepts, pedagogy, recruitment, increasing diversity, facilitating change, and career preparation.

This National Science Foundation-supported report is the culmination of summits, workshops, and surveys over the past six years, incorporating the inputs from more than 1,000 members of the geoscience community to develop a consensus on the future needs and approaches for educating future geoscientists.
Visit online to see Vision and Change, as well as an accompanying toolkit which will continue to expand to provide materials supporting change in undergraduate geoscience education.

IRIS Reaches Students at 'Teachable Moments'

Want to delve into the science behind current events with your students? Start with a visit to a website operated by the Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology (IRIS), an Earth Science Week partner.

IRIS offers a set of online resources — Recent Earthquake Teachable Moments — dealing with recent events of interest to seismologists, such as the magnitude-7.3 earthquakes along the Kermadec Trench north of New Zealand on March 4, 2021. View PowerPoint presentations, animations, and visualizations, as well as links to Spanish-language materials and USGS data. Additional resources address other quakes worldwide.

Founded in 1984 with National Science Foundation support, IRIS is a nonprofit consortium of over 100 universities engaged in the acquisition, management, and distribution of seismological data. To explore Teachable Moments and more, visit IRIS.

New Geoscience Job Center Boosts Opportunities 

Connecting geoscience employers with those seeking opportunities, AGI announces its new Geoscience Job Center. The Geoscience Job Center, updated daily, lists a wide variety of employment opportunities currently available across the geoscientific disciplines and sectors, including positions in academia, research, government, nonprofits, and the private sector.
As an introductory offer to employers through June 30, 2021, all academic ads are only $100 each for 31 days. Just email your ad to and, in most cases, the ad will be posted within one business day, and there is an easy way to pay online. Visit AGI's Geoscience Job Center today.


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.