EARTH SCIENCE WEEK UPDATE
American Geosciences Institute
Vol. 10, No. 4: April 2012
IN THIS ISSUE…
- Plan Activities Now for Earth Science Week 2012
- Explore Geoscience Careers at Weekend Science Festival
- Find New Ways to Ensure ‘No Child Left Inside’
- Partners Teach Kids About Science of Conservation
- Selected Earth Science Kits on Sale for $5 Each
- SPE’s Energy4me Sparks Energy Education
- Web Site Monitors ‘Pulse’ of Earth Science Education
- NRCS Offers Resources for Soil Education
- View ‘Why Earth Science’ Online With Your Students
- See 100 Activities on Earth Learning Idea
Don’t wait until fall to prepare for Earth Science Week 2012 (October 14-20)! Now is the perfect time to plot your activities. Take this opportunity to make a wish list: How would you like your students to celebrate Earth Science Week?
You can promote this year’s theme - “Discovering Careers in the Earth Sciences” - by planning activities to help your students learn about geoscience careers and the natural processes that shape our planet over time. Start with some of the exciting classroom activities featured on the Earth Science Week web site at http://www.earthsciweek.org/forteachers/classroomactivities.html.
Leading up to the October celebration, you’ll see more and more Earth Science Week events, both local and nationwide, listed online at http://www.earthsciweek.org/eventsnearyou/index.html. For more ideas, read about successful past events at http://www.earthsciweek.org/highlights/index.html or see recommendations on how to get involved at http://www.earthsciweek.org/forplanners/index.html.
Come along for an Earth science adventure in Washington, D.C., this weekend! Explore 2,000 free, hands-on activities and over 100 stage shows and author presentations at the USA Science & Engineering Festival Expo at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center on April 28-29. The event supports the Earth Science Week 2012 theme of “Discovering Careers in the Earth Sciences.”
“The USA Science & Engineering Festival is custom-built to help you check out the amazing variety of jobs in the science, technology, engineering and math fields that you may not have heard of before,” says Geoff Camphire, Earth Science Week program manager. “One of the focuses of the festival is to impress upon students and their families the many exciting career opportunities available with the best job prospects for the future in Earth science.”
The festival’s Career Pavilion will be filled with exciting experiences and opportunities, including exploring tomorrow’s hot careers in areas such as renewable energy, space tourism, clean technology, and other fields. The festival is a collaboration of over 500 of the nation’s leading science and engineering organizations. Check out Earth Science Week at Booth 3850. Learn more at http://www.usasciencefestival.org.
Any day can be “No Child Left Inside” Day - a time for outdoor activities allowing young people to experience Earth science firsthand. And the NCLI Day Guide now offers lots of learning activities to help you do just that!
This free online guide provides everything you need to start planning your own NCLI Day event, including activities designed specifically for elementary, middle, and high school students. Begin now to plan your NCLI Day event for Tuesday, October 16, during Earth Science Week 2012, when educators and young people nationwide will be wading into creeks, climbing hills, and searching the skies to learn Earth science. Or schedule your own NCLI Day whenever it’s most convenient for you.
Find AGI’s NCLI Day Guide on the Earth Science Week web site at http://www.earthsciweek.org/ncli/index.html. Have a great NCLI Day!
Partners in Resource Education (PRE), a new Earth Science Week partner, provides programs and activities to get young people excited about the geoscience of conservation. Focusing on national resource priorities such as pollinators, wetlands, oceans, invasive species, endangered species, fire, and climate change, PRE teaches people about sustaining and safeguarding living resources in their own backyards.
PRE’s signature project, Hands on the Land, connects students, teachers, and parents to public lands and waterways. Education specialists work closely with teachers to develop programs that meet state standards and engage students in hands-on activities. Technologies such as distance learning and the project web site at http://handsontheland.org enable students to take part in environmental monitoring and other activities.
PRE is a consortium of seven federal agencies: Bureau of Land Management, Fish and Wildlife Service, Forest Service, National Park Service, Natural Resources Conservation Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and Environmental Protection Agency. By combining staffs and resources, the agencies educate young people, introduce them to natural resource careers, and cultivate the next generation of land and water stewards.
Earth Science Week participants know that the program provides educational toolkits perfect for leading instruction on timely topics like energy and climate. Four kits are now on sale for the next month:
* Our Ever-Changing Earth (Systemic Change) Toolkit, 2011
* Exploring Energy (Energy Resources) Toolkit, 2010
* Understanding Climate (Climate and Weather) Toolkit, 2009
* No Child Left Inside (Outdoor Activities) Toolkit, 2008
* Geoscientists Explore the Earth (Careers) Toolkit, 2005
Each kit contains dozens of items ranging from informational brochures and posters to activity booklets and disks. Select kits are on sale for $5.00 each, any quantity, from now through the month of May 2012. This price includes Library Rate shipping to U.S. addresses via the U.S. Postal Service, allowing 2-3 weeks for delivery.
Faster shipping services are available. Please contact AGI Publications for details and pricing by phone at 703-379-2480 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or go to http://www.earthsciweek.org/materials/index.html to order online.
Through its Energy4me program, the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) offers teachers of all grade levels 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 web site for PowerPoint presentations, career information, and more.
SPE, an Earth Science Week partner, is a nonprofit professional association whose members are energy professionals in 110 countries. Visit http://www.energy4me.org to learn more.
Concerned about the heartbeat of Earth science education in your area? Check “The Pulse of Earth Science Education,” a regularly updated database tracking Earth science trends nationwide. For each state, AGI provides the most recent available data on:
* teacher certification requirements and numbers teaching related subjects
* relevant courses that middle and high school students must take
* K-12 enrollment levels in Earth science and related subjects
* coverage of Earth science within state science standards
* state assessment of students in Earth science
* textbooks adopted and relevance to Earth science
* contact information for state education agencies
The web site (http://www.agiweb.org/education/statusreports/) offers detailed information on the status of geoscience education in every state, as well as guidance for advocates. The information provided is based on available data collected from numerous sources. Viewers are invited to help update information by contacting AGI at email@example.com.
The National Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) operates a soil education web site (http://soils.usda.gov/education/) where teachers can dig up a treasury of resources designed for both science educators and K-12 students.
Resources for the elementary level include lesson plans, links to soil education web sites, and even soil songs. Sing along to classics in the classroom such as “Mud, Mud, Mud” and “I Love Dirt.” To get lyrics for these songs and find other educational items for grades K-6, visit http://soils.usda.gov/education/resources/k_6/index.html.
NRCS also offers a CD-ROM titled “Soils - Tools for Educators,” which includes soil facts, state-specific soil information, lesson plans, and more. The CD is designed for middle and high school instructors who are teaching Earth science, environmental science, or soil science. For more about the disk and free online resources for grades 7-12, visit http://soils.usda.gov/education/resources/7_12/index.html.
AGI’s “Why Earth Science” video is now available for free viewing online on YouTube and TeacherTube. For an exciting introduction to the geosciences, you can’t do better than this six-minute clip, featuring eye-popping cinematography and computer-animation highlights from AGI’s “Faces of Earth” mini-series on The Science Channel.
The video, which won a Silver Telly Award, is ideal for illustrating the importance of Earth science to not only students, but also local education decision makers who may be weighing the subject’s place in the your curriculum. To view the clip on YouTube, go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jxbIJH4fTYo, or on TeacherTube, go to http://www.teachertube.com/viewVideo.php?video_id=47669.
Earth Learning Idea (ELI) - a leading web site for Earth science education - has published more than 100 activities online. Every two weeks, ELI publishes a new Earth-related teaching activity, designed to be a practical resource for teachers and teacher-trainers. Most activities require minimal cost and equipment.
Please visit http://www.earthlearningidea.com to learn more about the Earth. Activities also are publicized on the ELI blog site at earthlearningidea.blogspot.com.
The American Geosciences Institute is a nonprofit federation of 50 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 http://www.earthsciweek.org/contactus/index.html.
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