Earth Science Week Update, Vol. 15, No. 4: April 2017

 Image of student learning about maps Image of student learning about maps (© Beth Stettner, USGS)IN THIS ISSUE...
  • 'Earth Connections' Contest Invites Brief Videos
  • NRCS Offers Resources for Soil Education
  • Earth Science Week Adds Geoscience to Earth Day
  • Find New Ways to Ensure 'No Child Left Inside'
  • Earth Science Week Photo Contest Boosts Education
  • STEMIE Leads Kids in Invention, Entrepreneurship
  • Partners Teach Kids About Science of Conservation
  • View 'Why Earth Science' Online With Your Students
  • Energy Science Sparkles in Online Visualizations
  • Prepare Now for Week of Environmental Education


'Earth Connections' Contest Invites Brief Videos

Leading up to Earth Science Week 2017, AGI invites you to enter its new "Earth Connections" contest. Submit a 30- to 90-second original video that tells viewers about how people have an impact on Earth systems, or how Earth systems have an impact on people, in your part of the world.

Earth Science Week 2017 (October 8-14) is engaging young people and others in exploring the relationship between human activity and Earth systems, including the geosphere (earth), hydrosphere (water), atmosphere (air), and biosphere (life). This year's celebration promotes public understanding and stewardship the planet, especially in terms of the ways people affect and are affected by these Earth systems.

"We see such interactions in energy, technology, climate change, the environment, natural disasters, industry, agriculture, recreation, tourism, and other areas," says Edward C. Robeck, AGI's Director of Education and Outreach. "Tell us how you see people interacting with Earth systems to make the most of opportunities and manage challenges."

The contest is open to individuals or teams of interested persons of any age in any part of the world. All eligible submissions must be received electronically by 5 p.m. ET, Friday, October 13, 2017. Winners will be announced following Earth Science Week. The winner will receive a prize of $300 and a copy of AGI's The Geoscience Handbook. To learn more, see the official contest website.


NRCS Offers Resources for Soil Education

The National Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) operates an Educational Resources page featuring a treasure trove of teaching materials dealing with natural resources - including backyard conservation lesson plans, a database of standardized information about plants, and links to agricultural education sites.

For example, check out NRCS's soil education website, where teachers can dig up a treasury of resources designed for both science educators and K-12 students. Also, teachers can order the "Dig In! Hands-On Soil Investigations" book. Dig in when you're ready!


Earth Science Week Adds Geoscience to Earth Day

Educators and young people worldwide will celebrate Earth Day 2017 on April 22 with activities, experiments, and investigations exploring how our world works - and those in the know will be tapping the wealth of education resources available through Earth Science Week.

Although Earth Science Week 2017 will be celebrated this 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 "Earth and Human Activity."

The Earth Science Week website presents 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 online.


Find New Ways to Ensure 'No Child Left Inside'

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 10, during Earth Science Week 2017, when educators and young people nationwide will be wading into creeks, climbing hills, and searching the skies to learn Earth science. Or plan your own NCLI Day whenever it's most convenient for you!

Find AGI's NCLI Day Guide on the Earth Science Week website. Have a great NCLI Day!


Earth Science Week Photo Contest Boosts Education

AGI once again is sponsoring a photo contest in celebration of Earth Science Week. What's more, the contest, which honors this year's event theme of "Earth and Human Activity," features a new twist.

Students, geoscientists, and the general public are invited to submit entries for this year's photography contest, titled "Earth and Human Activity Here." Entries should show ways people affect, or are affected by, Earth systems in their local communities. New to this year's photo contest, AGI and Earth Science Week present the "Earth and Human Activity Here" Photo Map. Select entries will be featured on the map, linked to the location of origin.

"We hope this innovation will serve as a powerful educational resource, fueling discussions in classrooms and other settings," says AGI Outreach Manager Geoff Camphire. "As entries pour in throughout the year, we will continue populating the map with examples of ways that people interact with Earth systems where they live. Program participants, students, and teachers are invited to visit the website and view the wide variety of forms these interactions take."

Selected winners will be awarded for their submissions. See the contest guidelines, including how to submit your photos and what information should be included with your submissions.


STEMIE Leads Kids in Invention, Entrepreneurship

A new Earth Science Week partner, STEMIE is an education framework that elevates youth invention and entrepreneurship education to a core part of K-12 education. STEMIE stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math linked to Invention and Entrepreneurship (STEM+I+E) and maps essential unstructured problem-solving teaching activities to core STEM curricula and standards.

The STEMIE framework also allows for the standalone teaching of invention and entrepreneurship outside of STEM - enabling all kids to learn life-long critical thinking and problem-solving skills. On the website, you can learn more about the organization's framework, coalition, events, resources, and how you and your students can get involved. Learn more about STEMIE online.


Partners Teach Kids About Science of Conservation

Partners in Resource Education (PRE), an 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 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.

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. Students take part in environmental monitoring and other activities through distance learning and the project website.


View 'Why Earth Science' Online With Your Students

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. View the clip on YouTube or on TeacherTube.


Energy Science Sparkles in Online Visualizations

Looking for ways of exploring Earth science visually? You could start with the visualizations available on the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) website.

NREL's spectacular collection includes renewable energy maps, which depict solar, wind, water, biomass and geothermal energy. In addition, the Energy Information Administration and Open Energy Information provide stunning visual representations to help students and others understand our energy use.


Prepare Now for Week of Environmental Education

National Environmental Education Week (EE Week), the nation's largest environmental education event, inspires environmental learning and stewardship. The 13th annual EE Week (April 23-29, 2017) connects educators with environmental resources to promote K-12 students' understanding of the environment.

The environment is a compelling context for teaching STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) as it provides teachers with a diverse range of real-world challenges that engage students in meaningful hands-on opportunities to apply and reinforce STEM concepts across multiple subject areas, according to the event organizer, the National Environmental Education Foundation.

Register for EE Week to access educational resources and opportunities. 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.

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