Earth Science Week Update, Vol. 15, No. 12: December 2017
- Earth Science Week 2018 Theme: 'Earth as Inspiration'
- Earth Science Teaching Award: See the Webcast
- National Fossil Day Contest Names Winners
- More Classroom Activities Now Searchable Online
- Attend Earth Science Event in Alexandria, Va.
- AAPG Recognizes Top Geoscience Teacher
- Geoscience Policy Site Shows Real-World Relevance
- Earth Science Teaching Award: See the Webcast
- SSA Resources Produce Seismic Shift in Learning
- Is Earth Science Education at Risk in Your State?
- NGWA Offers Sprinkling of Ground Water Education
- Find Your Photos Online for Earth Science Week
- AEG Promotes Environmental and Engineering Geology
- See Yourself in an Earth Science Career
AGI is pleased to announce that the theme of Earth Science Week 2018 will be "Earth as Inspiration." The coming year's event will emphasize artistic expression as a unique, powerful opportunity for geoscience education and understanding in the 21st century.
Earth Science Week 2018 learning resources and activities will engage young people and others in exploring the relationship between the arts and the Earth systems. The coming year's theme will promote public understanding and stewardship of the planet, especially in terms of the ways art relates to geoscience principles and issues as diverse as energy, climate change, the environment, natural disasters, technology, industry, agriculture, recreation, and the economy.
"A longtime provider of top-quality curricula and teacher training, AGI supports the Next Generation Science Standards, which emphasize what is known as three-dimensional teaching, including introducing students to 'cross-cutting concepts' that help students see connections across the sciences," says Geoff Camphire, AGI's Manager of Outreach. "Through instruction based on these standards, students can find ways to combine the arts, sciences, and other subjects. Such educational strategies find a welcome environment in schools nationwide, where STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) has become an organizing principle of cross-curricular cooperation among educators and students."
Creativity, problem-solving, and critical-thinking skills are as important to the arts as they are to the Earth sciences. Consider an artist making silk screen prints, for example. The artist thinks in terms of layers added in a specific sequence. This process relies on similar thinking skills to those used by scientists interpreting geological samples, such as cores, trackways, and rock strata. Professional geoscientists themselves innovatively combine sciences such as chemistry, physics, and biology to understand the interactions of Earth systems including the geosphere (earth), hydrosphere (water), atmosphere (air), and biosphere (living things). Young people and others are invited during Earth Science Week 2018 to join in this creative endeavor.
Earth Science Week is supported by many organizations, including the U.S. Geological Survey; the AAPG Foundation; National Park Service; NASA; Society for Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration; Geological Society of America; American Geophysical Union; Association of American State Geologists; AmericaView; Howard Hughes Medical Institute; and Archeological Institute of America. To learn more, visit Earth Science Week Online.
Earth Science Teaching Award: See the Webcast
With a little more than a month left to apply, now is the time to go online and view a new webcast about the prestigious Edward C. Roy, Jr. Award for Excellence in K-8 Earth Science Teaching. The free, two-minute webcast provides an overview of the competition. To find out more, view the webcast.
AGI has expanded the eligibility requirements. In addition to U.S. teachers, instructors in the United Kingdom may compete. The program, a major part of Earth Science Week, recognizes one full-time teacher from kindergarten to eighth grade, or the U.K. equivalent, for leadership and innovation in Earth science education.
To enter the 2018 competition, applications must be postmarked by January 22, 2018. The winner will receive a $2,500 prize and a travel grant of $1,000 to attend the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) Annual Conference in March 2018 to accept the award. To learn more, teachers should visit the competition website.
National Fossil Day Contest Names Winners
Winners of the 2017 National Fossil Day Art Contest were recently announced by the National Park Service, a major Earth Science Week partner. To view the artworks of winners in four categories - ages 5 to 8, 9 to 13, 14 to 18, and 19 and up - please visit the website.
The National Park Service teamed up with AGI to launch the first annual National Fossil Day during Earth Science Week 2010. Since then, the program has grown enormously in reach and resources for students and teachers. Plans already are being made for the next National Fossil Day on Wednesday, October 17, 2018. Learn more online.
More Classroom Activities Now Searchable Online
Ever wish you could go online to search for a classroom activity tailor-made to match the Earth science topic you're teaching? Visit the Earth Science Week Classroom Activities page - continually updated and recently redesigned - for more than 120 free learning activities, most of them contributed by the leading geoscience agencies and groups that are Earth Science Week partners.
Activities are organized and searchable by various criteria, including specific Earth science topics. To find the perfect activity for your lesson, just click on "Search Classroom Activities." Search by grade levels and Next Generation Science Standards. Maybe most useful, you also can search among 24 categories of Earth science topics, from energy and environment to plate tectonics and weathering.
This database-driven resource is ideal not only for supplementing a prepared curriculum, but also for generating activities that address in-the-news events such as fossil discoveries and volcanic eruptions. See the Classroom Activities page.
Attend Earth Science Event in Alexandria, Va.
Going to be in the Washington, DC are this Friday? AGI invites educators, students, and the general public to explore connections between the geosciences and the arts during an Earth Science Week-related event called "The Late Shift: STEAM-Powered December," 7-11 p.m. Friday, December 15, 2017, at The Torpedo Factory, 105 N. Union St., Alexandria, VA 22314.
The free event, which will kick off the Earth Science Week 2018 theme of "Earth as Inspiration," will include hands-on activities, demonstrations linking art and geoscience, and opportunities to craft "take home" artworks based in Earth science. In addition, educational materials such as Earth Science Week Toolkits will be available for free for teachers, students, homeschoolers, and others to take away.
The event represents an exciting partnership between AGI and The Torpedo Factory, the beginning of a year-long collaboration intended to strengthen education and promote awareness of Earth science. These organizations recognize that creativity, problem-solving, and critical-thinking skills are important to both the arts and the Earth sciences. For more information, see the event page online.
AAPG Recognizes Top Geoscience Teacher
Submit your entry now! The American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG) Foundation, a longtime Earth Science Week partner, will award $6,000 at the AAPG Annual Convention and Exhibition in Salt Lake City in May 2018 to its Teacher of the Year (TOTY).
The award will once again be granted to a K-12 teacher within the United States who has demonstrated outstanding leadership in the field of geoscience education. Six teachers across the country will be identified as finalists, each from one of six U.S. geographic regions (Pacific, Rocky Mountain, Mid-Continent, Southwest, Gulf Coast, and Eastern).
After final nominations are decided, the TOTY Committee will convene to pick the final winner of the 2018 Teacher of the Year Award. The runner-up section finalists will each receive an honorable mention and a $500 cash award for their nomination.
The application deadline is January 15, 2018. To learn more, see the contest page.
Geoscience Policy Site Shows Real-World Relevance
AGI, the organizer of Earth Science Week, has a Geoscience Policy Department that works with AGI member societies and policy makers to provide a focused voice for the shared interests of the geoscience profession in the federal policy process.
Geoscience Policy tracks and analyzes policy issues; updates the geoscience community through news briefs that cover federal legislation, appropriations, and hearings; organizes meetings, briefings, testimony and written submissions on geoscience policy issues. Find out more about Geoscience Policy.
The department's Critical Issues program provides a portal to decision-relevant, impartial geoscience information. By aggregating material from multiple organizations in one place, the Critical Issues website makes it easier for users to find comprehensive information from across the geosciences. Critical Issues features easy-to-digest peer-reviewed summaries, answers to common questions, and links to more detailed resources. Learn more about Critical Issues.
SSA Resources Produce Seismic Shift in Learning
Want to shake up education? Start with the Seismological Society of America (SSA), the international scientific association devoted to advancing seismology and applications in imaging Earth's structure and understanding and mitigating earthquake hazards.
SSA, an AGI member society, offers a number of links to educational websites, including geoscience activities related to seismic science and earthquakes. Sponsored by Purdue University, the site features seismic eruption models, wave animations, plate tectonics simulations, information on tsunamis, and much more.
SSA also offers publications, information on seismology careers, a distinguished lecturer series, and an electronic encyclopedia of earthquakes. Learn more at SSA online.
Is Earth Science Education at Risk in Your State?
Many public schools have dropped Earth science from the required curriculum in recent years. Some colleges have closed geoscience departments. Employers have said they need more qualified candidates for geoscience jobs. How well does your public education system ensure that all students are taught important Earth science content?
"The Pulse of Earth Science: An Advocacy Guide," launched in connection with Earth Science Week, offers step-by-step recommendations for educators, parents, and other advocates wishing to ensure strong Earth science education in their local area, state, and nation.
Learn how to build coalitions, influence policymakers, and shape education at every level. View the guide online.
NGWA Offers Sprinkling of Ground Water Education
Besides advancing the expertise of ground water professionals, the National Ground Water Association (NGWA), an Earth Science Week partner, is dedicated to furthering ground water awareness and protection. NGWA offers short courses on ground water, several conferences each year, an annual ground water expo, and ground water webinars.
Check out "Ground Water Adventures," a website providing activities for young people in grade bands K-3, 4-8, and 9-12. Find fun facts about ground water, quizzes, and other information. Also featured are classroom experiments, an online ground water newsletter, pictures, and stories. For more information, visit Ground Water Adventures. To learn about the organization, see NGWA online.
Find Your Photos Online for Earth Science Week
Want to see yourself and your students on the Earth Science Week website? Simply send us photographs from your Earth Science Week celebrations and activities (along with any required permission forms). We'll post selected images on the Earth Science Week Photo Gallery.
By submitting a photo, you represent that the image is an original work, and you are the sole owner of all rights to the photo. You also agree to allow AGI to use your name to post on the AGI website, without compensation unless prohibited. You retain your rights to the photo but grant to AGI a royalty-free, worldwide, perpetual, nonexclusive license to publicly display, distribute, reproduce and create derivative works of the photo, in whole or in part, in any media now existing or later developed, for any AGI purpose, including, but not limited to, advertising and promotion. AGI will not be required to pay any additional consideration or seek any additional approval in connection with such uses.
AEG Promotes Environmental and Engineering Geology
The Association of Environmental and Engineering Geologists (AEG), an AGI member society, not only provides leadership, advocacy, and applied research in environmental and engineering geology - the association also encourages educators to join and make use of its abundant resources.
Resources for members include technical publications, section and chapter meetings, and special educator sessions at the annual meeting. Opportunities for professional geologists to speak to classes are also available to members, as well as resume writing workshops and scholarships for students. To find out more about what AEG has to offer or become a member, visit AEG online.
See Yourself in an Earth Science Career
Earth Science Week can help you explore career opportunities in the geosciences. If you became an Earth scientist, for example, what would you actually do? What funds are available to help pay for your studies? How could you get real-world work experience while still being a student?
For the answers to questions like these, look no further than "Geoscience Career, Scholarship, and Internship Resources." This recent addition to the Earth Science Week website can help you learn how to build a geoscience career - in fields such as oceanography, paleontology, seismology, mineralogy, meteorology, geophysics, petroleum geology, environmental science, and space science.
The site includes dozens of links to online resources offered by AGI member societies, program partners, and other governmental, corporate, and nonprofit organizations in the geoscience community. To learn more, visit the website.
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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