“Our Shared Geoheritage” is the theme of this year’s Earth Science Week, an annual worldwide celebration to be held Oct. 9-15.
The celebration highlights the importance of geoscience education by organizing a variety of activities to promote learning and to spark interest in the field.
This year’s theme will focus on the collection of natural wonders, landforms and resources that have formed over time along with the need to conserve and manage them effectively.
“Everyone has something to share and everyone has something to learn,” said Geoffrey Camphire, outreach programs manager for the American Geosciences Institute, which coordinates the event with support from the AAPG Foundation, U.S. Geological Survey, NASA, U.S. National Park Service, ExxonMobil, Esri and others.
The Days of Earth Science Week
Each day of the week will focus on a specific aspect of geoscience:
- International Earthcache Day encourages the hobby of geocaching around the world.
- Earth Science Literacy Day shares the fundamentals of geosciences through a video series.
- Earth Observation Day introduces students to remote sensing, an exciting educational tool.
- National Fossil Day promotes paleontology and the appreciation of fossils around the country.
- Geoscience for Everyone Day welcomes underrepresented communities to discover geoscience career opportunities.
- Geologic Map Day highlights the importance of geologic mapping in education, science, business and policy.
- International Archaeology Day celebrates archaeology and the thrill of discovery.
Throughout the week, teachers will have the opportunity to invite geoscientists to visit their classrooms, which is an exciting way for students to learn more about the earth from the best-qualified mentors. Many lead field trips to interesting geological sites in their area so students can have a hands-on approach to learning. Others arrange fun and educational activities for students to do in the classroom.
“Geoscientists of all stripes have something so unique to pass along to young people,” said Camphire.
“When they share their expertise, they light a fire of curiosity, exploration and inspiration. And they know it, because they’re igniting the same fascination with science that awakened in them when they were young,” he added.
Another way to get involved in the celebration is to enter one of the many contests planned for Earth Science Week.
“The contests offer fun ways for students and others to stretch their brains, explore geoscience and compete for prizes,” said Camphire.
The video contest is open to students and teachers. It challenges teams to work together to share about an outdoor place that is special to them.
The photography contest is open to everyone and will feature photographs that show how earth systems have interacted over time to form geoheritage in a community.
The visual arts contest will set out to show how earth systems have shaped the world. It’s open to students in kindergarten through fifth grade.
And lastly, the essay contest will have students in sixth through ninth grade research and write about the process of choosing geoheritage sites.
To learn more about Earth Science Week, visit www.earthsciweek.org. Also, look for a poster promoting Earth Science Week inserted in the September EXPLORER sent to U.S. addresses.