Earth Science Week marks its 20th year in 2017 by exploring the theme of “Earth and Human Activity,” promoting public understanding of the geosciences and the ways people influence – and are influenced by – Earth systems. The part you play in this celebration, naturally, is vital.
Throughout the week of Oct. 8-14, 2017, petroleum geologists will join millions of others worldwide in studying, teaching and learning about Earth science. Earth Science Week has been organized by the American Geosciences Institute (AGI) with the support of AAPG each year since its inception in 1998. Now is your chance to play a leadership role.
It’s easy to become part of the campaign that reaches more than 50 million people annually. AGI hosts a website (www.earthsciweek.org) that offers lots of instructional resources, ideas and activities. For instance, the brief and exciting “Big Ideas of Earth Science” videos cover nine key concepts of the geosciences. Online links provide related activities for exploring these ideas in classrooms, science centers, and other settings.
In addition, a treasure trove of new informational resources, activities, and programs also are being introduced to celebrate this special anniversary.
Find Your Focus
To zero in on your niche interest, participate in activities emphasizing various areas of the geosciences during “Focus Days”:
- International EarthCache Day, Sunday, Oct. 8, allows EarthCachers worldwide to participate in geocaching “treasure hunts.”
- Held on Monday, Oct. 9, Earth Science Literacy Day focuses on videos illustrating the field’s “Big Ideas” and related activities.
- Activities on Earth Observation Day, Tuesday, Oct. 10, engage students and teachers in remote sensing as an exciting and powerful educational tool.
- National Fossil Day, focusing on paleontology, takes place at schools, parks, and other sites across the country on Wednesday, Oct. 11.
- On Geoscience for Everyone Day, Thursday, Oct. 12, geoscientists like you share the excitement of their careers with young women, minorities, and others.
- Celebrate Geologic Map Day, Friday, Oct. 13, which promotes awareness of the importance of geologic mapping for education, science, business, and policy.
- Saturday, Oct. 14, caps Earth Science Week with the celebration of International Archaeology Day.
Compete for Prizes
One great way to participate is to enter – or help a young person to enter – one of Earth Science Week’s contests in visual arts, essay writing, video production and photography.
Students, geoscientists and the general public are invited to participate in the photo contest. For the “Earth and Human Activity Here” contest, entries must be composed of original, unpublished material and show ways people affect or are affected by, Earth systems in their communities.
“People and the Planet,” this year’s visual arts contest, is open to students in kindergarten through grade five. Essays by older students must address the idea of “Human Interaction With Earth Systems.” Finally, AGI invites people of all ages to enter the “Earth Connections” video contest by submitting a brief video that shows viewers how people affect Earth systems or vice versa.
How You Connect
If you’re a petroleum geologist who wants to enhance young people’s education, see “Visiting Geoscientists: An Outreach Guide for Geoscience Professionals,” a handbook co-produced by AGI and AAPG’s Youth Education Activities Committee.
Geoscientists can visit schools and lead field trips, especially at the K-12 levels, providing unique insights based on their training, experience, and firsthand knowledge of the workplace. The handbook offers strategies, resources, sample activities and more. Download it at www.agiweb.org/education/aapg.
To lead a hands-on geoscience activity, search the Earth Science Week website’s collection of more than 120 learning activities that support the Next Generation Science Standards. There are 24 searchable categories of Earth science topics, from energy and environment to plate tectonics and weathering.
Geoff Camphire is Earth Science Week Program Manager at the American Geosciences Institute.
For more information, visit www.earthsciweek.org or email [email protected].