Innovation, problem-solving, and critical-thinking skills are as important to the arts as they are to the Earth sciences. That’s why Earth Science Week 2018 is celebrating the theme of “Earth as Inspiration,” promoting public understanding of the geosciences and emphasizing artistic expression as a powerful way of strengthening Earth science education in the 21st century.
Inviting you to lend a hand is none other than Sally Jewell, petroleum engineer, conservationist and former U.S. Secretary of the Interior. Named as “Earth Science Education Ambassador” by the American Geosciences Institute, Jewell is serving as national spokesperson for Earth Science Week.
“Throughout Secretary Jewell’s distinguished career as an engineer, business executive and public servant, she has demonstrated an appreciation for the Earth and how people connect to it,” said Allyson Anderson Book, executive director of AGI. “I believe Secretary Jewell’s enthusiasm – for learning about our shared Earth and inspiring children to understand how Earth is intertwined with our lives and culture -- is universal.”
Proving that point, petroleum geologists are joining millions of people worldwide in 2018 in studying, teaching and learning about Earth science. Earth Science Week has been organized by AGI with the support of AAPG each year since its inception in 1998. This year you can lead the charge.
You can be part of a public awareness campaign that reaches more than 50 million people each year. Just check out the website, EarthSciWeek.org, through which AGI offers instructional resources, ideas, and activities that you can use. For example, the brief, exciting “Big Ideas of Earth Science” videos cover nine key concepts of the geosciences. Online links provide related activities that you can use to delve into these ideas in a classroom, science center or other settings.
What’s more, a plethora of activities are organized to help you explore your favorite niche areas of the geosciences throughout the week.
World of Wonder
Opportunities abound in the 21st annual Earth Science Week. As a petroleum geologist, you’re invited to join the exploration.
What about our planet inspires you? If your sense of wonder only grows with understanding natural processes, then you may be awed by graphic depictions of data. Explore human interaction with the natural world through “Visualizing Earth Systems,” a recent addition to the Earth Science Week website at EarthSciWeek.org/visualizations. In addition, the page links you to overviews provided by AGI’s Critical Issues Program, featuring information on timely topics.
The Education Resources Network of AGI’s Center for Geoscience and Society now provides the widest collection of free Earth science curricula, education activities, professional development, science education standards, virtual field trips, teaching ancillaries and more. To visit, go to the Earth Science Week homepage and click “Resources.”
Earth Science Week Citywide Celebrations will take place in Houston, Denver and the Washington, D.C. area, including special events and kit donations to local schools. Aligned with these events, AGI is supporting Energy Day Festival events in Houston and Denver.
Under a new price structure, the Earth Science Week 2018 Toolkit is free and available for the cost of shipping and handling. (To receive the toolkit, order online or call 703-379-2480.)
Would the promise of a prize incentivize your participation? You can be part of Earth Science Week’s celebration by entering – or helping a young person to enter – one of the program’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 “Inspired by Earth” photo contest, entries must be composed of original, unpublished material, and show how Earth serves as inspiration for art – or simply a view of the natural world that is inspiring.
“Earth and Art,” this year’s visual arts contest, is open to students in kindergarten through fifth grade. Essays by older students must address the idea of “Finding ‘Art’ in Earth.”
Finally, AGI invites people of all ages to enter the “Earth Expressions” video contest by submitting a brief video that shows viewers how people affect Earth systems or vice versa.
Each contest winner receives a prize of $300 and a copy of AGI’s “The Geoscience Handbook.” What’s more, each winning entry is celebrated on the Earth Science Week website. For all contests, entries may be submitted up to the Friday of Earth Science Week, Oct. 19, 2018.
Your Vital Role
It’s not so hard to venture into a classroom, talk with students, and lead a hands-on geoscience activity. For a start, search the Earth Science Week website’s collection of more than 120 learning activities that align with the Next Generation Science Standards. Perhaps most useful, you can search among 24 categories of Earth science topics, from energy and environment to plate tectonics and weathering.
As a petroleum geologist who wants to enhance young people’s education, you can get more helpful hints from “Visiting Geoscientists: An Outreach Guide for Geoscience Professionals,” a handbook co-produced by AGI and AAPG’s Youth Education Activities Committee.
Geoscientists just like you are spending the week visiting schools and leading field trips, especially at the K-12 level. They’re 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/.
If you’re hosting an Earth Science Week 2018 event such as an exhibit, tour, lecture, or open house, the new Earth Science Week Event Registry enables you to promote your event more effectively than ever. Simply provide a few key details at EarthSciWeek.org/content/register-your-event. Fill out the online form and let the Earth Science Week team, and the world, know about your event.