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National Earth Science Week is around the corner! The celebration will take place October 9-15, 2011 and this year’s theme is “Our Ever Changing Earth.” Not sure what to do for that week? Go to National Earth Science Week Homepage http://www.earthsciweek.org and you will find numerous ideas related to this year’s theme. You may also purchase an Earth Science Week kit for $6.95 which is filled with posters and resources to use during the celebration and the rest of the year.
The first day of the school year can set the tone for the entire year, and we as Earth Science teachers have the best resources to ensure a terrific opening to the new school year. We have access to images and animations of exciting events, fascinating phenomenon, and perplexing puzzles in the Earth Sciences. We can stop our students in their tracks as they ask “why do we have to learn Earth Science?” by using video clips like "Why Earth Science" from AGI and available on the AGI website http://www.agiweb.org/education/resource/index.html and on YouTube. This free 7 minute video will give your students a taste of what’s in store for them for the school year, and will entice them to choose a career in one of the many fields of Earth Science. They will be captivated by the footage and the message it has that Earth Science includes everything everywhere! Best Wishes for a new school year!
Looking for a source of great information about Rocks and Minerals? Do you want your students to identify common minerals and rocks by their physical properties? Look no further. The, University of Arkansas Department of Geosciences and Sigma Gamma Epsilon (the national honor society of the Earth Sciences), has created a virtual “rock bag” for students in the UA General Geology courses.
Now, students can examine many fine digital images of mineral and rock specimens on the World-Wide Web. The Department cautions the user that these images are intended to serve as a SUPPLEMENT to your learning and not as a SUBSTITUTE to hands-on learning with actual mineral and rock specimens. It is not recommended that you attempt to learn everything you need to know (such as various physical properties) about minerals and rocks from these pages. It is recommended that students practice their skills with real specimens in the classroom or lab while using these images as a study guide.
NITARP, the NASA/IPAC Teacher Archive Research Program, gets teachers involved in authentic astronomical research. Small groups of educators work with a mentor professional astronomer for an *original* research project. The educators incorporate the experience into their classrooms and share their experience with other teachers. The program runs January through January.
This program is completely unique in the following ways: (1) each team does original research using real astronomical data, not canned labs or reproductions of previously done research; (2) each team writes up and presents the results of their research and presents it at an American Astronomical Society meeting (the AAS is the professional organization for astronomers in the US). Most educators in the program teach grades 8-12. Teachers applying should already know the basics of astronomy, be interested in learning how astronomy research is conducted, and be willing to share their experiences with colleagues and students in their environment. Three all-reasonable-expenses-paid trips are integral to the program! Special note: As a previous teacher participant, I can attest that this program is top notch and makes a great impact not only on you but on your students!
More information and the application for NITARP for 2012 is now available here: http://nitarp.ipac.caltech.edu/. Applications are due Sep 23!
The Indiana Geological Survey is committed to supporting the teaching of Earth Science related concepts as part of its overall mission. This commitment is focused on the Indiana K-12 Academic Science Standards and also includes resources for organizations and agencies involved in similar educational efforts. As part of a diverse education outreach program, the IGS provides educators free curriculum support materials including lesson plans, demonstrations, and activities. Users can modify lessons to meet the specific goals and objectives set forth for a particular audience.
The IGS also provides links to many reference documents because they understand that the study of Earth Science concepts frequently requires the use of reference documents and graphic representations of complex systems and processes. In the support of the Indiana Geological Survey's mission to disseminate information, the documents provided within these pages are meant to enhance the learning experience of a novice or as quick reference sheets for experienced geologists. In addition, frequently requested graphic organizers and diagrams are included. An example of one of these classroom ready resources is the Moh’s Hardness Scale pdf that is perfect for students and teachers.
NESTA has recently been surveying Earth and space science K-12 teachers about their needs and concerns in the classroom. That survey has yielded lots of interesting results, including some rather depressing information about teaching controversial topics in the Earth science classroom. Teachers were given a list of 18 topics (ranging from gravity to the use of minerals in society, and including evolution, climate change, the age of the Earth) and were asked to indicate if they had difficulty or pressure from students, parents, administrators, or other community members to not teach about any of the topics. Of the 275 respondents to this question, the top five areas where difficulties appear to occur are:
This series of 155 brief illustrated articles is part of a set of about 250 such articles produced by the Indiana Geological Survey between 1974 and 1984. The articles were distributed to and printed by newspapers all over Indiana. During that period the Geological Survey, which is located on Indiana University's Bloomington campus, was a division of the Indiana Department of Natural Resources at that time.
These illustrated articles range in subject from Coal and Dimensional Stone to chapters on Paleontology and Structural Geology. Each page in a chapter covers one aspect specific to the chapter. For example in the Coal Chapter there are illustrated discussions regarding Block Coal, Cannel Coal, Coal Balls (Odd rounded rock masses of calcite and pyrite that often contain plant, and less commonly, invertebrate animal fossils or insects), and other aspects of Indiana Coal that students and teacher will find interesting.
NESTA needs your leadership abilities! We are seeking nominees for President-Elect, Secretary, Treasurer, and six of the twelve Regional Directors (East-Central, Eastern, Mid-Atlantic, New England, Northwest, and Southeast regions). As you settle into your new academic year, please consider running for one of the positions to share your ideas and talents with our NESTA members. NESTA is the premier organization for K-12 Earth and Space Science Education and you can make NESTA even more effective in meeting the needs of our members. Encourage your colleagues to run for an office too! Nominations close November 30th, and elections will be held in January. If you have questions or to request a nomination form, e-mail Missy Holzer at email@example.com.
Welcome to the Pennsylvania Geological Survey. Pennsylvania provides an awesome Geoscience classroom waiting to be explored and this site links the educator and the public to the rich natural history, abundant mineral resources, and varied landscape of Pennsylvania. The resources provided through this site will help students (both young and old) to observe and interpret the science that is all around them and to use nature’s clues to understand the history of the earth. The Pennsylvania Geological Survey is committed to providing teachers with the tools to make geology both interesting and exciting to students. With links to the classroom teachers will discover links that make it easier to include Geology in their K-12 earth science curriculum and provide additional resources to help teachers and students look beyond the textbooks to bring geoscience concepts into the classroom including grade specific lesson plans arranged by grade level and there is even a Kids Corner with coloring pages and fun links
Do you use authentic data in your classroom to teach astronomical concepts, or would you like to begin? As a result of a discussion at the Astronomical Society of the Pacific meeting earlier this month, a new listserv was established for teachers and scientists who would like to share ideas and help in this area. There is a lot of data available on the internet, but sometimes accessing it or knowing how to implement it in the classroom is difficult. A network of interested colleagues, many with experience in using these data sets has now been established: Data In Classroom Education (DICE). To join the list, contact Dr. Luisa Rebull at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As oil becomes even a more scare resource it is a good idea to give students the opportunity to understand where the industry that puts every drop of oil in their life was born.
The well that changed the world was drilled in the middle of quiet farm country in northwestern Pennsylvania in 1859. Known as the Drake Well, after "Colonel" Edwin Drake, the man responsible for the well, it began an international search for petroleum, and in many ways eventually changed the way we live. Drake Well Museum interprets the founding of the oil industry in Pennsylvania for residents and visitors by educating its audiences about the persons, places, and events important to the development of the petroleum industry and its growth into a global enterprise.
What is unique about the Drake Well is that it was the first drilled with the sole purpose of hitting oil. Drake knew that oil existed in the area and had been know to Native Americans who collected oil even before Columbus came to the new world. He also knew of other wells that had already been wells drilled that had struck oil in the region. The only problem was, they weren't drilling for oil. Instead, they were looking for salt water or just plain drinking water. When they struck oil, they considered it a nuisance and abandoned the wells. Drake was the first to recognize the importance of this "nuisance".
NESTA and Windows to the Universe are continuing our work with NBC Learn to add additional classroom activities to our existing set with a focus on biology connections for climate change. As usual, each activity will accompany videos related to our Changing Planet, with support from the National Science Foundation. For each video, we provide an introductory page linking to the video on the Windows to the Universe website, links to related pages on the website and elsewhere, and a link to a classroom activity that teachers can use to explore the related science with their students. Go to the Our Changing Planet section on Windows to the Universe to access all of the existing videos and lesson plans, and keep your eyes posted for new activities starting in late August. We hope to offer a workshop on these materials at the Spring NSTA in Indianapolis next year.
The current topics are as follows:
On October 3-4, 2011, Triangle Coalition for Science and Technology Education will present its annual STEM education conference, "Advancing STEM Education Through Innovation," in Alexandria, VA. Each year, the conference brings together STEM education leaders from around the nation to explore innovative and best practices, share ideas, collaborate, and to advocate for STEM education. Topics this year will focus on issues, including business/education partnerships, underserved populations, America’s economic success, innovative models in STEM education, and the new science education framework. The conference will also provide time for interactive table-top discussions and opportunities for networking. The second day of the conference will have a legislative focus, as Members of Congress and their staff provide an overview of current STEM education legislation and policy issues. Attendees will then blanket Capitol Hill to visit Congressional offices and discuss STEM education as a national priority.
Registration for the conference is currently available at a discounted early-bird rate. Triangle Coalition members are eligible to receive an additional 20% discount on registration. A limited number of exhibit spaces will also be available for organizations and sponsors that wish to feature quality STEM education resources and programs. To register or learn more about the conference and/or exhibit and sponsorship opportunities, visit http://trianglecoalition.org/conference.
NESTA is a member of the Triangle Coalition. Our partnering enables NESTA to gain leverage in seeking support for K -12 Earth Science Education.
Several satellites, including NASA's new Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO), have recorded several solar flares since the beginning of August a with a small solar flare erupting above sunspot 1092, the size of the Earth. The satellites also recorded a large filament of cool gas stretching across the Sun's northern hemisphere also exploded into space. This explosion, called a coronal mass ejection (CME), was aimed directly towards Earth, which then sent a "solar tsunami" racing 93 million miles across space, hitting the Earth’s magnetosphere on August 5th sparking aurorae in the skies around the poles and pose a threat to satellites. This CME strike sparked one of the strongest geomagnetic storms in years, registering 8 on the 0 to 9 "K-index" scale of magnetic disturbances. Even days later the Earth's magnetic field is still reverberating and continues to produce auroras across Europe and in many northern-tier US states.
To keep up on the current state of the sun and space weather in general there are two great places to check out. The NOAA Space Weather Prediction Center that provides the latest GOES Solar X-ray images, Alerts and Bulletins, as well as a Real-Time Solar Wind reading. A second site of interest is the commercial spaceweather.com that has links to aurora alerts and a gallery of images of aurora to use in the classroom.
April 15 – 31, 2012
This 16-day tour will provide participants with an exciting opportunity to experience the wonderful natural history of south Africa. Safaris will allow folks to view some amazing wildlife. You will visit the highest dunes in the world, experience cheetahs firsthand at the Cheetah Conservation Fund, observe the largest elephant population in Africa, see the “Cradle of Civilization," and have a chance to spend time at world-famous Victoria Falls. A naturalist/guide will be with our group the entire tour. You will be making game drives, both day and night, in open safari vehicles which allow excellent opportunities for photography!
All Accommodation and lodging are intended to provide maximum comfort and security. Most meals are included on the tour.
For the past 30 years, Richard Duncan has taken folks on many international tours. For additional information and a complete itinerary, contact Richard at: email@example.com, or 503.744.0794.
Earth Science Week 2011 will kick-off with the fifth annual International EarthCache Day on Sunday, October 9th. The public is invited to join the Geological Society of America (GSA), organizer of the global EarthCache program, and the American Geological Institute (AGI), Earth Science Week coordinators, in exploring this exciting and educational earth science experience.
International EarthCache Day is a time when EarthCachers around the globe organize small gatherings where people can learn something about the Earth. An EarthCache is a place that people locate with a GPS device while participating in a "treasure hunt" called geocaching. "The treasure you find at an EarthCache is a lesson about the Earth itself," says EarthCaching Program Director Gary Lewis of GSA, a longtime Earth Science Week partner. "Each EarthCache site will teach you something about the science of our dynamic planet - you actually have to do a task to prove that you have been observing and learning from your EarthCache visit." In 2004 Lewis developed the world's first EarthCache on an Australian headland, which features geologic evidence of an ancient ice age. Since that time, more than 11,200 EarthCaches have been established by geocachers around the globe, and some 1,250,000 people have visited the sites. More EarthCaches are added daily.
EarthCache events are being held around the world this October 9th. To view the locations for EarthCaching events, go to EarthCache.org.
As school begins this fall, Earth Science teachers have a perfect opportunity to make their content real and engaging for students. Students are interested in hurricanes and they can follow any storms that may affect the United States by visiting the NOAA National Hurricane Center where current cyclone activity is continually up-dated and there are numerous links to Hurricane History, Hurricane Awareness, and storm information. An ideal activity is for students to plot this season’s Hurricanes on their own Atlantic Hurricane Tracking Chart from the American Red Cross. These carts have latitude and longitude as well as states and countries that border the Atlantic Hurricane Region. For students who may be impacted by Pacific Hurricanes, they may want to access the Eastern Pacific Tracking Chart from NOAA For a global perspective, Weather Underground has a great tropical ocean image that shows current activity and sea surface temperatures.
In mid-September, the JOIDES Resolution-- a unique deep ocean drilling ship—resumes its expeditions of discovery with a two-month cruise to study Mid-Atlantic Microbiology. Expedition 336 will initiate long-term coupled microbiological, geochemical, and hydrological experimentation within the seafloor at North Pond, western flank of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge.
During this summer, the JR has been tied up in Curacao undergoing maintenance, and the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program-United States Implementing Organization’s education component, the Deep Earth Academy, took advantage of this port call to host "School of Rock 2011" aboard the ship. Fifteen educators from the five previous Schools of Rock—including several NESTA members--joined IODP staff and scientists to review the wealth of educational materials available to teachers and students, and suggest plans for future resources.
Among the most interesting teaching resources developed by the Deep Earth Academy are "Tales of the Resolution," a series of graphic novels created by Carl Brenner of the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University together with JR scientists, staff, and School of Rock participants. These are a great way to enhance reading skills and instill science into the curriculum.
Here is the link for more information about the JOIDES Resolution , useful education materials, and opportunities to said in future expeditions.
We're now offering an exciting new opportunity for teachers using Windows to the Universe in the classroom to bring the benefits of membership not only to themselves, but to their students as well!. Teachers can now join (as always, NESTA members get a 50% discount on their Teacher subscription!), and include their classroom students on their subscription. In addition, subscriptions are now available at the school and district levels. Benefits of subscription for students include:
Teacher subscribers (whether as Educator Members or through a Classroom, School, or District subscription) include the above benefits, as well as the following:
The NOAA Marine Debris Program is proud to host the annual Keep the Sea Free of Debris! Art Contest for K-8 students. NOAA would like to know how marine debris impacts you and what you are doing about it. The winning artwork will be showcased in a NOAA Marine Debris Program 2013 calendar that will help in raising awareness about the global problem of marine debris. Additionally, the winners will be featured on the Program’s website and in their weekly newsletter, which reaches over 200,000 people each month!
The next art contest for the 2013 calendar will open on September 16, 2011. This is to allow more time for judging and planning for a more robust 2013 calendar.
Stay tuned for details, entry form, and more information!
A few days ago I visited Mahana Bay, better known as the site of Hawaii's famous green sand beach. As I took this photo of my footprints leaving the ocean, I was struck by the symbolism of what we as teachers do every school year, taking back the memories and stories of what we have experienced into the classroom. So although it is with some sadness that I leave the beach, it is also with excited anticipation of what I will bring back to the students I have not yet met.
By the time you read the next issue of the NESTA E-News, school will have begun for most everyone. Now's the time to take a few minutes to share your favorite photos, web links or classroom activities so that others may benefit. Uploading to the NESTA web page is easy and quick. Just go to http://www.nestanet.org/cms/content/resources/submit and follow the instructions.
I am interested in creating a page of app resources for smart phones and iPads on the NESTA web site. If you are using an app in some way in your classroom, (or if you have developed an app that teachers can use) would you please send details in a short message to me at firstname.lastname@example.org? I will assemble all these into subject and technology specific designations. This is a new and exciting venture as we (and more and more of our students) acquire this technology. Mahalo!
EPA Region 8 has created a blog is intended for students middle school age and up. The Eco Student is an environmental blog for students in the Rocky Mountains and Plains where EPA will be posting as frequently as they have news, events, happenings etc. Their expectation is for there to be a new post every other day. That is where teachers come in! Please spread the word amongst your teaching peers and students about this new resource.
Wendy Dew, EPA Region 8 ( CO, ND, SD, MT, UT, WY ) Environmental Education and Outreach Coordinator, has the goal of using this blog to feature all the great work you and your students are doing. Please send her a quick email email@example.com about local events, students, contests, etc. and I she create a blog post about your news. Wendy will post blogs about your news item as appropriate and according to EPA policies.
The grocery store check out debate of “Paper vs. Plastic” rages on. The “Mockumentary” put forth by the Environmental group Heal the Bay in California might make an interesting discussion jump off point in your classroom. The bill referenced at the end is a California bill, but this is clearly not just a California issue.
Here is the link to the youtube video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GLgh9h2ePYw
Looking for an opportunity to showcase your schools ideas for a green project? Dream in Green has partnered with Global Green USA to promote The Green Schools Challenge sponsored by Pureology, awarding $65K cash to a U.S. school for a green schools project. This project should involve students and staff directly in designing and implementing environmental and energy solutions at their schools. The goals, local schools reduce their overall carbon footprint while promoting environmental sustainability. In the past activities have been student-led and usually promote low and no cost conservation as part of the overall plan to reduce the school’s carbon footprint. In addition to $65K to implement the actual project, the school will get another $65 K in tech support to film the project. For more information please go to:globalgreen.org
NESTA is pleased to announce our sessions at the NSTA Area Conference for fall 2011. NESTA will be offering workshops at all three Area Conferences, and we look forward to seeing you there! This year, in addition to our traditional and ever-popular Share-a-Thon and exciting Rock and Mineral Raffle, we will also be offering Windows to the Universe workshops on Earth System science, climate change, and geology.
All of our events will be in the same room, scheduled for Friday at each conference – providing you with a full day of Earth science professional development from the National Earth Science Teachers Association. Our events are free with registration at the NSTA conference.
Want to present at one or more of our Share-a-Thons? NESTA welcomes teachers and education specialists interested in sharing exemplary Earth and space science classroom activities and resources at our Share-a-Thons. If you are interested in presenting, apply at http://www.nestanet.org/cms/content/conferences/nsta/shareathons/apply.
NESTA sessions in Hartford
All events on Friday, October 28 in the Connecticut Convention Center, Ballroom C
9:30 - 10:30 am - Activities Across the Earth System
NESTA sessions in New Orleans
All events on Friday, November 11 in the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, R09
8:00 - 9:00 am - Let's Get Well Grounded
NESTA sessions in Seattle
All events on Friday, December 9 in the Washington State Convention Center, Ballroom 6E
8:00 - 9:00 am - Let's Get Well Grounded
Welcome to the Arkansas Geological Survey. Their mission is to serve the people of the Great State of Arkansas by providing geological information in order to develop and enable effective management of the State’s mineral, fossil fuel, and water resources while protecting the environment. The AGS collects and disperses geologic data to its users: (the public, education, industry and government). This data consists of geologic maps, historical data concerning resources, various datasets, both paper and some electronic-based. The data is available either as published or unpublished reports, summaries, open-file reports, and maps. Summaries relative to specific resources are posted online as are completed electronic databases and spreadsheets.
Educators will find multiple Educational Resources including teaching packets, rock packets, activities, teaching kits, and workshops. The quick links to rock charts and to earthquake activities are very useful to Earth Science teachers at all levels. Additionally the Arkansas Geological Survey participates in educational outreach activities, visiting schools and leading fieldtrips for students and geology clubs. For further information please contact Susan Young, (501) 296-1877, or email:ags@ arkansas.gov
Calendar of Events
NESTA Share-a-Thon in Seattle
From time to time, NESTA provides information about programs, services and resources provided by third-party organizations or providers which we believe is relevant to our membership. We provide this information as a service to our members. Inclusion of this information in any of our publications as content, links, or ads does not constitute or imply our endorsement of the accuracy or quality of the program, services and resources provided by third parties. NESTA specifically exempts itself from any and all liability for third-party programs, services and resources included in our publications, or accessible from links or ads in our publications.
Table of Contents
ES Week 2011
Digital Rock and Minerals
Apply Now for NITARP!
The Indiana Geol. Survey
Hoosier State Beneath Us
Penn. Geological Survey
Use DICE in Your Class!
Penn Oil History
Our Changing Planet - Bio
National STEM Conference
Earth Science in the News
Namibia & Botswana Tour
Hurricane in your class
JR Preps for Next Voyage
Marine Debris Art Contest
Leaving the Beach
The Eco Student Blog
Paper or Plastic ???
Green School Challenge
NESTA at Fall NSTAs
Arkansas Geol. Survey