Earth Science Week 2007: The Pulse of Earth Science
What is the status of Earth science in education and society?
This year's Earth Science Week -- Oct. 14-20 -- aims to answer that question while emphasizing the importance of Earth science in people's everyday lives and involving students in Earth science activities. The week will also focus attention on the International Polar Year, a coordinated effort by the international science and education communities to learn more about the polar regions.
Earth Science Week is presented annually by the American Geological Institute to help the public gain a better understanding of and appreciation for the Earth sciences, and to encourage stewardship of the Earth. Before or during Earth Science Week, AGI plans to launch a Web site providing detailed information on the status of geoscience education.
NASA has contributed the following items to an educator kit designed to help teachers engage students in Earth science before, during and after this special week:
Exploring Ice in the Solar System CD -- The CD includes 13 standards-based lessons about ice for students in pre-kindergarten through grade 5. The lessons teach students about the characteristics and behavior of ice on Earth and throughout the solar system, address misconceptions students may have about ice, and demonstrate why the search for ice is important to many NASA missions. Detailed background information and teaching tips are provided to help educators conduct the lessons.
Earth Science Mystery Book -- Careful cutting and folding turns this one-page glossy insert into a small booklet featuring four NASA satellite images and descriptive captions. The images depict phenomena, including Hurricane Katrina and Greenland glaciers, related to the air, land, water and ice. Two of the images are hidden inside the book's centerfold.
- Earth and Space Science Explorers Poster -- Who are NASA Earth and Space Science Explorers? They include people of all ages and backgrounds who embody the spirit of discovery, and who use NASA science and technology to explore from planet Earth to the far reaches of the universe.
The poster features excerpts and pictures from the Earth Explorers and Space Science Explorers series. Both series of articles appear on the NASA Web site and feature explorers of all ages with a variety of backgrounds and interests. Most articles are written for three different reading levels: grades K-4, grades 5-8, and grades 9 and up. The poster includes tips for using the series in the classroom and correlations to national science education standards.
- 2007-2008 Earth Science Education Brochure -- The cover of this foldout brochure features a high-resolution image, created from Landsat satellite data, of Antarctica's Ferrar Glacier. Inside is a guide to NASA Earth science education programs and resources, including program descriptions and Web site addresses. The brochure also includes a chart that lists NASA satellite missions according to the components of Earth observed -- air, land, water, ice and life.
- Earth Science Activity Calendar -- A NASA learning activity -- "Sea Ice and Salinity" -- is one of 12 learning activities featured in an Earth science-themed calendar for the 2007-2008 school year. Using water, salt and an ice cube tray, students in grades 6-10 investigate the effects of salinity on the formation of sea ice. The calendar lists geoscience events and interesting Earth science facts.
For more information, and to order an educator kit, please visit the Earth Science Week Web site →
Earth Explorers Series
Space Science Explorers Series
Earth Science Education Brochure →
Dan Stillman, Institute for Global Environmental Strategies