By Melissa Karsten / October 12, 2018

Inspiration for every day of Earth Science Week

Earth Science Week 2018 is almost here (Oct. 14-20), so get your art supplies out and express yourself, which is the emphasis of this year’s theme – Earth as Inspiration (Earth Science Week). The week is a sum of its days, and the Earth Science Week organization has a focus for each of those days.

To start off the week on Sunday, head outdoors for a fun day of geocaching or, in this case, finding an EarthCache™ on International EarthCache Day. If you’ve never played before, it’s like a treasure hunt using a web browser or phone app. Unlike traditional geocaching the treasure is learning about geological and geographical caches that Earth has stored instead of humans. And you can search for geocaches in the area that you want to explore.

What’s unique about EarthCache is that it’s based on learning about a geoscience feature or aspect of Earth. The website and app have reading materials for you and your students to investigate the site. And like regular geocaching, you sign a logbook, but this one is digital. For more detailed instructions, and to learn how you can add your own Earth caches, visit Geosociety.org. This engaging activity is something you’ll want to try, whether it’s in your plans for Sunday or not.

Mondays are great days for videos, so check out the Earth Science: Big Idea video series on Earth Science Literacy Day. These videos cover nine core concepts and teach why Earth science literacy is important. The videos range from four minutes to six and a half minutes long and cover topics such as scientists, the continually changing Earth, evolution, and natural hazards. When you’re done watching, you might ask your students to create materials for younger students using what they learned and their great art skills!

Tuesday is Earth Observation Day. So, see what’s up at AmericaView on Facebook and Twitter. Have you checked out remote sensing Landsat images before? According to Americaview, “Landsat images date back to 1972 and and are the longest, most comprehensive set of satellite data of Earth and its features.” There are all types of maps available for a day packed with STEM and Earth.

National Fossil Day on Wednesday is a favorite of a Pitsco curriculum specialists! David Meador is definitely an enthusiast, which is clear when he describes how it still fascinates him every time he puts his hand in the exact spot a dinosaur put its foot on the therapod fossil in his collection. Maybe you have a collector in your area that would be willing to show his or her treasures. You could also do some online searches for museums and events near you. Plus, the American Museum of Natural History and University of California Museum of Palentology have some great student-friendly resources.

Explore geoscience careers with your students on Thursday, Geoscience for Everyone Day. Consider having them write down the things they like about Earth science and look for career connections in the geoscience field. And if you can find geoscientists to visit your classroom, even better. The Occupational Outlook Handbook is also a great resource.

After mapping the future, students can learn how to read different types of geologic maps on Friday during Geologic Map Day. Earthsciweek.org has a number of activities available, ranging from creating a map to learning how groundwater changes the surrounding rock, and many topics in between. There’s also a list of resources that include where to find your state’s geologic map and other databases that will be useful with any geologic map lesson.

What better way to wrap up Earth Science Week on Saturday than with International Archaeology Day? The Archaeological Institute of America provides a list of events to participate in that you can search by state. If you can’t get out to an event, create a trivia game using Kahoot or another similar app. Pinterest is a great resource for free printable and hands-on activity ideas. I’m sure students could get into a chocolate chip cookie dig!

Earth Science Week is a fantastic way to get students excited about geosciences and enable them to see a wide variety of career options. What better time to bury ideas in the minds of your students and see what changes take place over time?

Resources:
Geocaching
Pinterest Earth Science search
35 Digital Tools To Create Simple Quizzes And Collect Feedback From Students

TOPICS: IN THE CLASSROOM, IDEAS & INSPIRATION, Collaborations, Science, STEM, Resources, Careers, Activities, 21st Century Skills, Hands-on Learning

Melissa Karsten

Written by Melissa Karsten

Anyone that knows me well knows I love to ask questions and get excited about learning. So, it’s been awesome throughout the last 12+ years with Pitsco to have so many opportunities to ask educators questions online and in their classrooms and learn from them. But, I have to say, my favorite part is witnessing the students’ “aha!” moments using the hands-on approach. Being a crafter – I’d love to be on "Flea Market Flip!" – I can relate. Now, if there were just a few more hours in the day for my digital projects, gardening, beekeeping, running, and what I call puppy time!