The 7.6 magnitude earthquake that occurred Saturday, October 8, 2005 near Muzaffarabad, Kashmir (Pakistan) offers opportunities for teaching about earthquakes in the classroom. The seismic activity has caused over 35,000 deaths, 43,000 injured, and widespread devastation in the region. An estimated 2.5 million people are homeless. Aid efforts from around the world are underway and help is beginning to reach the area. Damaged or destroyed roads and bridges make access difficult to some of the most affected locations. The U.S. Geological Survey's Earthquake Hazards Program provides worldwide earthquake activity information and data, including complete information on the Pakistan quake. The USGS site also offers an Earthquakes for Kids site, with activities, science fair project ideas, images, topics, and earthquake facts. Other resources to support learning about earthquake events include Virtual Earthquake, an interactive activity that illustrates how seismic waves are used to determine magnitude and how to locate epicenter (for secondary and undergraduate level students). DLESE's Teachable Topics page offers more resources for teaching about earthquakes.
Professional development opportunity: NASA Satellites: CALIPSO, CloudSat and Aura Partner with GLOBE
This educator workshop, titled NASA Satellites Study Earth's Atmosphere: CALIPSO, CloudSat and Aura Partner with GLOBE, is a joint effort of NASA and the GLOBE Program. The workshop will utilize data from three satellite missions that provide students worldwide with a link to NASA research. These three satellites—CALIPSO, CloudSat, and Aura—will be part of a formation of satellites called the Afternoon Constellation (because they cross the equator within minutes of each other at 1:30 PM local time), and are also known as the A-Train. The A-Train satellites will fly in close proximity, providing combined detailed observations about the condition of Earth and assisting scientists in making predictions related to climate change. The workshop targets middle school educators who will work with the missions by involving their students in collecting and reporting cloud observations and sun photometer data at the GLOBE Program web site. Participants will receive both a stipend and travel expenses. Support will also be provided for participants to present at regional workshops.
In May 2005, the National Science Foundation funded a workshop to consider the strategies, issues, and impacts for geoscience education and outreach as key elements of NSF's Criterion 2 Broader Impacts requirement for scientific research proposals. Hosted by the University of California Museum of Paleontology and the Digital Library for Earth System Education Program Center, the workshop was held on the Berkeley campus. It brought together 26 educators and scientists engaged in education and public outreach (EPO) efforts. Workshop participants focused on the need for cultural change at various levels that motivates and rewards research and education communities to work together. Outcomes of the workshop include a set of recommendations to the National Science Foundation, the scientific research community, the EPO community, and to DLESE. An overall recommendation was for the formation of a network—the Geoscience Education and Public Outreach Network (GEPON)—as an important mechanism to support effective EPO and the engagement of the general public in the scientific enterprise. The final report of the workshop is now available from gepon.org (as well as from dlese.org): Making a Broader Impact: Geoscience Education, Public Outreach, and Criterion 2.
DLESE is pleased to welcome the Climate Change Collection into the library—a reviewed collection of digital resources about global climate change and climate variability. Funded by a National Science Foundation grant to the University of Colorado's Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES), collection development has been spearheaded by primary investigator Mark McCaffrey. Developed for middle school science teachers and their students, the collection has been reviewed by a team of science teachers, climate scientists, and learning experts for accuracy, currency, and effectiveness, and includes background materials, portal sites, and classroom activities. The collection contains materials relating to both natural and human-induced climate change and variability, including scientific, economic, and policy issues. The focus is on the background resources and learning activities that communicate the underlying principles of climate change, the differences and links between weather and climate, scientific research on change and variability, and the impact of human activities on the climate system. ( )
A Coalition for Earth Science Education (CESE) meeting was recently held at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center near Washington DC in late September. CESE is an informal group of professionals interested in promoting K-12 Earth system science (ESS) education in the U.S., making educators and the public aware of the importance of ESS education in the lives of all citizen ( as explained in this statement by the National Earth Science Teachers Association). DLESE sponsors a national K12 Earth science discussion list which would benefit from a revitalizing infusion of participation. The New York ESPRIT list serve is another active discussion list for teachers everywhere. Participation in either or both of these discussion lists is encouraged for both national, regional, and statewide discussions of ESS issues. To join the DLESE K-12 discussion list, select Find/Join a Group from the People and Groups menu of the DLESE home page, select K-12 focus group from the drop-down menu, and then select Subscribe/Unsubscribe.
Be sure and stop by the DLESE booth at the Geological Society of America Annual Meeting in Salt Lake City, Oct. 15-19; and join us at the Geoscience Educators Social Reception on Saturday, October 15, from 5 - 7 PM at the Marriott Downtown, Salon F. All are welcome to this event jointly hosted by the GSA's Education Committee, the National Association of Geoscience Teachers, the GSA Geoscience Education Division, the IRIS Consortium, Cutting Edge, the Digital Library for Earth System Education, UNAVCO, the American Geological Institute, and the National Earth Science Teachers Association. Copies of the Making a Broader Impact report will also be available at the reception and at the DLESE booth.