Committed to the advancement, extension, improvement and coordination of Earth Science education across all levels

May 2015 Elementary News and Notes

The city of Philadelphia has just joined the bike share movement. Indego, sponsored by Independence Blue Cross, features 60+ stations located across Philadelphia in Center City and parts of North, South, and West Philadelphia. You can view this image and past images geospatially located on a map at:

WELCOME to our eighth issue of Elementary News and Notes!

We are thrilled to continue addressing the needs of our members that teach in the elementary grades, while at the same time sharing these resources appropriate for scaling up to more advanced students. We are always looking for recommendations of resources! If you have a map or activity you use with your students, please share your suggestion with us so that we can share it across the PAESTA membership!

HELLO from the PAESTA President!

For our PAESTA members that only receive our quarterly Elementary issues of News and Notes, be sure to check out the March, April and May audio welcome messages from our PAESTA President Laura Guertin! Laura will be recording a new message with organization news and updates each month that can be accessed from the PAESTA President's Podcast tag on our website.  The latest podcast shares exciting information about....

CALL FOR NOMINATIONS - President-Elect and Secretary/Treasurer of PAESTA

Announcement from Kelly Hunter, Past President of PAESTA:

It is PAESTA election time! PAESTA members annually elect our President-Elect (who would then move into the organization's presidency for 2016-2017) and our Secretary-Treasurer.

All PAESTA members in good standing are eligible to run for these positions. You may self-nominate. Whenever possible, we seek at least two candidates for each position. You may email your nomination to Kelly Hunter ( Nominations are due by May 31. Each nominee will be asked to provide a short statement as to how he/she would like to contribute to PAESTA in the chosen position.

Elections are conducted electronically. Once the nominations have been received, the nominating committee will make available electronic ballots. All members in good standing are eligible to vote. For more information about our election process, please look at the section of the PAESTA Constitution entitled "Bylaw III - Elections" which may be accessed here: Members of the PAESTA Nominations Committee include Kelly Hunter, Chris Palma, and Eric Aitala

Project BudBurst Video: The Stories Plants Tell

*Science content appropriate for you and your students!

The Stories Plants Tell: The Science of Phenology is a fun, 3-minute video introducing what plant phenology is, how it's tied to seasonal change, and how you can make a difference by contributing simple observations to a national citizen science phenology program, Project BudBurst ( Learn more about Project BudBurst's educational materials for grades K-4.

View this 3 minute video about the topic of plant phenology and the changing climate around us

Virtual Museum Tour of the Smithsonian's Natural History Museum

Can't bring your class on a fieldtrip to a museum (much less a trip to DC to see the Smithsonian)?  Not to worry, the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History has a virtual tour that students can explore on any computer!  The tour includes spots where students can click on camera icons for close-up images of display specimens.  Enjoy your trip at:

Nat Geo Kids on YouTube

National Geographic Kids has gone through the numerous videos on YouTube and created their own collection of playlists with the very best YouTube as to offer. Hosted by kids for kids, National Geographic has created playlists on animals, cool science, and more, with a new playlist added regularly. Check out what they offer at:

Earth Science Week 2015 Contests Announced

In celebration of Earth Science Week 2015, the American Geosciences Institute (AGI) is sponsoring three national contests honoring this year's theme, "Visualizing Earth Systems." This year's competitions will feature a photography contest, a visual arts contest, and an essay contest.

Students, geoscientists, and the general public are invited to participate in this year's photography contest, "Earth Systems Interacting." Entries must be composed of original, unpublished material, and show at least one Earth system affecting another Earth system in your community.

This year's visual arts contest, "Picturing Earth Systems," is open to students in grades K-5. How might you create a picture that illustrates Earth systems affecting each other? Use artwork to show how land, water, air, and living things interact in the world around you.

Finally, students in grades 6 through 9 may participate in the essay contest. This year's essays must address the idea of "Earth Science Visualization Today." Explain one way that geoscientists' use of cutting-edge visualization is advancing Earth science today.

Submissions will be judged by a panel of geoscientists on creativity, relevance, and incorporation of the topic at hand. Selected winners will be awarded for their submissions.

For details, please visit

Join the Lorax to Help Protect the Environment

ENERGY STAR has released an updated activity book with Dr. Seuss's The Lorax. The activity book, one of EPA's most highly sought after publications, will be available for free to schools and classrooms around the country. Download the activity book here:

Looking for other quality homework resources, lesson plans, or project ideas to learn or teach about the environment? The EPA recently updated its resource center to make it easier for students, parents, and teachers to find K-12 activities and resources. Visit the new center here:

Additional information on the PAESTA website

We have lots of news and notices this month - too many to put in our newsletter! We encourage you to check out these announcements (and more!) on the PAESTA website:
Do you have any items or announcements to share in Elementary News and Notes? Contact us!
News and Notes Editor  --  Laura Guertin
News and Notes Assistant Editor  --  Greg Collins
Copyright © 2015 PAESTA (Pennsylvania Earth Science Teachers Association), All rights reserved.
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