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

February 2013 News and Notes

A new format for our eNewsletter!

You may be asking why we made a change in our newsletter layout.  As teachers, we are always on the move, so we decided to choose a format that appears and functions better on mobile devices.  Not to worry - you will still receive all of our announcements and recommended resources.  Please let us know what you think of the new template!

CONTRIBUTE A PHOTO!  We not only have a new eNewsletter format, but we are adding a new monthly feature. We will include a photo that captures Pennsylvania geology, a local landform, or site that captures human/environment connections. This month's image is from Laura Guertin, showing the smoke coming out of the ground in Centralia, PA.  You can view this image and all future images geospatially located on a map at:  The selected images will also appear as the header photo on the PAESTA Facebook page and Twitter account.

We welcome your photo contribution! Visit this link to learn how:

February PAESTAR - Pennsylvania Earth Science Teacher Achievement Recognition

This month, we recognize Katie Bateman, a 6th-grade science teacher and science curriculum coordinator at the Mariana Bracetti Academy Charter School in Philadelphia.  In the words of her nominator: "Katie is a leader, cheerleader, model, and all-around team player at every ESSP/PAESTA workshop or meeting I have attended over the last 18 months.  She listens to other teachers' concerns and always offers valuable feedback, resources, or ideas. I have heard her mention 'becoming' a university level science methods teacher/investigator, and I sometimes feel she is close to doing the job without having the title.  She has taken new ideas, such as Claims/Evidence/Reasoning, back to her home school and successfully shared it with colleagues.  She has been recognized by her school leadership, being made science coordinator.  I keep wondering when I will get to attend a workshop led by Katie."

Congratulations, Katie - you are clearly a PAESTAR!

NASA Ozone Watch

The NASA Goddard Space Flight Center utilizes data collected from satellites monitoring the ozone layer and creates false-color monthly images of the amount of ozone over the Antarctic pole, going back to 1979. Their site includes animations and raw satellite data - definitely worth checking out!

The Day the Mesozoic Died

From the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, this 33 minute-long film tells the story of how applying the scientific method led to the discovery that an asteroid struck Earth 66 million years ago, triggering a mass extinction of animals, plants and even microorganisms. Shot on location in Italy, Spain, Texas, Colorado, and North Dakota, the film captures how many different disciplines - geology, physics, biology, chemistry, and paleontology  all contributed to solving the mystery of how the dinosaurs died.

The film is intended for middle school and high school students in all science classes. Several classroom activities accompany a film guide and student quiz. The film and classroom materials can be accessed at:

Geologic History of Central Pennsylvania

For those interested in the Valley and Ridge Province of central Pennsylvania, we encourage you to check out Bucknell University's Geology Department website to learn more!  The text, complete with images and maps, can be downloaded as a PDF file.

TED Talk - How to Defend Earth from Asteroids

We know that several of our members are fans of TED talks, "Ideas Worth Spreading," either to show their students in the classroom or for their own enrichment. Phil Plait delivers a talk filled with great visuals (complete with dinosaurs!) and a discussion of what we can do to avoid asteroid impacts.

From our friends at the Partnership for the Delaware Estuary (PDE)

Teaching About Clean Water through Art - a contest for Philadelphia students
The Partnership for the Delaware Estuary (PDE) has once again teamed up with the Philadelphia Water Department for its 14th annual Art Contest. This year the theme is “Green City, Clean Waters.”  Hundreds of young artists in Philadelphia will be vying for prizes and accolades by creating artwork.  These will show others how to keep the water in our streams (and faucets) clean.  Winners will be recognized at an award ceremony on or around Earth Day in April.  Contact Cheryl Jackson at or (800) 445-4935, extension 112, or visit the website for more information.

Have you created your account on the PAESTA website?

Last month, we sent an email to our PAESTA members to create an account on the PAESTA website to help facilitate your use of the online forums, to update your membership information, etc.  If you did not receive this email, please visit our help forum to get started:

WANTED: Assistant eNewsletter Editor

PAESTA is looking for someone to willing to help pull together content for our monthly eNewsletter and proofing each draft before it is sent.  Our newsletter is created in the web-based program MailChimp (prior experience with MailChimp not necessary).  If interested, please contact us at
Copyright © 2013 PAESTA (Pennsylvania Earth Science Teachers Association), All rights reserved.
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