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

May 2016 Elementary News and Notes

We love seeing how science and art can cross over. Here is a beautiful fox constructed from nature's "litter." You can view additional Earth & space science images at:

WELCOME to our latest 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!

Unfortunately, we did not receive any (self)nominations for our next President-Elect. The President-Elect is not just an important position, but an exciting one in the organization! It is an opportunity to grow as a leader and voice for Earth science and ES teaching at the state level, supported by the PAESTA Executive Committee and the over 500 members of our organization.

We will be extending the nomination period until Friday, June 10. Please send your nominations to Past President Laura Guertin ( no later than June 10.

Apps/games from the Smithsonian

Looking for science games and apps for grades K-8? Check out the Smithsonian Science Education Game Center. Games include Disaster Detector, Morphy, Habitats, Weather Lab, and more. Visit:

NASA Releases News Magazine for Young Explorers

NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center released the first issue of its new online news magazine NASA Next.

NASA Next is a news magazine made entirely for kids and teens in grades 5 through 8. The magazine breaks down complex science and brings its audience the latest news on Goddard science, including studies of Earth, the sun, our solar system and the universe. NASA Next is also interactive with clickable links to other NASA webpages, allowing readers to learn more about the missions and technologies they come across.

The magazine includes articles, fun facts, activities and a “For Educators” page filled with lesson plans to help incorporate NASA Next into the classroom. Educators and scientists review all lesson plans to ensure the content is accurate and useful in an educational setting, as well as meets national and state standards of learning.

To download a copy of NASA Next, visit:

For more information about Goddard’s Office of Education, visit:

Engineering Adventures Curriculum Units  

From the Museum of Science, Boston... seven units for grades 3-5 are available with fun, hands-on engineering design challenges based on real events around the world. Units include: flying technologies, rockets and rovers, bubble wands, air drop packages, earthquakes, recycled racers, and invasive species. Explore these resources at:

From USPTO: website geared towards kids, teachers and parents

When students have an opportunity to relate what they learn in school to how it impacts their lives and future careers, they get excited and energized about their education. Tapping into the passion and creativity that all children have is one of the main goals of the Office of Education and Outreach at the United States Patent and Trademark Office. They believe that all children have the potential to do extraordinary things and that innovation can be a powerful vehicle to help students realize their potential and become successful life-long learners.

The "Elementary School" section of their website states: "The opportunity to engage young students actively in the joy of discovery learning and invention helps students build confidence and natural curiosity. This kind of experience will further expand and build upon their education and learning in their middle school, high school and years beyond. The materials in this section focus on the process of invention and design to come up with creative ways to solve problems. Students learn about patents, trademarks, copyrights, and trade secrets by taking a turn at inventing and creating their own trademark designs."

REMINDER... PAESTA has a new website feature, "Favorite Videos" 

In case you missed our announcement about PAESTA's Favorite Videos section of our website, you can read through our special issue of News and Notes explaining the feature. Next, we encourage you to check out the collection, and please contribute (see the special issue for details)!

Announcements on the PAESTA website

This is a quick snapshot of some of the announcements posted on the PAESTA website. Be sure to visit to explore all of our recent and previous opportunities for professional development, news in the Earth and space sciences, and more!
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 © 2016 PAESTA (Pennsylvania Earth Science Teachers Association), All rights reserved.
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