August 2012
News and Notes

Iceberg on the loose!
Did you hear about the giant iceberg that broke off of one of Greenland's glaciers in mid-July?  NASA captured a still image of this runaway iceberg, which currently is moving at a rate of 2 kilometers per day.  Don't forget you can visit NASA's Earth Observatory to see a new Image of the Day every day on topics such as natural hazards, the atmosphere, heat, land, life, oceans, snow and ice, human presence, and remote sensing.

Geoscience resources in Spanish and English
The SEED Earth Science Week Online Toolkit, a partnership of Schlumberger Excellence in Educational Development (SEED) and the American Geosciences Institute (AGI), provides free Earth science education resources online in both Spanish and English.  Teachers can access 76 lessons, posters, fact sheets and other materials, offered in both Spanish and English. Materials provide users with introductory information on Earth science, as well as in-depth items on earth, water, air, and life science.

EPA - Natural Disasters
With droughts, extreme heat, and wildfires dominating the news this summer, be ready to share information about these and other natural disasters with your students when the school year begins.  Check out the EPA's Natural Disasters site to read about risks to health and the environment during the disaster and recovery efforts.

New PAESTA Featured Member
Meet Dale Kraynak, 9th grade Earth & space science teacher from Steelton Highspire High School in Steelton, PA. View his online profile to see his recommended teaching strategies and resources.

PAESTA continues to grow - in numbers and opportunities!

It is hard to believe that in our short time of being a state chapter of NESTA we have grown to over 190 members strong!  We are thrilled to have members from not only Pennsylvania but from New Jersey, New York, Maryland and West Virginia.  Why not encourage a colleague to join PAESTA - you can't beat the price (membership is still free!).  We also welcome your contributions to our growing organization, whether it be nominating a fellow teacher for PAESTAR recognition, or submitting something about yourself for the Featured Member section of our website.  We will be making some developments to our digital library of curricular resources by/for PAESTA members - why not consider adding your materials to our collectionAnd don't forget that we hope PAESTA will faciliate the development of a strong Earth & space science community through connections and collaborations at our first-ever annual meeting!

Five Outstanding Questions in Earth Science

What are today's biggest unanswered questions in earth science?  Our friends at EARTH Magazine asked experts from a variety of disciplines weigh in on what they consider to be the five biggest unsolved mysteries across the geosciences and how they think we may solve them.  Before reading their story online, what would YOU list as the five biggest unanswered questions?  What do your students think the big questions are, and do they agree with what the scientists came up with?  Please let us know if you pose this question with your students and how they respond!

NEW on the PAESTA website - links to digital libraries

As we continue to build our own digital library of teacher-contributed resources, we have created a page with links to what we feel are very strong and rich digital libraries with Earth and space science content.  We encourage you to visit our page with links to SERC, USGS, NOAA, NASA, DLESE, NSDL, and NCCSTS.  Not sure what all of these letters mean?  Be sure to check them out - we promise you won't be disappointed!

Introducing Pulse of the Planet's Fact Drop

For our fans of social media! Pulse of the Planet provides a daily two-minute sound portrait of Planet Earth, tracking the rhythms of nature, culture and science worldwide and blending interviews and natural sound.  Pulse of the Planet now brings us Fact Drop! - a modular web app that features 365 original facts about science, nature and culture in a format that's easily shareable on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. Fact Drop! can be embedded on your own blog or website.  Start your classes each day this fall by sharing a science fact with students!

August PAESTAR - Pennsylvania Earth Science Teacher Achievement Recognition

This month, we recognize Sara Neville, for all of her contributions to Earth and space science education while an undergraduate student at Penn State Brandywine in Media, PA.  Sara graduates this summer with a custom-designed bachelor's degree that explored the connections between middle school Earth science education and educational technology, while minoring in environmental inquiry and civic and community engagement. 

Sara authored the
Academy of Natural Sciences' Bicentennial curricular unit and several Google Earth tours for common reads (Field Notes from a Catastrophe, Dirt, The Control of Nature) featured on the PAESTA website.  She has published four journal articles (three as first author) and given three presentations at national and international conferences on her pedagogical innovations.  Sara has visited middle school classrooms in Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Kentucky to share with students and teachers how to use Google Earth for inquiry-based exercises.  Sara will tell you that the highlight of her undergraduate career was being selected as one of 60 students from across the nation to present her work, "Integrating Google Earth with the QUEST for Science Literacy," at a Council on Undergraduate Research event at Capitol Hill in Washington DC in 2010 - in her sophomore year! 

Congratulations, Sara - you are clearly a PAE

Submit your abstract now to present at PAESTA conference!

We want YOU to share your curricular and classroom innovations at our first annual PAESTA conference!  We are seeking presenters for 20-minute or 60-minute sessions along the themes of Fieldwork (working with students outdoors), Technology Integration, Teaching Earth & Space Science With/Across Disciplines, Professional Development, and Science Content (in Plate Tectonics, Astronomy, and Energy).  See our Conference Presenter Form for more information and to submit your abstract.  Proposals are due August 31 for our October 12-13 meeting.

Copyright © 2012 PAESTA (Pennsylvania Earth Science Teachers Association), All rights reserved.
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