December 2012
News and Notes

Undergraduate/Graduate Student Theses Research Methods
This AGI Current looks at the different research methodologies -- literature-based research, field-based research, lab-based research, and computer-based research -- utilized by students for their individual research projects. To see how these methodologies compare between undergraduate and graduate students, check out this PDF file.

Educational Resources from NOAA's National Ocean Service
NOAA's National Ocean service offers lesson plans, case studies, and sample student work about a variety of ocean-related topics. Check out the resources relating to tides and currents.

From the Pennsylvania Geological Survey
Educators can access PDF files that print on letter-sized paper for the Geologic Map of Pennsylvania and Rock Types of Pennsylvania

New EPA/NEEF Infographic on Classroom-Ready Resources
The EPA and National Environmental Education Foundation created a quick guide for finding classroom-ready resources at EPA. Find the tool online.

We're Back - on Facebook!

If you haven't checked out our Facebook page recently, you will want to make sure you take another look and ""Like" the Pennsylvania Earth Science Teachers Association! Thanks to undergraduate geoscience major and PAESTA member Molly Witter, you will see postings on current Earth and space science events, programming, and inspiring maps and photos. We hope everyone finds our Facebook page a place to keep informed and keep connected.

NEW!  On the PAESTA Website... Image of the Day

An image is a powerful tool for Earth and space science instruction.  An image can capture a feature, a process, and/or an event and allow us to bring that snapshot to our students.  Although images may be used throughout a class period, an image can be used at the very beginning of a class to engage students and direct classroom discussion for the day.

Two PAESTA members have provided different descriptions of how each uses an "image of the day" approach with students.  If you use an "image of the day" in your classroom, we invite you to contribute to our collection of examples by emailing your description to:

NEW! On the PAESTA Website... iBook on the Hydrosphere and the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill

We are beginning a new collection on our website that looks to help teachers utilize iPad technology in their classrooms, specifically the iBooks App, as an instructional tool for Earth and space science. Be sure to check out our first two contributions - a multi-chapter iBook titled Controversies in the Hydrosphere, and a shorter, more focused book on the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Have you written any iBooks with iBooks Author? Any requests for topics you would like to see in an iBook format? Contact us!

New from NASA - explore NASA Wavelength

NASA has a new online science resource for teachers and students to help bring Earth, the solar system, and the universe into their schools and homes. Called NASA Wavelength, the site features hundreds of resources organized by topic and audience level from elementary to college, and out-of-school programs that span the extent of NASA science. To learn more about NASA education programs, see NASA Education.

December PAESTAR - Pennsylvania Earth Science Teacher Achievement Recognition

This month, we recognize Megan Pickard, a graduate student in the Department of Geosciences at The Pennsylvania State University in State College.  Megan began working with middle and high school teachers as a graduate student fellow with the NSF-funded Transforming Earth System Science Education (TESSE) program for two years. Through TESSE, Megan played an important role in assisting teachers to be first-time published authors, acting as a mentor and co-author on three articles in The Earth Scientist (Summer 2011 issue) with teachers as the lead authors.  She also made many visits to Philadelphia classrooms to work with middle school teachers and their students with inquiry-based activities.  With Penn State's ESSP project, she continues to work with teachers during the ESSP summer workshops on Plate Tectonics and offers valuable assistance with content understanding and curricular approaches.

Congratulations, Megan - you are clearly a PAESTAR!

The Smithsonian Institution Encourages you to "Explore A Topic"

On the website of the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History, virtual visitors can explore topic-driven guides that connect content from across the museum. These guides provide a single point for accessing resources related to a subject, such as online exhibits, science features, and research departments.  The broad topics are divided into The Evolving Earth, The Diversity of Life, The Human Connection, and Our Connected Planet.  For example, are you looking for information on climate change, gems and minerals, or the origin and evolution of our solar system?  Then, The Evolving Earth topic is for you!

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