July 2012
News and Notes

You Spoke - We Listened!
We have heard from several members that they would like receive more information and resources relating to the teaching of Earth and space sciences. To make sure we do not overwhelm our newsletter with too much material, we will now have News and Notes come out once a month! We hope you enjoy the additional resources coming to your Inbox.

Earth Science Week 2012 Contests

AGI's Earth Science Week is hosting three contests for students - a photography contest (Earth Science is a Big Job), a visual arts contest (Imagine Me, An Earth Scientist!), and essay contest (Geoscientists Working Together). Find out more from their website on how your studetns can participate.

NOVA: Hunting the Edge of Space

In “The Ever-Expanding Universe,” this NOVA episode investigates a battery of high-tech telescopes that is joining the Hubble Space Telescope on its quest to unlock the secrets of our universe, a cosmos almost incomprehensible in its size, age, and violence. Watch the program online, and view the related links.

PAESTA Election Results - Meet Your New Officers!

The new PAESTA officers stepped into office on July 1st and are excited to continue the growth and network within the PAESTA community. Please join us in congratulating and welcoming President Laura Guertin, President-Elect Kelly Hunter, and Secretary-Treasurer Chris Palma. Kelly is also our PAESTA Featured Member for July! The officers welcome any communications throughout the year through their emails or the PAESTA website

New Resource on PAESTA website - Common Reads

Under the Teaching tab on the PAESTA website, you will find a new option on the drop-down menu titled Common Read. We have begun collecting the "common reads" used in classrooms and teacher professional development workshop. Each book listed on the page has questions that correspond to each chapter.  Some books, such as Dirt: The Erosion of Civilizations and Six Degrees: Our Future on a Hotter Planet, have Google Earth files and additional materials appropriate for classroom integration, discussion, and Gallery Walk exercises. We welcome contributions to this collection, and comments on the pages for any of these books you may have used!

PAESTAR - Pennsylvania Earth Science Teacher Achievement Recognition

Another recommendation of our PAESTA members is to highlight a member (K-16 instructor, informal educator, or pre-service teacher) that has made a notable contribution to the Earth and space science community and/or has served as a leader for the discipline.  This month, we recognize Jenny Hoffman and Nicole Vishio, teachers at the Agnes Irwin School in Rosemont, PA, who presented and published a very innovative classroom project titled Project Vofmio. To introduce a greater emphasis on natural resources and environmental stewardship to the curriculum, Jenny and Nicole initiated a group project to design a sustainable community for approximately 500 colonists on a fictitious, recently discovered, Earthlike planet. The two teachers presented their work at the Northeastern/Southeastern Section of the Geological Society of America meeting on March 15, 2010, in Baltimore, MD. You can find an abstract of their GSA presentation and the full description of Project Vofmio in the Winter 2009 issue of The Earth Scientist, titled "Designing sustainable communities: an inquiry based approach to teaching Earth systems science." Congratulations to Jenny and Nicole for sharing their creative curricular materials through a conference presentation and publication! You are clearly both PAESTARs.

PAESTA Conference Registration Now Open

Registration is now open for our first PAESTA Conference, to be held October 12-13, 2012, at Penn State Brandywine in Media, PA. The conference will begin Friday evening with a screening of the energy documentary Switch, and will continue on Saturday with sessions focusing on five different themes. We are also accepting proposals for conference presentations. We look forward to what promises to be an exciting gathering of educators, scientists, and professionals, engaging in discussions about teaching and preparing students for Earth and space science careers. 

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