This week Earth will overtake Mars in its orbit and will be at one of its closest positions to the planet. That will make Mars especially large and red in the night sky. Then, after midnight on April 15th a lunar eclipse will occur. (Details on the lunar eclipse in a Washington Post article.)
“An EarthCache site is a special place that people can visit to learn about a unique geoscience feature or aspect of our Earth. Visitors to EarthCache sites can see how our planet has been shaped by geological processes, how we manage the resources and how scientists gather evidence to learn about the Earth.” Learn more about EarthCaching.
Did you know that there is a website named DonorsChoose.org where you can post a very brief description of your project and people interested in helping you and your students will contribute the money needed to make it happen?
DonorsChoose.org is a website where K-12 teachers post projects that they would like to have funded and anyone anywhere can provide support. Many of these teachers would like to have materials to help them teach about rocks and minerals. Here are three projects that might appeal to you.
““Iris Agate” is a name used for a finely-banded agate that produces a spectacular display of color when it is cut properly and illuminated from a direction that sends light through its very thin bands.”
“The Center for Geoscience Education and Public Understanding at the American Geosciences Institute has released a landmark report on the status of Earth Science education in U.S. middle and high schools, describing in detail significant gaps between identified priorities and lagging practice.” Quoted from the AGI press release.
You will not believe the music that these kids can make with instruments fashioned out of barrels, boxes, pipes and wires picked from a trash dump in Paraguay. This is only connected to geology by its “waste disposal” theme, but you will be impressed.
Earth science teaching materials are often not available in K-12 classrooms. Schools simply do not have the budget to provide them. When that happens, students miss an educational opportunity. DonorsChoose.org is a website where you can go to help teachers obtain the materials that they need to teach hands-on science.
Earth Science Week 2013 Toolkits are available for advance orders now! The kit contains everything you need to prepare for Earth Science Week (October 13-19, 2013), which celebrates the theme “Mapping Our World.” Quoted from the AGI announcement.
– Geologic Map Day: Celebrate on October 18
– “Visiting Geoscientists” Make Impact on Students
– Switch Energy Project DVD in 2013 Toolkit
– EarthScope Speaker Series Explores Quakes, Eruptions
– PDF Guide Ensures “No Child Left Inside”
– More Geoscience Resources in Spanish and English
– New Report Highlights Remote Sensing Imagery
If you are planning a summer trip you might be able to stop at a great mineral museum along the way. The-Vug.com has a large list of museums that feature mineral exhibits. The list also includes related tours and places of interest.
“The Paleontological Research Institution (PRI) [...] offers many education materials and opportunities for science teachers and students at all grade levels. Their online “Teacher Friendly Guide” gives brief geologic histories of every region of the United States. Also available online are photos and descriptions of the museum’s fossil collections.” Quoted from the Earth Science Week Newsletter.
Earth Science Week 2013 Toolkits are available for advance orders now! The kit contains everything you need to prepare for Earth Science Week (October 13-19, 2013), which celebrates the theme “Mapping Our World.” Quoted from the American Geosciences Institute announcement.
Geology.com and RockTumbler.com are both GeoShops.com websites.
Lots of people enjoy going to fee mining sites where you can prospect inactive surface mines, mine tailings, soil, sediments or outcrops and keep any rocks, gems, minerals or fossils that you find. Examples include: Herkimer Diamond Mines where you can search for doubly-terminated quartz crystals, and Crater of Diamonds where you might be lucky enough to find a real diamond.
“Museum CEO George Sparks says along with all the resumes he got from Ph.D.s there was one applicant with just a third-grade education. [...] Along with his hand-written, three-page cover letter, he attached a letter of recommendation from his teacher.”
The National Science Foundation is awarding grants to universities with science and math education programs. These grants can be used to fund scholarships for students enrolled in teacher preparation programs who are willing to commit to teaching four years in a high-needs school district. As an example…. one recently funded program provided over $1,000,000 to support scholarships for 30 undergraduate students and will supplement their salary during their four-year teaching commitment.
The Caltech Engineering and Science magazine has two interesting articles about the career paths of geoscience professionals…. Beyond Rocks about John Eiler and The Molecular Geomicrobiologist about Dianne Newman. Check them out.
Troglobites are small creatures that have adapted to a permanent life in a cave. They are so well adapted to life in a cave that they would be unable to survive in the surface environment. To survive in the darkness troglobites have highly-developed senses of hearing, touch and smell.
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Homeowners Insurance usually does not cover damage caused by floods, landslides, earthquakes and other geohazards.
Frac Sand is a high-purity silica sand used in hydraulic fracturing to enhance the flow of oil and gas from tight rock units.
Diamonds from Coal? Diamonds form under a variety of conditions that rarely involve coal as a source of carbon.
Fluorescent Minerals glow with spectacular colors when illuminated in the dark with an ultraviolet lamp.
Helium is a byproduct of the natural gas industry. Its most important use is in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machines.