The American Geosciences Institute (AGI) has announced that the theme of Earth Science Week 2018 will be “Earth as Inspiration.” The coming year’s event will emphasize artistic expression as a unique, powerful opportunity for geoscience education and understanding in the 21st century.
Earth Science Week 2018 learning resources and activities will engage young people and others in exploring the relationship between the arts and Earth systems. The coming year’s theme will promote public understanding and stewardship of the planet, especially in terms of the ways art relates to geoscience principles and issues as diverse as energy, climate change, the environment, natural disasters, technology, industry, agriculture, recreation, and the economy.
“A longtime provider of top-quality curricula and teacher training, AGI supports the Next Generation Science Standards, which emphasize what is known as three-dimensional teaching, including introducing students to ‘cross-cutting concepts’ that help students see connections across the sciences,” says Geoff Camphire, AGI’s Manager of Outreach. “Through instruction based on these standards, students can find ways to combine the arts, sciences, and other subjects. Such educational strategies find a welcome environment in schools nationwide, where STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) has become an organizing principle of cross-curricular cooperation among educators and students.”
Creativity, problem-solving, and critical-thinking skills are as important to the arts as they are to the Earth sciences. Consider an artist making silk screen prints, for example. The artist thinks in terms of layers added in a specific sequence. This process relies on similar thinking skills to those used by scientists interpreting geological samples, such as cores, trackways, and rock strata. Professional geoscientists themselves innovatively combine sciences such as chemistry, physics, and biology to understand the interactions of Earth systems including the geosphere (earth), hydrosphere (water), atmosphere (air), and biosphere (living things). People of all ages are invited during Earth Science Week 2018 to join in this creative endeavor.
Reaching over 50 million people annually, AGI leads Earth Science Week in cooperation with its sponsors and the geoscience community as a service to the public. Each October, community groups, educators, and interested citizens organize celebratory events. Earth Science Week offers opportunities to discover the Earth sciences and engage in responsible stewardship of the Earth.
Earth Science Week is supported by many organisations. Australian involvement in Earth Sciences Week is coordinated by Geoscience Australia.