Sunday, October 25, 2009

Note from NESTA (National Earth Science Teachers Association)

A note from Roberta Johnson at our sister organization NESTA (National Earth Science Teachers Association):

As you know, there is a crisis in Earth and Space Science education today in the US. NESTA is working hard to provide support for Earth and Space Science teachers across the country through our programs, communications, resources, and website, as well as through advocacy for Earth and Space Science education at the national level collaboration with partner organizations. Through these activities, we reach thousands of teachers across the country annually, and through them, hundreds of thousands of students.

As we approach the end of the year, we would like to encourage you to consider a donation to NESTA to help support our programs. As a non-profit and volunteer run 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization, we work hard to keep our costs down, and avoid increases in membership fees - particularly in these difficult economic times. Please visit our donation campaign web page at, where we offer information about our need for financial support, and specific activities you might be interesting in supporting. Alternatively, you can go straight to our online donations form at to make your donation. If you would rather do this using a form that you can fill out and mail, you can find that form (and the mailing address for the form) at

NESTA is excited to announce that the American Geophysical Union has agreed to match up to the first $10,000 of donations raised in this fund-raising campaign. This is a great way to double the impact of your donation! Your donation will go straight to NESTA, and will be used as you designate with your donation.

Thank you for your consideration!


Saturday, October 24, 2009

Light a Candle in the Darkness: Volunteering for Science in Your Community

Photo Source: Modesto Bee

(Posted originally at Geotripper)
Here in California, K-12 education is in pretty much a chaotic mess, and our children are being shortchanged in the worst way. Class size is growing, budgets are getting slashed, and some of our best teachers are being fired. These are bleak times, and our community college system is no better off. But I am proud of what my colleagues at Modesto Junior College are doing. You can read the story here, but in short we are bringing fifth graders onto our campus every other Friday to give them an experience in science and to introduce them to our college campus. Most of our division (biology, chemistry, physics and earth sciences) is volunteering to make the program a success. From the article:

About 60 students watched and performed experiments as part of MJC's Science Educational Encounters for Kids. Every second and fourth Friday of the month, fifth-graders converge on campus for a science lecture and then two 45-minute labs.

"We are drawing members of the community into the college. Some of these students maybe don't think college is a possibility, and we want to show them this is their community college," said Brian Sanders, dean of MJC's science, math and engineering division."Activities are a blend of fun and interest with real science," Sanders said.

"We're not just playing with bubbles. We're matching the labs with the state's fifth-grade science standards."

And...these kids are a lot of fun, too. Full of energy and enthusiasm! Contact me if you would like more info on how we set up the program (hayesg at mjc dot edu).

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Far Western Section Spring Meeting: Tentative Announcement

Plans are afoot for the spring conference of the Far Western Section of the NAGT. The tentative plans call for a May meeting centered in Bishop, California, on the east side of the Sierra Nevada. More information will be posted as it becomes available....

Friday, October 2, 2009

NAGT e-Newsletter out...

The latest issue of the e-Newsletter of the National Association of Geoscience Teachers is available here. This issue is loaded with great links to new teaching resources on the web. Check it out! The photo, from the newsletter, is by Ron Wirgart.