Happy Earth Science Week in advance! Make sure that you hug a geologist! Or a climatologist or ecologist, if you must find a substitute.
Every year, Earth Science Week has a theme, with a lot of support from government agencies (such as NASA and NOAA), and professional groups (such as AAPG and AAAS). Lots of very cool stuff in general for promoting science, science education, and science careers.
What I think is even cooler, though, is that ESW does a theme every year, with materials gathered to provide education for that theme. This year’s is “Understanding Climate,” which I think is a really good one. Getting a grasp of the basics behind the complex interactions that make the climate is important for everyone, and then we can also talk about climate change, its importance, and implications. (Because there is a consensus. Thanks, IPCC.)
I wonder how many students will actually get to participate this year, and how many have in the past. It’s something I worry about. There are a lot of good opportunities in something like this, for kids to learn. But considering the horror stories I hear from my friend who teachers at a high poverty school, I’m forced to wonder if kids like the ones in her class will get to benefit and learn. I know for certain that there are kids in every class that would love to learn more about the Earth; when I visited her classroom last year to talk a little bit about rocks, some of the kids were really excited about science. But when you’ve got the government (and the school administration) breathing down your neck about the reading, writing and math (the only subjects tested under No Child Left Behind) I think it means a lot of kids have and are going to miss out on things like Earth Science Week.