Welcome to the Pennsylvania Earth Science Teachers Association

Join PAESTA!

We are the Pennsylvania affiliate of the National Earth Science Teachers Association (NESTA), whose mission is to facilitate and advance excellence in Earth and Space Science education.

Become a member and share your ideas, vision and energy – join PAESTA today! Membership is free and open to any educator or supporter of Earth and Space science education from Pennsylvania or outside the state.

 

News from PAESTA

NAGT Eastern Section Spring Conference, May 15-18, 2014

NAGT Logo

The National Association of Geoscience Teachers (NAGT) Eastern Section Spring Conference (May 15-18, 2014) is being hosted by James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA.  The conference theme is: “A Billion Years Between Friends:  A Record of Earth Systems in the Virginia Blue Ridge, Piedmont, and Valley & Ridge”

Pre-registration deadline:  April 25.

Presentation proposal deadline:  April 30.

NYESTA Geologic Field Conference, July 9-11, 2014

The New York Earth Science Teachers Association (NYESTA) invites all PAESTA members to attend their first summer field conference in the Fingers Lakes region of New York - at NYESTA member prices!  Below is the description of the fieldtrip and keynote speaker.  If you are interested in registering, please contact Laura Guertin (guertin@psu.edu) to receive the discount code for the online registration form.

April 2014 Earth Science Week Update eNewsletter

The American Geosciences Institute (AGI) publishes a monthly eNewsletter titled The Earth Science Week Update.  The Table of Contents is listed below for the April 2014 issue.

Marine Debris Webinar Series for Educators

April 30 and May 7 - Click here to register

Marine debris - everything from plastic trash to remnants of a tsunami - is carried around the oceans through currents and gyres. This debris is quickly becoming a hot topic in the scientific community, but most of what the public sees comes in the form of sensationalized media: images of water bodies covered in visible trash, talk of a giant “garbage patch." 

How much truth is there to these stories? 

At AMNH - Pterosaurs: Flight in the Age of Dinosaurs

From the American Museum of Natural History in NYC  --  They flew with their fingers. They walked on their wings. Some were gigantic, while others could fit in the palm of a hand. Millions of years ago, the skies were ruled by pterosaurs, the first animals with backbones to fly under their own power.

High School Students and Teachers Invited to Participate in Unique NSF-Funded Research Experiences

Did you know that the National Science Foundation (NSF) funds startups and small businesses to perform economically and socially impactful, cutting-edge research and technology translation? NSF is currently seeking high school students, undergraduates, K-12 teachers and community college instructors interested in participating in both summer and year-long research opportunities with small businesses and startups.

New Earthquake Animations from IRIS

IRIS has shared some of new animations for the 50th anniversary of the magnitude 9.2 Great Alaska Earthquake of March 27, 1964. They offer a set of three animations made in collaboration with the U.S.Geological Survey and the Alaska Earthquake Center.

Science in the News

NASA discovers Earth-sized planet that could be habitable

The National Science Foundation (NSF)-funded Gemini confirms first potentially habitable earth-sized planet.  View the video and click on the links below to learn more.

Engineers are 'schooling' themselves on fish maneuvers

From NSF  --  Their research is revealing more about what it takes to truly swim like a fish

With support from the National Science Foundation (NSF), aerospace engineer Michael Philen and his team at Virginia Tech are investigating the biomechanics of fish locomotion, in hopes of contributing to the next generation of robotic fish and underwater submersibles.

The researchers are studying how fish use their muscles to swim efficiently and execute underwater maneuvers, such as darting around in perfectly synchronized schools.

April 2014 Earthquake Teachable Moments from IRIS and USGS

April has been a busy month for notable earthquakes.  Here, we compile links to the IRIS Teachable Moment resources (MS PowerPoint files) and USGS links.  For general earthquake information, be sure to check out PAESTA Recommends Earthquake Resources.

NASA's Space Place: The Power of the Sun's Engines

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By Dr. Ethan Siegel  --  Here on Earth, the sun provides us with the vast majority of our energy, striking the top of the atmosphere with up to 1,000 Watts of power per square meter, albeit highly dependent on the sunlight's angle-of-incidence. But remember that the sun is a whopping 150 million kilometers away, and sends an equal amount of radiation in all directions; the Earth-facing direction is nothing special. Even considering sunspots, solar flares, and long-and-short term variations in solar irradiance, the sun's energy output is always constant to about one-part-in-1,000.

Magnitude 8.2 Earthquake Northwest of Iquique, Chile

On April 1, a M8.2 earthquake shook Chile and generated P waves, S waves, and tsunami that crossed the globe.  Here, we list the best sources for you to learn more about this event.

In the PAESTA Classroom: Giant Turtle Fossil Bones Reunited After 163 Years

Have you heard about the two fossil turtle bones that are a perfect fit - despite being collected 163 years apart?  We have compiled a list of articles and related webpages you can review and share with your students.  These resources, along with a list of questions that can serve as prompts for a classroom discussion or writing, are now available in the PAESTA Classroom.  View this short video clip below to see what the excitement is all about!

 

Ask Smithsonian: Why Are Planets Round?

The answer has everything to do with falling flat on your face (0:54)

NASA’s Space Place: Old Tool, New Use: GPS and the Terrestrial Reference Frame

NASA’s Space Place Logo

By Alex H. Kasprak  --  Flying over 1300 kilometers above Earth, the Jason 2 satellite knows its distance from the ocean down to a matter of centimeters, allowing for the creation of detailed maps of the ocean’s surface. This information is invaluable to oceanographers and climate scientists. By understanding the ocean’s complex topography—its barely perceptible hills and troughs—these scientists can monitor the pace of sea level rise, unravel the intricacies of ocean currents, and project the effects of future climate change.

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