Welcome to the Pennsylvania Earth Science Teachers Association


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.

Principal Donna Lindiner accepting the award on Veronika's behalf.

Award for Teaching Excellence - 2016

Veronika Ann Paluch, of The Agnes Irwin School, Bryn Mawr, has received the 2016 PAESTA Award for Teaching Excellence. This award is presented annually to a K-12 teacher who has made exemplary contributions to the field of Earth and space science education.

Paluch brings more than six years of Earth and space science experience to her elementary-aged students. Paluch began her career as an elementary school homeroom teacher. When offered a position teaching science, she readily accepted and has worked to make the experience more project-and-inquiry based to challenge the students.

Congratulations, Veronika

2016 PAESTA Science Conference

Keeping these reports in mind and wanting to address the need for increasing climate science content knowledge with K-12 teachers, PAESTA is introducing a new format for its fall conference in 2016. The PAESTA Science Conference will have three invited scientists come speak to PAESTA members about the basics of climate science, how scientists are currently studying climate, the climate of Pennsylvania, and the climate and possible habitability of exoplanets.

Conference Press Release - PDF

News from PAESTA

AGI Accepting Applications for 2017 Award for Excellence in Earth Science Teaching

American Geosciences Institute

The American Geosciences Institute (AGI) is accepting applications for the Edward C. Roy, Jr. Award for Excellence in Earth Science Teaching.

Given annually, this award is presented to one teacher of grades K-8 in the United States or Key Stages 1-3 in the United Kingdom each year. The award recognizes leadership and innovation in Earth science education.

December 2016 PAESTAR

This month we recognize the Penn State Brandywine Vairo Library for their support of national Earth science celebrations. This fall, the library staff created a display with books and an iPad with TED videos during Earth Science Week in October. In November, the library had a similar display table for Geography Awareness Week and even issued a formal proclamation to celebrate GAW. We are pleased to see the Vairo Library call attention to their Earth science resources and encouragement for their visitors to learn more.

PA Emergency Management Agency (PEMA) Poster and Video Contest


The Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency in partnership with Keystone Emergency Management Association, PA Department of Conservation & Natural Resources, PA Department of Education, American Red Cross, United Way of Pennsylvania, and the PA National Weather Service Offices are excited to announce the inaugural 2017 Weather Safety Awareness Poster and Video PSA contests!

PA Parks and Forestry Association (PPFF) Stewardship Poster and Video Contest

PA Parks and Forestry Association

In 2016, the PPFF launched an initiative to steward our state forests and parks called Stewards of Penn’s Woods. As part of that program, we have started to remove graffiti from our parks and forests. But we know we also need to educate the public on the impacts of graffiti if we are going to effectively conserve these lands for all to enjoy. Our PPFF poster and video contests are meant to raise student awareness about the importance of stewarding our state parks and forests.

Science in the News

Teachable Moment from IRIS - Magnitude 7.0 in El Salvador


November 24, 2016  --  IRIS does an excellent job collecting and preparing resources we can use in our classrooms on recent, significant earthquakes. Check out their PowerPoint, visualizations and animations on a magnitude 7.0 earthquake that struck off the Pacific coast of Central America Thursday at a depth of 10.3 kilometers (6.4 miles).  Its epicenter was located 149 km (93 miles) south-southwest of Puerto Triunfo in El Salvador.

IRIS page: http://www.iris.edu/hq/retm/4347

Teachable Moment from IRIS - Magnitude 7.8 New Zealand


November 13, 2016  --  IRIS does an excellent job collecting and preparing resources we can use in our classrooms on recent, significant earthquakes. Check out their PowerPoint, visualizations and animations on a magnitude 7.8 earthquake that hit the east coast of New Zealand’s South Island just before midnight local time Sunday, triggering multiple aftershocks and tsunami waves. The earthquake struck about 93 km (58 miles) north of Christchurch at a depth of 23 km (14 miles). Two people are reported dead, and the extent of the property damage is still unknown.

EARTH Magazine: When Earth Hit the Reset Button on Life

EARTH Magazine

From EARTH Magazine, November 3, 2016  --  The Permian-Triassic extinction event wiped out 96% of all marine life and at least 75% of terrestrial life. It is the largest of the "Big Five" extinction events in Earth history, and it defined the boundary between the Paleozoic and the Mesozoic geologic eras. EARTH Magazine explores new research on the "P-T" mass extinction to look at what caused it, and how it can inform our understanding of today's ongoing extinction event. 

EARTH Magazine: Humans, Megafauna Coexisted in Patagonia before Extinction

EARTH Magazine

From EARTH Magazine, October 12, 2016  --  As we celebrate National Fossil Day, EARTH Magazine brings you a story set in Pleistocene South America, where the climate was warming following an ice age. At this time, Patagonia was home to large megafauna species like giant sloths and saber-toothed cats. There was also a new predator on the block: humans. At some point as the climate warmed and human settlers began hunting, the megafauna living in Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego went extinct.