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.

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

Kathy Tait and Judy Treichler

Award for Teaching Excellence - 2015

For her sustained professional and personal dedication to her students, her peers, and the Earth and space science teaching profession as a whole, the Pennsylvania Earth Science Teachers Association congratulates Judy Treichler as our 2015 Teaching Excellence Award recipient. Congratulations, Judy

News from PAESTA

Bipartisan Coalition of Senators Endorses Earth Science Week 2016

AGI Press Release

From AGI, October 13, 2016  --  In a positive display of bipartisanship, U.S. Senators from across the country have come together in support of the American Geosciences Institute's 19th annual Earth Science Week celebration. The coalition, which consists of Members of Congress from Alaska to Florida, formally introduced a Senate resolution officially designating the week of October 9, 2016 through October 15, 2016 as "Earth Science Week." 

2016 Project Polar Bear :Youth Climate Contest for Environmental Educators and Science Teachers

Polar Bears International

From Project Polar Bear  --  Every year Project Polar Bear (link is external) challenges student groups across the globe to take action on climate change. With the guidance of an advisor, middle and high school groups compete for a grant by creating a plan for a project that will help reduce reliance on fossil fuels and engage their communities.

October 2016 PAESTAR

This month we recognize Dan Leppold from Spring Ford School District in Montgomery County, PA. His nominator writes that Dan is a "popular, energetic Earth Science teacher" active in supporting PAESTA through social media and through several excellent pictures he has submitted for PAESTA's Earth Science Image Database. Last spring, Dan was selected to join the NASA Social team for the March 22nd Orbital ATK OA-6 Cargo Resupply Flight to the International Space Station.

Junior Paleontologist Program

National Park Service

The Junior Paleontologist Program is a part of the National Park Service Junior Ranger Program. The goal of the Junior Ranger Program is to connect young people to their national parks through a variety of in-park activities that are designed to introduce them to the national park system and cultivate future generations of park stewards. Programs range from simple scavenger hunts for younger children, to multi-day ranger-led activities. Over 200 National Park Service areas currently have Junior Ranger programs.

NOAA's Teacher at Sea 2017 season - apply this November

NOAA Teacher at Sea

Application period: November 1 to November 30, 2016 at 5PM ET

The Mission of the NOAA Teacher at Sea Program is to give teachers a clearer insight into our ocean planet, a greater understanding of maritime work and studies, and to increase their level of environmental literacy by fostering an interdisciplinary research experience. Teacher at Sea has sent over 700 teachers out on NOAA Research cruises.

Science in the News

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. 

Listenwise: Oldest Human Fossil Could Be Missing Link in Human Evolution


From Listenwise  --  The earliest known fossil that lead to humans was recently discovered in Ethiopia. Scientists have uncovered a lower jaw with five teeth. The jaw is estimated at about 2.8 million years old, and is nearly half a million years older than the previous record for a human-related fossil. This bone could help explain a branch in the human family tree. Listen to the story to find out how this fossil could fill a gap in the history of human evolution.

Listenwise: 200 Year Old Sharks


From Listenwise, September 22, 2016  --  Sharks can live to be over two hundred years old, and recently a Greenland shark was found who may have lived up to 512 years. These sharks are the longest living vertebrates known to exist. They can be found swimming in the Arctic seas, where researchers are spending time studying the old creatures. Listen to the story to hear more about this fascinating species.

Listenwise: Why Woolly Mammoths Have Thick Furry Coats


From Listenwise  --  Woolly mammoths were large, elephant-like creatures that lived tens of thousands of years ago, during the last great ice age. The thick, furry coat is one of several traits that gave woolly mammoths an advantage in a very cold environment. Today, the closest biological relative is the Asian elephant, which prefers warmer climates. Scientists were curious about the genetic variations between the woolly mammoth and the Asian elephant and what might account for the differences between the two species.

Listenwise: Debate: Which is More Important: Development or Preventing Pollution?


From Listenwise, September 2, 2016  --  New Delhi, India has some of the the most polluted air in the world. Levels of pollution reached hazardous levels many days of the year. For the people of New Delhi, this has meant an increase in health problems such as asthma and other sicknesses. As India’s growth continues, it consumes more energy, which creates pollution. This story illustrates the balance between economic growth and the health threats of pollution produced by all this growth.

Teachable Moment from IRIS - Magnitude 7.1 North of Ascension Island


August 29, 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 7.1 earthquake that has occurred 975 km (605 miles) northwest of Ascension Island in the Atlantic Ocean at a depth of 10 km (6 miles).  There are no reports of damage or injuries, and no tsunami warnings issued..

IRIS page: http://www.iris.edu/hq/retm/4211

Listenwise: Solar Powered Plane Makes Historic Around the World Trip


From Listenwise, August 24, 2016  --  For the first time in history, two pilots flew the Solar Impulse 2, a solar powered plane, around the world without using any fuel. This technology will have to be developed more before the public will be able to fly in them. Nevertheless, this flight symbolized the innovative progress made by aviators and energy conservationists. Listen to the story to hear more about the flight from pilot, Bertrand Piccard.