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.

News from PAESTA

The Great NorthEast ShakeOut - 10/16/2014

Mark your calendars! Millions of people worldwide will Drop, Cover, and Hold On at 10:16 a.m. on October 16th. You are invited to join them by participating in the 2014 Great NorthEast ShakeOut!

October 2014 Earth Science Week Update eNewsletter

Earth Science Week 2014

The American Geosciences Institute (AGI) publishes a monthly eNewsletter titled The Earth Science Week Update.  The Table of Contents is listed below for the Vol. 12, No. 10, October 2014 issue.


Celebrate National Fossil Day on October, 15 2014

National Fossil Day

From AGI  --  You are invited to join in celebration of the 5th Annual National Fossil Day on Wednesday, October 15, 2014. National Fossil Day is organized by the National Park Service as part of the American Geosciences Institute (AGI) Earth Science Week (http://www.earthsciweek.org) to promote public awareness and stewardship of fossils, with the goal of inspiring the next generation of paleontologists and fossil enthusiasts.

Middle school classrooms needed to judge Ocean 180 Video Challenge

Ocean 180 Video Challenge

The Ocean 180 Video Challenge (link is external) is inviting middle school classrooms to join the 2015 student judging team!

Sponsored by the Florida Center for Ocean Science Education Excellence (COSEE Florida), Ocean 180 challenges ocean scientists to submit 3-minute video abstracts summarizing the findings and significance of recently published research. Entries are due December 1, 2014 and will compete for $9,000 in cash prizes.

News and Notes from PAESTA - October 2014

The October 2014 News and Notes from PAESTA has been sent out. You can view it online via this link.

October 2014 podcast from the PAESTA President

Dr. Laura Guertin

PAESTA President, Laura Guertin brings us her next installment in her PAESTA President's Podcasting Series.   Be sure to listen to hear Laura's excitement about the PAESTA Conference and Earth Science Week!

Link to the Earth Science Week website:  http://www.earthsciweek.org/

(If the embedded audio file does not display or play, please click here).

October 2014 PAESTAR

This month we recognize David Andrews, who teaches general science, environmental science and chemistry at Butler Junior High School in Butler, Pennsylvania. In August, the White House Council on Environmental Quality, in partnership with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, announced David as a winner of the annual Presidential Innovation Award for Environmental Educators. In a ceremony at the White House, David was one of 17 teachers from across the nation honored for contributions to environmental education and stewardship.

Teacher Workshops at PA State Parks, Oct-Nov 2014

Below is a list of upcoming Teacher Workshops at PA State Parks. Registration details are included with each course description. Flyers are attached for two of the courses. More workshops are coming soon! Please spread the word.

Science in the News

Teachable Moment from IRIS- Magnitude 7.3 Offshore El Salvador, 10/14/14


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 this powerful magnitude 7.3 earthquake, which struck off the Pacific coast of Central America late Monday night. Early reports indicate one death.The earthquake occurred at a depth of 40 km (24.9 miles).  Its epicenter was offshore, 86 km (53 miles) SSW of La Union, El Salvador.

EARTH: Kilauea eruptions could shift from mild to wild

Hawaii's Kilauea volcano is famously effusive: Low-viscosity lava has been oozing out of the main caldera and two active rift zones along the southern shore of the Big Island since 1983. But scientists suspect that Kilauea's eruptions haven't always been so mild. In the past 2,500 years, at least two cycles of explosive eruptions lasting several centuries each have rocked the island. The switch from effusive to explosive is likely to occur again, scientists say, but probably not anytime soon.

NASA's Space Place: Where Does the Sun's Energy Come From?

NASA's Space Place

This month, the Space Place is doing something a little bit different for their monthly column—providing you with a beautifully informative and educational poster (attached below) about the mechanics of our sun. This poster accompanies their latest "Space Place in a Snap" animation. This "Snap" series is a set of narrated videos and posters that, together, explain basic scientific concepts in a dynamic new medium. Entertaining in their own right, they also wish to bring this new resource to your attention as an educational tool.

Teachable Moment from IRIS- Magnitude 7.1 Southern East Pacific Rise, 10/09/14

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 this powerful magnitude 7.1 earthquake near the intersection of the Pacific, Nazca and Antarctic Plates. The epicenter was located ~3000 km off the Chilean coast and occurred on October 9, 2014.

IRIS page: http://www.iris.edu/hq/retm/2764

EARTH: How the Spanish Invasion Altered the Peruvian Coast

EARTH Magazine

From EARTH Magazine  --  When Francisco Pizarro landed in Peru in 1532, his band of Spanish conquistadors set off a chain of far-reaching consequences for the people and economics of western South America. The Chira Beach-Ridge Plain in northwestern Peru is rippled by a set of nine ridges — several meters tall by up to 300 meters wide and 40 kilometers long, and large enough to be visible from space — running parallel to the shoreline. The pattern, observed along at least five other Peruvian beaches, was thought to have formed naturally over the past 5,000 years.

Listen Current: Preparing for a Future of Flooding: Build Parks

Listen Current

Nearly two years ago Hurricane Sandy devastated communities on the New Jersey coast, leaving governments, scientists, architects, and citizens looking for innovative solutions to protect against natural disasters. This public radio story looks at the design and thinking behind the New Meadowlands Project in New Jersey. From the appeal of a new Central Park, to the protection wetlands provide neighboring communities from flooding, this story will get your students thinking about the benefits and challenges of implementing big environmental protection projects.

EARTH: Santiaguito Volcano's Clockwork Behavior Provides an Exceptional Laboratory

EARTH Magazine

From EARTH Magazine  --  If Earth breathes, Santiaguito Volcano in the Western Highlands of Guatemala could be its mouth. Roughly every half hour, like volcanic clockwork, Santiaguito's active Caliente lava dome expands, filling with gas from depressurizing magma below. Then it exhales, often explosively, and deflates. Over the course of a day, you could almost keep time by it.

Listen Current: A Look At Mars' Atmosphere

Listen Current

Last week NASA’s MAVEN probe began orbiting Mars in an effort to measure and map the Martian atmosphere. Today, Mars, known as the red planet, is bone dry and it’s atmosphere is being broken down by the sun’s solar winds, but evidence shows that it was once much more like Earth. From liquid channels to lake beds, there is clear evidence that Mars once had water as well as a magnetic field. So what happened to this water? These are the answers the MAVEN is searching for by mapping Mars’ current atmosphere. Listen to learn more about this important mission.