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.


Earth Science Week

October 9-16, 2016. This year's theme "Our Shared Geoheritage".  For more information, see PAESTA Earth Science Week.

Earth Science Week

[Click the image to download the postcard.]


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

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.

September 2016 PAESTAR

This month we recognize Nicole Fuhrman of Strong Vincent High School in Erie, Pennsylvania, for being the District IV winner of the 2016 NSTA/Shell Science Lab Challenge. Because most of Nicole's students did not learn science concepts in primary school years, they lack the knowledge to understand more abstract, complex concepts in high school. Hands-on activities make these abstract concepts concrete and give students confidence to delve deeper into the content.

June 2016 PAESTAR

This month we recognize our friends of the Healthy People, Healthy Planet Summer Camp & Community Project Incubator program at Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania. Their one-week summer camp (June 21-25) will provide high school student/teacher teams high impact, immersive environmental education experiences, while acting as a community environmental project incubator by providing seed money for projects of the students’ choosing.

May 2016 PAESTAR

This month we are giving a "shout out" to an outstanding student! Here, we recognize Rohan Chalasani, a junior at Fox Chapel Area High School in Pittsburgh, PA, for being selected as an EPA Region 3 National Winner for grades 6-12 of the 2015 President's Environmental Youth Award. Rohan is recognized for his project, "Impact of Energy Consumption Reduction on Household Carbon Footprints."

Science in the News

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

Listenwise

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

Listenwise

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

Listenwise

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?

Listenwise

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

IRIS

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

Listenwise

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.

EARTH Magazine: Redefining Homo - Does Our Family Tree Need More Branches?

EARTH Magazine

From EARTH Magazine, August 23, 2016  --  Human evolution and paleoanthropology are tricky subjects, not just because of the rarity of these fossils, but also because human nature seems to be getting in the way of modern taxonomy. In a field that is generally governed by logical rules when it comes to identifying new fossils, scientists are noticed there are some peculiarities applied to our own genus, Homo. 

Teachable Moment from IRIS - Magnitude 6.2 Italy

IRIS

August 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 6.2 earthquake that occurred in a mountainous region in Italy at a depth of 6–10 km. Early reports indicate that 120 people have been killed and many more are trapped under debris.

IRIS page: http://www.iris.edu/hq/retm/4208