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Earth Science Week

Tips for successful Earth Science Week experiences

There are a variety of activities in which you can get involved, depending on your skills and interests. The following tips can greatly increase the success of your outreach experience:

Examine how your research relates to the quality of human life.
If you plan to discuss your research with the public, spend some time examining how your research relates to the lives of your audience. This gives both you and your audience a sense of the value of your work, and encourages your audience to view scientists as approachable and interesting.
Start planning your project now.
Leave yourself plenty of time to contact the appropriate people and organizations. Starting your planning early: (a) leaves time to make alternate plans should something fall through, (b) increases the likelihood that the schedule(s) of your target audience(s) will be free, (c) gives you time to think about the details, and (d) minimizes stressful last minute preparations.
Work on your project with a local educator.
For many geoscientists, language-simplification is the greatest barrier to effective communication. One way to surmount this difficulty is to work on your project with a local geoscience educator. Educators are masters at translating scientific lingo into language the public understands. Look for geoscience educator partners at your children's school or at the education department of a local museum or science center. For a listing of science centers for 44 states and 23 foreign countries, check out the Association of Science - Technology Centers Web site.
If appropriate, involve the media.
Involving the media is an easy way to increase the size of the audience you reach during Earth Science Week. Invite the press if you plan to host an open house at your research institute, lead a public field trip, or assist with a geoscience fair at a local school.
Use existing Earth Science Week resources for project ideas.
Use the ideas and resources available via both GSA's and AGI's Earth Science Week Web sites to assist you in planning your activity. The AGI Earth Science Week Web site offers: (a) free Earth Science Week kits containing posters, bookmarks, postcards, ideas and activities, (b) extensive tips and ideas for a successful Earth Science Week experience, (c) student activities, (d) access to educational standards, (e) proclamations, (f) lists of Earth Science Week books available through Amazon.com, and (g) links to useful Web sites.