Education and Outreach
1. The IPGG/UNESCO - IGEO Geoscience Education Survey
The survey comprising 110 questions focussed on school-level education ran in early 2017, managed by UNESCO. The survey ran in nearly all Latin American and Caribbean countries following a UNESCO Call for experts in those Latin American and Caribbean countries that currently do not have IGEO or COGE members. In addition, it ran in 39 other countries that have active IUGS-COGE or IGEO members willing to facilitate the survey. The data collected is being collated by the UNESCO South American office in Uruguay.
2. The international geoscience education textbook
The textbook is currently being written with the strong support of IUGS-COGE and IGEO members. The brief developed for the textbook is as follows:
A geoscience textbook should be devised to provide a scientifically accurate and accessible resource to reach as wide an audience as possible. The textbook should be made available in a range of different versions (prepared as below) and be published online and made widely available through the IGEO website and other linked websites.
A first version should be written in English, using photographs drawn from across the globe and examples of interesting geoscience phenomena (presented in separate boxes) - this will be the international version. This version should be taken by colleagues around the world and regionalised by adding photographs and examples from their own region. It should also be translated into different languages. In this way, versions appropriate for different countries, regions, states and even cities will be developed.
The international version should be completed in Spring 2017, after which a range of IUGS-COGE and IGEO members and others have agreed to regionalise the textbook and translate the wording, where necessary.
The Earthlearningidea website (www.earthlearningidea.com), supported by IUGS-COGE and IGEO continues to publish a new Earth science teaching idea in English every two weeks. As of January 2016, it had more than 250 activities in English with more than 800 translations into ten other languages (Spanish, Catalan, Norwegian, Italian, German, Portuguese, Polish, Slovak, South Korean and Tamil). Thirty more activities in English were in the pipeline. The activities were being downloaded at a rate of more than 45,000 per month, with than 2.9 million downloads in all. The Earthlearningidea blog has been accessed in more than 10,000 towns and cities and 200 countries across the world.
4. Earth science educator story initiative
The Earth science educator story initiative supported by IUGS-COGE and IGEO began in January 2016 and more than 60 stories have been published on the IGEO website (http://www.igeoscied.org/?page_id=396) on a weekly basis with more in the pipeline and promised. The stories of 1000 words each are aimed giving encouragement and guidance to the next generation of Earth science educators. More stories are welcome, and will be published on an ad hoc basis in future.
Conferences and workshops
• An Education, outreach and career opportunities theme has been included for the first time in the Goldschmidt conference in Paris 2017 Aug 13-18 (http://goldschmidt.info/2017/index).
• An Education and Outreach Session is included in the Joint Assembly of the International Association of Geomagnetism and Aeronomy (IAGA) running in Cape Town from 27 August to 1 September 2017 (http://www.iaga-aiga.org/)
• The 50th anniversary conference of the Earth Science Teachers' Association (ESTA) will take place at Keele University, UK, from 29 September to 1 October 2017 (http://www.esta-uk.net/conference.htm)
• The Arabian Geosciences Union (ARABGU), the African Association of Women in Geosciences (AAWG) and the African Geoparks Network (AGN) conference 'Earth sciences for society', which will include an educational theme, has information available at: http://www.aawg.org/. The conference will run in El Jadida/Marakesh, Morocco from 20-24th March 2018
• The Resources for Future Generations conference focussing on energy, minerals, water and the Earth, with a strand focussed on 'Education, Outreach and Young Leaders', run by the International Union of Geological Sciences (IUGS), will take place in Vancouver, Canada from 16 - 21 June 2018 (http://www.rfg2018.org/)
• The International Geoscience Education Organisation (IGEO) four-yearly conference GeoSciEd VIII, will take place on 22-26 July 2018, hosted by the University of Campinas, Campinas near São Paulo, Brazil. Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/geoscied2018/