SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) – Saturday marks the final day of Earth Science Week. It’s a week dedicated to promoting understanding of the earth and all its processes.
Earth Science is an integrated science composed of oceanography, geology, astronomy, and meteorology.
We live on this amazing planet, and yet we know very little about the science behind it, which is why Earth Science Week is so important.
Since 1998, the American Geosciences Institute has organized this annual awareness campaign. This year’s theme was “Earth’s Materials in Our Lives.” Focusing on proper stewardship of our planet, and a greater understanding of the materials we use day to day.
Here is a look back at the week, and what each day focused on.
Day 1 – Sunday, October 11 – International Earthcache Day
This day focused on a local scavenger hunt where you could explore the geological features, right in your backyard!
You can download the app straight from the Apple or GooglePlay store. The basic app is free and navigates you to many geological features near you. You can route yourself to it using the app and once you find the cache you log it in your app and can read the information about it.
If you do not want to download the app, you can also create an account online through the link below.
Day 2- Monday, October 12 – Minerals Day
Let’s appreciate the minerals. A mineral is defined as a chemical compound that occurs in a crystal structure, and is found naturally in nature. Common minerals are quartz, feldspar, etc. Minerals are different from rocks, whereas rocks are composed of many mineral compounds.
According to the American Geosciences Institute’s website, each person uses 3.19 million pounds of minerals in their lifetime.
Your house is full of these minerals. For example, the hinges, handles, and mattress springs of your bed are made up of the mineral hematite.
Day 3 – Tuesday, October 13 – Earth Observation Day/No Child Left Inside Day
This day focuses on the processes to predict weather, and encourages you to get outdoors and observe the earth.
Activities on this day include studying the clouds. Write down what clouds you see. Are they cumulus? Wispy cirrus clouds? Or do you see nimbostratus signifying a thunderstorm? Create a journal, and log the clouds you spy daily!
You can also build your own rain gauge. Given the drought situation you may not use it for a while, but it will come in handy this spring.
You can also make your own compass, or test your soil components. The guide below provides resources for how to plan your Earth Observation Day, as well as many more kid friendly activities.
Day 4 – Wednesday, October 14 – National Fossil Day
Fun fact, Missouri was once a small ocean millions of years ago! The state was also home to dinosaurs, such as the Hypsibema!
A lot can be learned about Missouri’s historic past through fossils.
Fossils are preserved remains, impressions, or a trace of a once living creature or thing from a past geological age. These could be bones, shells, imprints, or exoskeletons.
Where can you see some of these fossils? The Missouri Institute of Natural Science is a great place to state. Click the link below for information on the museum. They even have a triceratops named Henry.
Day 5 – Thursday, October 15 – Geoscience for Everyone Day
Geoscience for Everyone Day focuses on how geoscience encourages minorities, women, and people with a wide range of abilities to reach out and explore these amazing sciences. Reach out to a scientist today. Learn about their background and how you can participate.
The link below has many resources for a wide range of groups you can explore today, including International Association for Geoscience Diversity (IAGD) and National Association of Black Geoscientists (NABG).
Day 6 – Friday, October 16 – Geologic Map Day
This day is hosted by the U.S. Geological Survey, Association of American State Geologists, National Park Service, Geological Society of America, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
Geologic Map Day focuses on the importance of map creation, study, and uses in all aspects of our lives. Maps are created using photography, satellites, mapping software, at computers. This is a far cry from the first maps created on parchment.
Day 7 – Saturday, October 17 – International Archaeology Day
Get out and discover! Channel your inner Indiana Jones.
Archaeology is the study of history using excavation of sites and analysis of artifacts or physical remains. This can be anything from bones to clay pots. Archaeology uncovers the secrets of the past, and reveals long lost worlds.
Earth Science Week does not just have to be celebrated in October. Take the time every day to uncover and research the secrets of our incredible planet.
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