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Invitation to apply for GIFT workshop at the 2013 AGU Fall Meeting

published May 17, 2013 12:26pm
As many of you know, we had very successful GIFT workshops at the December 2011 and 2012 meetings. The workshop, an AGU-National Earth Science Teachers Association (NESTA) collaboration brought together a wonderful team of presenters spanning a range of topics which addressed AGU's Science and Society and Education goals and objectives. The workshops were received very positively by participants. Overall, the teachers found the multiple topics approach spanning various topics that were tied to classroom curriculum requirements very useful. This tactic strengthened not only the delivery of the workshop but also the workshop's utility to the teachers. It is clear that the GIFT workshops are very popular with participants and are a valuable way for AGU to make progress towards its goals.

Based on the 2012 survey results, we are now beginning work on planning the GIFT workshop for the 2013 Fall Meeting in San Francisco. Continuing with our efforts to improve the workshop, we are getting started on planning earlier than has been the case in the past.

We are delighted to continue our close collaboration with NESTA in planning for and making the workshop at the fall meeting a reality. Roberta Johnson has again agreed to lead the planning effort, and she will work closely with AGU Education staff, and other NESTA leaders, as well as all the presenting teams to make the 2013 GIFT workshop even more successful.

Some features of this fall's GIFT workshop, and our planning process, include:
  1. The GIFT workshop will occur on Monday and Tuesday of AGU week (December 9 and 10, 2013).
  2. We will begin our program on each of those days at 7:30 am but end by 3 pm to allow teachers to explore the exhibit hall and attend poster and oral sessions. We will include a Share-a-Thon each day during the workshop.
  3. We will use the multiple topics approach and tie each of those topics to the three AGU science and society areas of emphasis (climate change, natural hazards, and natural resources), to current "Hot Topics" in Earth and Space science, or to curriculum development as it relates to the Next Generation Science Standards to ensure that all areas of AGU science have the opportunity to participate in the GIFT workshop.
  4. We will solicit participation proposals from scientist/educator presenter teams who are interested in providing topical presentations accompanied with a closely related hands-on activity or set of activities. Teams will apply to present through an online form which we will make available on AGU Education web page ( ) from May 1 to August 6. We will be asking for a variety of supporting information, including descriptions of the topics to be presented, the level of the activity (elementary/middle/high school), the activity(ies), and information about the relationship between the presentations/activity(ies) and Next Generation Science Standards. Applications will be reviewed by a committee drawn AGU Education Staff, the AGU EPO Community, and the NESTA Board of Directors, who will help identify the proposals that appear to be the most appropriate to teacher needs and AGU goals and objectives. Final decisions on selected presentation teams will be made by August 23.
  5. AGU Members will also have the opportunity to apply to present at the Share-a-Thon through the same interface.
  6. NESTA will prepare a binder with workshop materials, and will work with the selected presentation teams to gather materials for the binder in advance of the workshop so that the binders can be assembled in a timely manner.
  7. All workshop content (videos, PowerPoint presentations, and handouts) will be made available to teachers through links on AGU's Education website, through our collaboration with NESTA on the Windows on the Universe website, as well as linkages to the scientist/presenter's institutions if appropriate. Click here to access the videos and materials from the 2012 workshop.
Please don't hesitate to get in touch with me if you have any questions. We look forward to a very successful GIFT workshop in 2013!

Pranoti Asher, AGU Education and Public Outreach Manager,
Bethany Holm Adamec, AGU Education and Outreach Coordinator,