Engaging students (regardless of age) during lessons can be difficult with a whole host of factors influencing their disposition to listen and learn. The same is true when carrying out public outreach and engagement activities. In both instances the key is to captivate the full attention of the audience and make the subject you are trying to teach come to life. A task often easier said than done.
Perhaps the topic is complex and explaining the key ideas and concepts in a fun, accessible and easy to understand way is tricky. Alternatively, it may be that you are not entirely familiar with the subject and/or field and so it is hard to come up with a lesson plan or structured exercise which helps convey the important points.
In situations like this, one of the best ways forwards is to call on a little help, be that a few colleagues whom you might brain storm with or ask for a few tips and suggestions. For times when colleagues are not close to hand, or a quicker solution is needed, we’ve got just the thing: a (by no means comprehensive) list of places where you can find resources for teaching geoscience related subjects! The list starts off with a few EGU resources and includes some external links too.
One final thing to add before we get stuck into the list is that we’d really like to hear where your main inspiration comes from when planning and organising lessons and outreach activities, so do share your top tips in the comment section below.
The EGU’s Teacher Corner
A database for educators with a wide range of resources spanning a variety of subjects that may be covered in the curriculum or in informal learning. Also included are ideas and lesson plans from teachers who have attended the GIFT workshops.
The database is full of ideas for audiences of all ages: from teaching students about climate change, and learning about Europe’s operational satellite (EMURSAT) which monitoring weather, climate and the environment, through to a site which collates a list of blogs and websites about geology as well as information on courses and career routes into geoscience.
If you have any great resources you already use or have developed, then Teacher’s Corner is a great place to share them with other educators too! You can find out more on our website.
For what research is hot in the geosciences and a great resource to kick off discussions and highlight areas of active research, take a look at the EGU’s Planet Press- new bitesize press releases for kids, parents and educators to get to grips with the latest geoscientific research going on across the world.
Each Planet Press is reviewed by at least one scientist and one educator to ensure the content is scientifically accurate and that the language used is appropriate for the 7-13 age range.
Fun Kids Radio Programmes
For those who might prefer to listen, rather than read, when learning new concepts, this radio programme and podcast, prepared by the Geological Society of London, are a great starting point.
This seriously cool site has resources for all ages, from school children through to outreach activities. And just like our Planet Presses, they are all peer-reviewed by scientists and teachers to ensure the accuracy of the science they convey as well as ensuring they are accessible to the audience intended.
Earth Science Week
Promoted by the American Geosciences Institute and the Geological Society of London, amongst others, Earth Science Week is an international event which aims to raise awareness about the importance of the Earth Sciences. The Earth Science Week website has a wide range of resources for educational purposes which could be used as inspiration for your next lesson or outreach activity.
AGU (American Geophysical Union) education resources
A list of, mainly US focused, sites where you can find a range of educational resources.
And don’t foget to let us know where are your favourite places for finding educational resources in the comment section below!