Alexandria, VA - Royal Dutch Shell plc (Shell) has awarded a significant five-year grant to the American Geosciences Institute (AGI) to aid in the implementation of the new Center for Geoscience Education and Public Understanding. The new grant, which will provide the Center with $500,000 over a five-year period, will help fund projects already underway, including various Earth science and energy education initiatives.
Founded earlier this year, the AGI Center for Geoscience Education and Public Understanding serves as a centralized 'go to' hub for essential geoscience information and a vehicle for greater collaboration among the nation's geoscience societies to achieve greater impact. The Center provides educational material, current information on geoscience topics, and a home for the Critical Issues Program that defines the state of science knowledge on key topics relevant to society.
Year one deliverables for the Center focused on four key areas: Earth science education, energy education, the Critical Issues Program, and the status of the geoscience workforce. Significant strides have already been made to address these crucial topics.
- The Center is working to produce and disseminate a report on the Status of U.S. Secondary Earth and Space Science Education. This report will be released in June 2013, and will serve as a baseline for assessing the impact of the national Next Generation Science Education Standards, which were released in April 2013.
- The Center has launched an energy education web site with classroom activities for secondary-level students.
- AGI and the Center are working together to advance the Geoscience Critical Issues Program: in August 2012, AGI released the revised "Critical Needs for the Twenty-first Century: The Role of the Geosciences" document. This report provides congressional members with information about the important geoscience issues of our time.
- Additionally, the Center has helped increase the circulation of AGI's prominent geoscience career materials and workforce data sheets. During Earth Science Week, a world-renowned event that reaches more than 50 million people, topics focused on Discovering Careers in the Earth Sciences and highlighted AGI's Careers that Change the World brochures, emphasizing the importance of geoscience careers to society.
"AGI thanks Shell for its generous contribution to the Center for Geoscience Education and Public Understanding," said Dr. P. Patrick Leahy, Executive Director for the American Geosciences Institute. "This award will help catapult the Center and the importance of geoscience literacy to the forefront of the educational system at all levels, greatly improving public and policymaker understanding of critical Earth science topics relevant to society today."
The American Geosciences Institute is a nonprofit federation of 48 geoscientific and professional associations that represents more than 250,000 geologists, geophysicists and other earth scientists. Founded in 1948, AGI provides information services to geoscientists, serves as a voice of shared interests in the profession, plays a major role in strengthening geoscience education, and strives to increase public awareness of the vital role the geosciences play in society's use of resources, resiliency to natural hazards, and interaction with the environment.