August 22, 2002
Contact: Michael J. Smith (207) 230-0046

AGI Initiates Contests for Earth Science Week

ALEXANDRIA,VA — The American Geological Institute (AGI) is pleased to announce the launching of three national contests designed to inspire citizens to get involved in Earth Science Week. The 2002 Earth Science Week celebration will take place October 13-19, and will focus on the theme, “Water is All Around You.” The contests coincide with the debut of a new Earth Science Week web site, Each of the three contest categories – Photography, Art, and Writing – encourages participants to take a unique perspective on the water theme. All entries must be postmarked by October 1, 2002. Cash prizes will be awarded to the Grand Prize winner in each contest. Winners will be announced during Earth Science Week and posted on the Earth Science Week web site.

    Entries in each contest will be judged by a panel of geoscientists and teachers. Contestants of all ages are invited to submit photographs to the Earth Science Week Photography competition. Entries are to capture some aspect of the Earth or Earth sciences. The Grand Prize photograph will be included in the 2003 Earth Science Week logo and will be published in a future issue of Geotimes magazine. Elementary-school students in grades K-6 are eligible to participate in the Earth Science Week Art Contest. Drawings, paintings, or other two-dimensional artwork depicting the theme, “Water World,” will be considered. Winning entries in this category will be displayed at AGI and at the national headquarters of the U.S. Geological Survey near Washington, DC. The Earth Science Week Essay contest is open to secondary-school students in grades 7-12. Entitled “A Day in the Life of a Water Molecule,” entries are limited to 500 words and are to be creative works that focus on the ways in which water molecules move through the water cycle and affect the Earth. The First Prize essay will be published in a future issue of Geotimes magazine and finalists will be featured on the Earth Science Week web site.

    Visitors to the Earth Science Week web site,, will find complete descriptions of each contest, entry forms, and other information about getting involved in Earth Science Week events. The site includes information about water and water resources, listings of Earth Science Week activities planned across the country, and contact information for Earth science resources in each state. In addition, visitors can join in a discussion forum or a listserve to share ideas for planning Earth Science Week events, and they can find links to ideas for Earth Science Week activities for the classroom that comply with the National Science Education Standards.

    AGI established Earth Science Week in 1998 to give students and citizens new opportunities to discover the Earth sciences and to encourage stewardship of the Earth. It highlights the important contributions that Earth and environmental sciences make to society and invites the public to become engaged in current scientific exploration. Organizers emphasize a different facet of Earth science each year. In 2002, Earth Science Week focuses on one of the most important natural resources on our Earth – water. This year, AGI’s efforts to coordinate Earth Science Week are supported by generous grants from the U.S. Geological Survey and the American Association of Petroleum Geologists Foundation.

    The American Geological Institute is a nonprofit federation of 40 geoscientific and professional associations that represent more than 120,000 geologists, geophysicists, and other Earth scientists. Founded in 1948, AGI provides information services to geoscientists, serves as a voice of shared interests in our profession, plays a major role in strengthening geoscience education, and strives to increase public awareness of the vital role the geosciences play in mankind's use of resources and interaction with the environment. More information about AGI can be found at The Institute also provides a public-outreach web site,

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